Essential Quotes by Theme: Friendship
Essential Passage 1: Chapter 7
Then I was screaming, and everything was color and sound, everything was alive and good. I was throwing my free arm around Hassan and we were hopping up and down, both of us laughing, both of us weeping. “You won, Amir agha! You won!”
“We won! We won!” was all I could say. This wasn’t happening. In a moment, I’d blink and rouse from this beautiful dream, get out of bed, march down to the kitchen to eat breakfast with no one to talk to but Hassan. Get dressed. Wait for Baba. Give up. Back to my old life. Then I saw Baba on our roof. He was standing on the edge, pumping both of his fists. Hollering and clapping. And that right there was the single greatest moment of my twelve years of life, seeing Baba on that roof, proud of me at last.
But he was doing something now, motioning with his hands in an urgent way. Then I understood. “Hassan, we—.”
“I know,” he said, breaking our embrace. “Inshallah, we’ll celebrate later. Right now I’m going to run that blue kite for you,” he said. He dropped the spool and took off running, the hem of his green chapan dragging in the snow behind him.
“Hassan!” I called. “Come back with it!”
He was already turning the street corner, his rubber boots kicking up snow. He stopped, turned. He cupped his hands around his mouth. “For you a thousand times over!” he said. Then he smiled his Hassan smile and disappeared around the corner. The next time I saw him smile unabashedly like that was twenty-six years later, in a faded Polaroid photograph.
Amir has become one of the best kite flyers in Kabul. Throughout the winter months, when there is no school, Amir participates in the kite flying contests. The purpose of these contests is to have the last surviving kite in the air, after having sawn through the strings of the other kites. Hassan, as a kite runner, chases the free-flying kites. Whoever finds these kites gets to keep them as a trophy. In this tournament, Amir at last emerges victorious, to the pleasure of himself, Hassan, and especially his father, Baba. Earning his father’s pride has immeasurable effects on Amir, for this is something he has long been seeking. Although often jealous of his father’s obvious love for Hassan, Amir shares his joy with him. Together, not Amir alone, they won the tournament. Hassan’s complete devotion to Amir is evident in his promise, “For you, a thousand times over.” As he smiles, Amir as the narrator reflects that he will not see that smile again until he is an adult, looking at a photograph of the then-dead Hassan with his son.
Essential Passage 2: Chapter 7
Even from where I was standing, I could see the fear creeping into Hassan’s eyes, but he shook his head. “Amir agha won the tournament and I ran this kite for him. I ran it fairly. This is his kite.”
“A loyal Hazara. Loyal as a dog,” Assef said.
Kamel’s laugh was a shrill, nervous sound
“But before you sacrifice yourself for him, think about this: Would he do the same for you? Have you ever wondered why he never includes you in games when he has guests? Why he only plays with you when no one else is around? I’ll tell you why, Hazara. Because to him, you’re nothing but an ugly pet. Something he can play with when he’s bored, something he can kick when he’s angry. Don’t ever fool yourself and think you’re something more.”
“Amir agha and I are friends,” Hassan said. He looked flushed.
“Friends?” Assef said, laughing. “You pathetic fool! Someday you’ll wake up from your little fantasy and learn just how good of a friend he is....”
Hassan, chasing the kite that Amir cut loose in the tournament, encounters the bully Assef along with two others. Assef, in his contempt for the Hazara, whom he considers ethnically inferior, demands the kite from Hassan. To Hassan, however, the kite is a trophy honorably won by his friend, and he refuses to give it up. To do so would be a betrayal of a friendship. Sensing this, Assef taunts Hassan with Amir’s treatment of him, sometimes as a friend, other times as a servant. He accurately describes exactly how Amir treats Hassan when others are present. He speaks enough truth to give Hassan pause. Thinking more of the times when the two of them are alone, Hassan still believes in Amir’s loyalty and stands firm in his own commitment to serve Amir. But Assef sees only how Amir...
(The entire section is 1945 words.)