Compare the relationships between Baba and Ali and Amir and Hassan. Were their personal relationships affected by their social statuses? How?

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Baba and Ali's relationship is strikingly similar to Amir and Hassan's relationship because both friendships are affected by society's expectations, which prevent Baba and Amir from genuinely expressing their feelings of admiration and love for Ali and Hassan. Baba and Amir are ethnic Pashtuns, which is the ruling Sunni majority in Afghanistan. They enjoy privileged lives and access to opportunities that Ali and Hassan could only dream of. Both Ali and Hassan are oppressed Hazaras and occupy a much lower social status than Baba and Amir. Hazaras are the ethnic Shia minorities living in Afghanistan and are discriminated against throughout the country.

In Afghanistan, it is socially unacceptable for a Pashtun to have an open relationship or friendship with a Hazara. Pashtuns view Hazaras as second-class citizens, which dramatically affects Baba and Amir's relationship with Ali and Hassan. Even though Baba is best friends with Ali and the two men were inseparable as children, Baba could never acknowledge that Ali was his friend, which is the exact same issue that plagues Amir. Ali and Hassan are Baba and Amir's best friends but are also their servants, which further complicates their relationships. Essentially, Baba and Amir cannot acknowledge their friendship or publicly treat Ali and Hassan as their equals because of the predominant social taboo that forbids Pashtuns from forming close bonds with Hazaras.

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The relationships between Baba and Ali and Amir and Hassan had similarities and differences. The similarities were a result of social separation, but the difference stemmed from the different personalities of Baba and Amir.

In both cases, the relationship was affected by social status and ethnic differences.  Baba and Amir were Pashtin, essentially of Persian descent, while Ali and Hassan were Hazara, people of Mongolian descent. Clearly, those of Persian descent held a higher social status in Afghanistan. In spite of the fact that Baba and Ali had grown up together, Baba was the master of his household and Ali was his servant. This relationship carried on to the next generation, in which Amir and Hassan grew up together but Hassan was a servant, too. You will notice from reading the story that Ali and Hassan live in servants' quarters and that Hassan does not go to school.  There is no opportunity for him in Afghanistan, because of his ethnic and social status, so education would have been considered a "waste."

In spite of these social differences, Baba is faithful to Ali, even to the point of wanting to keep him on after believing Hassan has stolen from the household.  He is a friend for life to Ali.  On the other hand, Amir allows Hassan to make sacrifices for him, terrible sacrifices, but never speaks up for him. He not only allows his father to make Ali and Hassan leave, but also he manipulates events so they must leave. This "plot" is the result of Amir's guilt for not having defended Hassan to begin with. Hassan remains faithful to Amir, though, to the end.

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