The Theme of Friendship in "The Kite Runner"

August 25, 2017 September 1st, 2019 Free Essays Online for College Students

“If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man should keep his friendship in constant repair.” This quote is a reminder that friendship should always be kept, no matter what. It is a reminder that friends will always have to repair the damage they have done. This is very true, and is demonstrated in the book, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Two good friends, Amir and Hassan, will demonstrate both positive and negative characteristics of true friendship through fighting with one another, helping one another, and forgiving one another.

Hosseini shows that true friends often fight and aren’t always there for each other. Amir and Hassan enjoy doing everything together. Amir, however, never considers Hassan and him to be friends. Amir feels this way because he knows that neither history nor religion changes who they are. In the end, Amir is a Pashtun and Hassan is a Hazara. He believes that “in the end, the world always wins. That’s just the way of things.” (Hosseini 99) The two grew up together and “fed from the same breast. [They] took [their] first steps on the same lawn in the same yard. And, under the same roof, [they] spoke [their] first words. Nothing is going to change that either“. (Hosseini 11) The two “played hide-and-seek, cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, and they loved insect torture.” (Hosseini 25) They took strolls together through the parks and see many movies together. They climb trees and Amir reads many stories to Hassan. Hassan is uneducated and Amir makes fun of him for not being able to read. When Amir is around his friends he will just act like Hassan is just someone whom he doesn’t like and this person is just following him around. The relationship between Amir and Hassan shows how people with power and people who don’t have power truly feel about each other. Amir “treated Hassan…like a brother…But…why, when [friends] came to visit, [he] didn’t ever include Hassan in… games?” (Hosseini 41) Amir’s friends are really trying to bring Amir into the real world where Amir should have nothing to do with him. This relationship shows how hard it is to break through peer pressure to develop a strong relationship with someone who isn’t of your race. Since Amir is in a higher social class, he thinks that he is better than Hassan.

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Amir is educated and “used literacy to ridicule Hassan. [He] … teased him about big words that [Hassan] didn’t know.” (Hosseini 151) Amir feels that because he is educated and has the knowledge, he can mock Hassan about his attempts to learn. This is not how a friend should help a friend. Amir feels like Baba gives Hassan more attention, so this is his way of getting revenge.

Amir also does not like Hassan living with him as his servant. Amir wants Hassan to leave, so he “lifted Hassan’s mattress and planted [his] new watch and a handful of Afghani bills under it. [Amir] waited another thirty minutes. Then [he] knocked on Baba’s door and told him what [he] hoped would be his last…lie” (Hosseini 104) Amir is still jealous of Hassan and how he gets all of Baba’s attention. He wants Hassan to leave, so he can finally be free and so his father, Baba, would be proud of him. After Amir won the kite running tournament, his father is proud of him.

Hassan offers to go run the championship kite for him. Shortly after, Hassan is brutalized by some upper-class teenagers. Amir watches all of this happen and “had one last chance to make a decision. One final opportunity to decide who [he] was going to be. [Amir] could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan, [like he had done for Amir]…. Or … could run.” (Hosseini 77) Amir’s “failure to defend his friend will haunt him for the rest of his life.” (Hower The Servant). By creating two friends who constantly face problems, it is evident that true friends have problems and fights, but true friends will not let these problems get the best of them.

According to Hosseini, true friends will always help each other in times of need. True friends will inspire, and encourage the person to push it to their limit. Hassan is a true friend to Amir, but Amir is not that great of a friend to Hassan. Hower, Edward of NYTimes stresses that “Hassan bears Amir no resentment and is, in fact, a loyal companion to the lonely boy, whose mother is dead and whose father, a rich businessman, is often preoccupied. Hassan protects the sensitive Amir from sadistic neighbourhood bullies.” (The Servant) Hassan is always there for Amir, and all though he appears to be weak, Hassan is very strong. He will always be there for Amir.

Like many children, Amir and Hassan had a special something. This something was the carving in the tree which says “Amir and Hassan, the sultans of Kabul. Those words made it formal: the tree was theirs.” (Hosseini 27) No matter what would happen to these two in the future, this saying was permanent and the story of the lives of these two individuals never left this true.

Hassan really admires Amir, and will always listen to him. This is truly evident because “sometimes… [Amir] talked Hassan into firing walnuts with his slingshot at the neighbour’s one eyed [dog]. Hassan never wanted to, but … he wouldn’t deny [Amir]. Hassan never denied anything.” (Hosseini 3) Hassan really cares about Amir, and wants to make him feel that he can always count on Hassan. Amir is one of Hassan’s only “friends” and is like a brother to Hassan.

