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The relationship between Amir and Hassan probably seems unusual to many people (especially in America), but the class status between the two boys was the primary conflict between them. Amir could never forget that Hassan was his father's servant's son, and he had trouble identifying him as a "friend." The fact that Amir did not consider Hassan his equal was a major focus in the story. Hassan also seemed to realize this, but his admiration and love for Amir was far more concrete. Ali's physical deformity and Hassan's harelip were only part of the problem; the fact that the two were Hazaras, Afghanistan's most lowly ethnic group, was not lost on Amir. As an adult, Amir's treachery toward Hassan haunts him constantly, and it becomes a prime focus in his life. One wonders how Amir would have treated Hassan had he known the two were actually half-brothers: Would Amir still have been jealous of Baba's attention? Or would he have accepted Hassan as an equal--and a real friend?
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