I think that the theme of friendship is shown at its zenith and its valley in this section of the novel. On one hand, Hassan and Amir demonstrate themselves to have the closest of friendships between them. Hassan displays the utmost of loyalty to Amir and it is evident that their friendship is a true one, a friendship that has the potential to transcend the temporal and bitter elements of consciousness. Yet, this is something that is challenged by the events of chapter 7. The rape of Hassan at the hands of Assef is not only horrifying, but is one where Amir watched it happen, cowering in a corner and not doing anything to support one who was in dire need. This helps to develop the theme of friendship as one that is not something absolute. Rather, it is challenged by conditions and circumstances and individuals must develop the sense of self to fully understand how they will react to and within such conditions. At the same time, I believe that this helps to set up the theme of identity and the probing of individual sense of self that lies at the base of the novel's exploration.