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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini shows a lot about what friendship means. In this story it’s between two boys, named Amir and Hassan who were raised and grew up together. It is about the guilt, the betrayal and the redemption that comes along with it. The Kite Runner displays many themes throughout the book, but the one I will be talking about in this essay is Friendship. I looked up online what the definition of a friend is on Merriam Webster. The definition of a friend is, “a person who has a strong liking for and trust in another person.” We all know certain friends are not meant to be in our lives forever. Some friendships go in and out of our lives. What we do keep are the memories that we made with that person and the lessons we learned from them. In The Kite Runner, Hosseini shows very well throughout the text what a real friendship is like with the ups and downs.
Amir and Hassan grew up together like brothers. In the book it says, “…fed from the same breast. We took our first steps on the same lawn in the same yard. And, under the same roof, we spoke our first words.” This quote right here shows how close the two boys bond was. They did everything together. However, Amir never considers Hassan and him to be friends. They both are different classes. Hassan is classified as being a part of the lower class. So, Amir has a lot of confidence because his family and him are upper class. He never includes Hassan when they are out in public. Instead, Amir acts like he doesn’t like Hassan. He looks at Hassan, like he is just following him around everywhere. Amir feels this way towards his friendship with Hassan because he knows that they both are different. He feels conflicted because of their social class. Isn’t this sad to hear? That their background can affect whether or not they can be friends. For example, it’s like a Fox and a Hound. The hound can’t be friends with the fox because it’s supposed to be hunted. It’s viewed as the prey. As the fox, looks at the hound as the enemy. We all know the fox and hound don’t collide but they should be able to be friends. Who made this decision? Our society shapes our decisions on what we can and cannot do. This friendship shows how society pressure can affect the way people look at each other just based on social class. At this age, there is a lot of peer pressure and eyes watching you if you are friends with someone who isn’t the same race.
All of sudden, there is a breaking point in The Kite Runner. This is when Hassan gets brutally beat up and raped in the alley by Assef and Amir sees everything, but does absolutely nothing to help Hassan. I think this is what defines a true friendship. A true friend would stand up for their best friend, because that’s just what friends do. In the book it even says, “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything”. This is a powerful statement because it is saying if you can’t stand up for yourself you won’t have the confidence to say anything in general. Amir watches all of this happen to his friend. He mentions, “…had one last chance to make a decision. One final opportunity to decide who I was going to be. I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan – the way he’d stood up for me all those times in the past – and accept whatever would happen to me. Or I could run. In the end, I ran.” This right here just shows how the difference on how Hassan is a loyal friend to Amir, but Amir is not that great of a friend to Hassan. When Amir was upset with his dad not being supportive toward his writing, there was always one person who was. Guess who this was? Hassan. Even, when Amir was completely jealous of Hassan for stealing the attention away from him with Baba. He always found a way to cheer Amir up by actually listening to him. He listens to Amir’s stories by telling him he is very talented. That’s what a good friend does by being there for each other through the good and bad times.
Another key point, was when Amir heard the news that Hassan was really his half-brother, married, had a son, and lastly got shot. This was devastating news to Amir, he had a lot of guilt for the way he treated Hassan. Amir tries to make it better by adopting Sohrab, Hassan’s son. He wanted to protect him, since he wouldn’t do that for Hassan at the time. This shows that he really cared about his relationship with Hassan and owes him back for the times that he disrespected him and treated him really poorly. He says to the general, “You see, General Sahib, my father slept with his servant’s wife, and she bore him a son named Hassan. Hassan is dead now. That boy sleeping in the other room is Hassan’s son. He’s my nephew. That’s what you tell people when they ask….He has a name, and it’s Sohrab”. This shows a lot how Amir has changed a person. I don’t think he would have ever said that to his friends when Hassan was around because of the embarrassment but now he is making progress. Why now? Isn’t it too late? Well, Amir is in a new country, and I think he is trying to redeem himself as a person. It’s never too late to make things right.
In conclusion, after analyzing the book we can answer the question “What are friends for?”. Simply for being there for each other through the good and bad times, as Amir and Hassan do.
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