Hassan is a strong influence towards Amir’s writing career. Amir reads books to Hassan, and Hassan enjoys them. One night, Amir tells Hassan a story that Amir wrote himself. Hassan enjoys the story and thinks that “[it] was the best story [that Amir has] read … in a long time.” (Hosseini 30) Later that night, Amir wrote his first story. Hassan gives Amir the idea that he is a good author. Hassan does not know that Amir wrote this, which makes Amir more thankful to have Hassan.

Hassan is Amir’s closest friend, and he will do “[anything] for [Amir] a thousand times over.” (Hosseini 2) such as standing up to Assef when he is picking on Amir. Hassan is always helping Amir and “It is clearly denoted that he is not working alone on making kite. Hassan is a loyal friend helping him to get it done. Amir and Hassan are always being together. Their friendship is worthy to be proud and mutual helping show contrastively in their relationship.” (Kamis, The Kite Runner of Khaled Hosseini) As a result of this “Hassan and [Amir think they] were better kite fighter[s] than kite makers”. With the two teaming up to enter the tournament, it shows that friends will always be there to support you. The kite running unites Amir and Hassan and brings them together. This is how Amir wins Baba’s love. (Hosseini 44) Similar to true friends fight, Hosseini proves that true friends always help each other in times of need.

Finally, the third example of a true friend demonstrated through Amir and Hassan is true friends will redeem and forgive one another. Amir is faced with betraying someone he loves. He feels guilty about it and tries to redeem his character by doing something good. All these feelings are given in the first two pages of the novel, giving a summary of what will happen. Amir explains in the beginning that he has “…been peeking into the alley” (Hosseini 1), and he also explains how “the past claws its way out” (Hosseini 1), referring to the day he betrayed his best friend Hassan. This quote shows that even after all of the years, Amir is thinking about something that he did nothing wrong and that he has been haunted by thought this whole time. Rahim Khan tells Amir that, “There is a way to be good again” (Hosseini 2). This was used to foreshadow that Rahim Khan had always known about what Amir did, and to let Amir know that he can redeem himself.

When Amir goes to see Rahim Khan, he tells Amir the story of what happened to Hassan, he tells him that he got married and has a child. He tells him how Hassan and his wife are shot to death. Amir hears this and starts to cry. Later on, Rahim Khan explains to Amir Hassan is Baba’s son, making Amir his half-brother. After thinking about this, Amir comes back to the house and finds out that Sohrab is in Kabul and that he needs Amir to get him so that an adopting family can pick him up. This is when Amir that he must save Hassan’s son Sohrab in order to redeem himself. This is the way Amir can be good again.

After everything Amir does to Hassan, Hassan forgives him. Hassan is very loyal and would “[never] lie to … Amir agha…. [he’d] sooner eat dirt.” (Hosseini 54) In this quote, Hassan is waiting for a kite with Amir. Amir does not trust in Hassan, and does not believe that the kite will fall right where they are. Amir is starting to tease Hassan about eating dirt for him, he is torturing Hassan. Amir believes that “[Hassan] was the ant and [Amir] was the magnifying glass” (Hosseini 54) Amir means that he is torturing Hassan, just like the two do to insects. The two boys torture insects for fun, and Amir is doing the same to Hassan. Hassan does not let this get to him, which shows he is strong, just like his father, Baba.

Hassan is unable to forgive Amir for the last problem. Amir is the reason Hassan dies in the end of The Kite Runner, so he is forgiven through Hassan son, Sohrab. Amir takes Sohrab back to America with him, and is truly forgiven for everything. Amir takes Sohrab into his family, and treats him like his son. In the end of the novel, Amir runs a kite for Sohrab, just as Hassan does for Amir. This shows that Amir gave Sohrab a future. He hopes that the damage that the boy had suffered could be eased somewhat by the love of his new family. Hosseini does a good job showing that redemption and forgiveness is very important for true friends.

The friendship shown between Amir and Hassan in The Kite Runner is a harsh and scary one, but, it may be more of a reality than is thought of. Having true friendships is one of the most important things to accomplish in life. A successful friendship must be unbreakable, even after fights or arguments, it must have forgiveness, and the friends should always be there for each other. These are the three criteria to help create a perfect friendship.


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