Often a writer will distract a reader from the full impact of a horrifyingly tragic moment in a story through the judicious use of comic relief. The technique of including amusing or simply mundane observations during moments of extreme discomfort for the reader is one that allows the writer to introduce scenes that, on their own, might be so awful as to be intolerable to the reader.
In The Kite Runner, Hosseini wants to emphasize the horrors inflicted on the people by the Taliban, but if he is too graphic, he risks the reader simply shutting the book and walking away. In the scene at the stadium in chapter 21, for example, when the Taliban is stoning a man and a woman to death, Hosseini includes several ordinary, almost amusing details that help to “normalize” the scene.
Highlight the phrase that most clearly represents Hosseini’s use of mundane and/or comical details to allow the reader some relief from the horror of the scene: