The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas

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What pattern existed in Starr, Hailey, and Maya's friendship over the years?

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Maya and Hailey are Starr’s friends from the elite prep school her parents sent her to after Starr’s friend, Natasha, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Garden Heights.

Although her parents didn’t want to leave their home, they did want to remove Starr from the violent upbringing which many of the neighborhood kids receive. As a result, Starr attends a nearly all-white private school.

Maya and Hailey have only ever been to Starr’s house once during their years-long friendship, because of their socioeconomic disparity. Starr is self-conscious of her home life in Garden Heights, which she generally keeps separate from her life at school. This becomes the primary pattern that dominates her friendship with Maya and Hailey. Starr never feels completely comfortable with them, thinking she has to eschew her black identity in order to fit in with them.

This is something that only intensifies after Khalil’s murder. Hailey somehow becomes the ringleader of the friend group, but Starr also notices almost for the first time just how racist Hailey actually is. Hailey dismisses Khalil as some drug dealer who deserved to die, and rather than confront her, Starr denies even knowing Khalil at first.

Over time, Starr realizes that she can no longer be friends with someone like Hailey who almost demands Starr abandon her racial identity in favor of a colorblind, inoffensive version of herself. Therefore, the pattern of Starr being ashamed of her race and home life in her friendships with Maya and Hailey ends after Starr realizes that she can no longer separate the two parts of herself.

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