Hally's relationship with Sam and Willie is somewhat friendly, but it is not equal. Ever since Hally was a small boy, he has spent time with Sam and Willie in their room at the boardinghouse and later at the tea shop. Sam has taken it upon himself to try to be a father figure to Hally. But Hally has not forgotten that he is in a position of superior social standing. In one scene, he hits Willie on his backside with a ruler because he deems Willie to be acting inappropriately at the tea shop. Also, when Hally is hurt by his father, he takes out his rage on Sam by insulting him and spitting on him. This is not friendly, nor is it equal treatment.