Novel Review on The Kite Runner: Friendship and Loyalty
In the novel The Kite Runner, the theme of friendship and loyalty occurs throughout the book, especially on how the two friends Amir and Hassan experience friendship amidst differences in castes and social classes. Amir and Baba belong to the Pashtun while Hassan and Ali belong to Hazara but friendship still brings them together and they form strong bonds that know no boundaries. Friends are exposed to various circumstances that enable the viewer to observe how various situations determine how friends express their friendship to each other. The circumstances push friends who are already faced with the class differences into expressing, understanding and experiencing friendship in different ways.
Friends share same households but are of different status. Without friendship the friends could not even talk or meet each other but they find time to talk and share about the aspirations in the same way people of the same social status would do. Amir is described as having some time to reflect on the issue of friendship and admits that sometimes friendship could not be understood. People could just be friends without giving their relationship any label; they are just happy and peaceful near others and they love being with them. Amir admits that he has never heard Baba calling Ali as his friend, Amir himself has never thought of Hassan as his friend because of the social differences.
Friendship does not have to be given a name, but the fact that a person is there for the other when he needs him could also be friendship. A friend is concerned with how another person feels and would do their best to ensure that the other person does not suffer. When Assef confronts Amir about his friendship with Hassan, Amir Replies that they are not friends, he almost adds that Hassan is his servant. That is the truth but the relationship between them has been more like of two brothers. Throughout the novel, Hassan demonstrates his loyalty and friendship to Amir by standing up for Amir when Assef insults the two of them. He used the sling to scare Assef away and pointed it directly to his face (Page 41).This bravery shows that Hassan is ready to protect his friend even when the odds are against him.
When Amir threw pomegranates at Hassan, he does not retaliate. Amir does not understand why even after a pomegranate splattered on Hassan’s face, he still would not hit him back. He shouts to him “Hit me back” but Hassan does not hit him and instead, he takes a pomegranate and smashes it on his own forehead to prove to Amir that nothing could make him to do such a thing to his best friend. When Hassan admits to Baba that he stole the watch, it is out of the friendship but not because he stole the watch. Hassan admits that he stole the watch when asked if he stole Amir’s watch (Page105).he knew that if he said no then his friend would be in trouble with Baba hence, he admits to a crime he did not commit just to save his friend. That is a true friend that everybody would wish to have, someone who could take a blame for you no matter the crime committed
Hassan looks to Amir as his best friend and has paid this back by being loyal to him. Hassan recognizes the social differences between the two of them and has realized that Amir has sacrificed enough to become his friend. The friendship between them could be of much benefit to him than it would be for Amir. This unfailing loyalty is too strong that it even bothers Amir, Hassan seems ready to go through anything just protect Amir. He repeats the phrase “for you a thousand times” to show Amir that is his loyalty would last forever. His loyalty to Amir is comes out strong when Assef tries to talk him into betraying their friendship. Assef asks Hassan that “before you sacrifice yourself for him, think about this: would he do the same for you?” Through this remark and those that follow, Hassan’s loyalty is confirmed and it is clear that Amir’s action after these remarks was a total betrayal to their friendship. Hassan does not get angry as Amir and still considers him as a friend.
The story starts and ends with Hassan demonstrating his friendship and loyalty to his friend Amir. When Amir betrays and backstabs him in some occasions, he remains loyal to him and does not do anything that might hurt his friend. His actions prove that friendship as a theme was central in the novel and Hassan has played a major part in enforcing the theme. He was loyal to his friend while Amir only offered him friendship. Amir could also be given credit for being friends with Hassan when his social status was clearly above Hassan’s. He was a good person with a few flaws but as they say, nobody is perfect. His friendship to Hassan earned him a loyal friend who is ready to die for him “a thousand times”.