The Kite Runner is a book that follows the story of a child named Amir who grows up in Afghanistan, but who must leave his home country during the Russian invasion to grow up in the United States of America, but return once again for redemption.
During the course of the book, the story we follow is a personal one, focusing on Amir and his childhood companion, Hassan, a de-facto servant who belongs to ridiculed minority. However, their relationship is supplemented with Afghanistan's conflict, which both criss-cross and manage to become analogies of one another.
For this reason, I think that the time and place in this work are very important in two ways – personally and historically. I think that the events themselves must unite these two for the story and its themes to really stand out. If the character wasn't in Afghanistan, and didn't end up in a conflict with his friend during the invasion and the time that followed, I feel as if Afghanistan would have the role as being a place. Yes, the story would still be influenced by the culture of Afghanistan, but the country wouldn't play a significant role with the development of Amir.
Therefore, I think that time and place is mainly used to connect a personal conflict with a bigger, national conflict.
For me, this book was rather easy to understand. It is, after all, a book written for the general public. The story and structure is very clear, and the novel does its best to make sense of the Afghan culture, a culture quite independant of our Western society.
For example, during Amir's life in America, the book mentions how the shopkeeper does not wish for Baba, Amir's father, to leave the shop after he is unable to pay for his groceries, although that would have been perfectly acceptable in Afghanistan. These kinds of references in general help us relate to and understand Afghan culture very well.
Some personal characteristics, for me, were difficult to understand, like those of Amir's in the...