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A Worthwhile Friend

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Friend can be defined as the following: trustworthy, familiar, likeable, loyal, and with more than a few words, emotionally there for you. In the novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, a character named Hassan is that direct definition. Hassan is always very considerate of his friend Amir, even though Amir questions their friendship. He’s always honest and pure with his words and helps Amir find kites during a kite runner tournament. In the last few moments of what little of a friendship they had, he still held on and tried to find anything that could restore their friendship to its entirety. Though Amir is the exact opposite of a true friend. Amir teases Hassan about his illiteracy when he reads him books and lies about the meanings of words to him. Amir stood by and watched as Hassan was brutally raped by Assef, a cruel bully who hates hazaras, and then proceeded to run away. He is also the very ‘friend’ who framed Hassan for stealing his birthday presents then hid them beneath his mattress. It shows that Amir is the worst type of friend who only uses Hassan as a pawn on the chessboard. An ideal friend is not manipulative or ignorant in times of need.

An ideal friend is not ignorant or indifferent when the other is in need of aid. Although in The Kite Runner, Amir decides to do just that. He told Hassan to retrieve the blue kite he struck down at the kite runner tournament and bring it back to him. Though after a while, Amir went looking for Hassan and found him in an alley cornered by Assef and his goons with the kite behind him. He stood by and watched as Hassan defended the kite and was assaulted by Assef. His main excuse for not helping Hassan is that he was “too afraid for what Assef might do to him”. This shows that he was cowardly and unwilling to take a chance for his friend that loyally obtained his kite. Amir is not an ideal friend because all he considers is himself and whether or not his own safety might be threatened. When I was at camp there was a girl, who I was an acquaintance with, was limping with a swollen ankle and wanted me to take her to the nurse all the way on the other side of camp. Though I ignored her since I was tired and wanted to take a nap. I am not an ideal friend either since I have openly chose not to assist someone in a time of need.

Furthermore, true friends are also not manipulative. In Kite Runner, Amir will sometimes read to Hassan and once they cross over a word that he doesn’t understand, he’ll lie about the meaning of it. Amir also states “I read him poems and stories, sometimes riddles-though I stopped reading those when I saw he was far better at solving them than I was. So I read him unchallenging things, like the misadventures of the bumbling Mullah Nasruddin and his donkey”. Deliberately he takes advantage of the fact that Hassan is illiterate and chooses to continue being unsupportive in his education. Not only does Amir not want him to be able to read ,and understand but he is also very jealous with the fact that he is better than him in Baba’s eyes. Hassan can stand up for himself from the bullies surrounding him ,and even take care of Amir which is something to be admired. However, Amir is a weakling who is unable to protect himself from those who are around him which is different from how his father was when he was a child. This plays a role in how his father neglects him due to the fact that he’s ‘different’. It is also how he tries to downgrade Hassan in order to make himself feel better. Another time when he takes advantage of their friendship is when he places money and his birthday gifts underneath Hassan’s mattress to make it look like he stole them. Then he tells his dad, frames Hassan so that he can no longer steal his attention away from Baba ,and he’ll be the only one left for it. In the end result, Amir gets what he wants. However, Amir is not a true friend due to his extremely manipulative behaviour.
Amir might not exactly be a true friend, though anyone can or try to be. An ideal friend is not manipulative or ignorant in times of need. But a true friend is someone who can have a good laugh, share personal stories, or maybe even a little food. Within relationships, people should consider the faults they have taken against others and move forward. Even one who is as bad as Amir as a child can grow and become like Hassan in the future. One may not start out perfect and no one is, yet you can always redeem yourself. Most of the time people with forgive you and if you live and learn well...thats the key to the door of becoming a true friend.




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