Hassan and Amir are the main characters of the novel The Kite Runner, written by Khaled Hosseini in 2003. These two little boys are considered to be the best friends from their childhood: they have common interests, games, and even sayings, which can mean nothing for the others, but change the whole world for them.
Hassan and Amir are the characters that help to comprehend how precious male friendship can be and how unpredictable the outcomes of one single mistake may become for their destinies, their future, and their lives. Taking into consideration that loyalty is one of the common features for both Hassan and Amir, their differences, which consist in family and origin as well as their attitudes to life, friendship, and respect, make them too close and too far to each other simultaneously.
First of all, boys’ origins were one of the serious differences between Hassan and Amir. Amir is a Pashtun boy, who is aware of how powerful these people are in comparison to the Hazaras, the origin of little Hassan. “The man is a Pashtun to the root. He has nang and namoos…Honor and pride” (Hosseini 145). Due to this fact, Amir truly believes in his superiority over his friend Hassan and thinks that their origins may be one of the factors to put own demands on the first place.
In comparison to Amir, Hassan never pays any attention to his origins and the roots of his friend. After his birth, he decides to devote all his life, his actions, and even his words to his best friend, Amir. He is not afraid of Amir’s enemies and is always ready to stick up for him. These two little boys cannot even comprehend that their origins’ differences should not influence their relations and mutual support and cost nothing in comparison to their future challenges.
Their second difference lies in their family relations and attitudes to the relatives. Baba, Amir’s father, demonstrates his love to both boys, but still, his attitude to Amir’s was too critical, because he thinks his son is not as that manly as he is expected to be. This difference between Amir and Hassan’s families turns out to be rather important, as their relations in families reflect on boys’ relations. Just in order to win the respect of his own father, Amir sincerely believes that Hassan’s rape may be regarded as a sacrifice that will play a certain role in their future.
In addition, Amir thinks that the rape of a young Hazara by a young Pashtun Assef does not matter anything, so, Hassan’s action is another one that will help Amir with his self-actualization. Hassan has no one to gain respect among his family as his father does not actually need this respect; this is why Amir is the only person, whose respect Hassan wants to win.
But when Hassan gets to know how unfair and cowardly the actions of his friends are, he has nothing to do but leave the place and support his father with his ideas and desires. So, their difference in family is one more issue that influences Amir’s and Hassan’s characters, attitudes to lives, and life’s priorities.
Finally, in spite of the fact that Amir and Hassan have so many differences of opinions, attitudes to each other, and purposes, these two boys are characterized by one strong similarity – their loyalty. Of course, this loyalty is not too each other, but still, it makes them so similar and so close.
From the very beginning, Hassan demonstrates and proves his loyalty to Amir for many times: “For you a thousand times over!” (Hosseini 67) Amir sees this very loyalty of Hassan and usually calls him “good old reliable Hassan”, because he knows that any time Hassan will rescue him, make a sacrifice, and believe his words even if they are not true and sincere. Amir demonstrates almost the same type of loyalty to his father. Baba is a brilliant example of how to be a real man, a real Pashtun, and a real father.
In order to prove his loyalty to Baba, Amir forgets about all those care that comes from Hassan and sacrifices their friendship in order to become more serious and more respectable for his father. The loyalty of these two characters shows how their trust to other people may be blind and tragic. To my mind, that loyalty that is inherent to little boys has to be controlled by their parents in order to show them the right way. And in this story, such control is absent and leads to deaths, sorrow, and guilt.
In general, the comparison of Amir and Hassan, who have so many differences, helps to realize how significant people’s origins and relations within families can be. The idea of loyalty that turns out to be one of Amir and Hassan’s main similarities is so absurd, and this is why it causes a terrible quarrel between the best friends, a long-term guilt of Amir, deep disappointment of Hassan, and absence of punishment in regards to such sadist like Assef.
Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, 2003.