It suggests the importance that night and day a very different to each other ‘’several hours ago, the night, routed by the dawn and fleeing in disorder’’, it’s as if the night is scared of what it will see if it waits up to watch the sun rise. There is a sense of abandonment ‘’since midday, not a single raptor has risen to hover above its prey’’ this place is deserted. Even the shepherds have disappeared, as if there is no life left on this land, apart from a couple of sentries who are ‘’crouched inside their rudimentary watchtowers’’, even they seem to be hiding.
It places emphasis on the place being dead and desolated. We learn a little into the text that the place being described is Afghanistan. But as a reader we get the sense that Afghanistan is only a place of battle and death and dried rocks and sand. At night there is noise of the artillery exchanges and the howling of wolves. At night time everything is alive, but that doesn’t mean in a good way. At night there is grief in the air ‘’ and the wind, when it breathes, mingles beggars’ laments with the croaking of the crows’’.
It describes the expanse of the land as charred and fossilized; there is nothing much to it but death and decay. This isn’t a place any one would like to be. It makes me as a reader feel depressed and somber. On this land the soil is dead. As we reach the foot of the mountain we have reached the city of Kabul or as the writer describes ‘’what’s left of it: a city in an advanced stage of decomposition’’. Nothing seems to have a sense of peacefulness or happiness in this extract.
There is emphasis of foreboding that ‘’nothing will ever be the same again’’. This place has gone through war and there is no turning back, the war has made it what it is today and that is how it’s going to stay. The orchards will never grow again as they have been stunted by dust. Their hearts have been sealed nothing has any heart left because it has been taken away. The effects of this outcome is irreversible ‘’ In places, the buzzing of flies and the stench of animal carcasses declare irreversibility of the general desolation’’.
It suggests that the land of the Pashtuns isn’t the only place that has been affected and that the whole world will soon be in the same economical and political state as itself. No one believes that things will get better, they have all given up hope ‘’nobody believes in miraculous rains or the magical transformations of spring, and even less in the dawning of a bright tomorrow’’. The men have turned their backs on the day, night is where they turn to. But out of all this death decay, desolation and destruction there is a story to be born, and this will be a story of despair.