Best Friends Forever Essay

925 words - 4 pages

From the shattered glass windows of Jewish shops to the poorly propped-up tents of Rwandan refugee camps, the violence perpetrated by a dominant ethnic group can destroy entire villages. Khaled Hosseini, born in Kabul, Afghanistan, experienced these ethnic tensions first hand as a young Pashtun, and the negative attitudes he witnessed against Hazaras found their way into his best-selling novel, The Kite Runner. In Hosseini’s book, published in 2003, the carving on the pomegranate tree becomes a reminder of Amir and Hassan’s friendship. Like the friendship, the carving initially brings positive memories to Amir, but as Amir selfishly suppresses his knowledge of Hassan’s rape, the carving quickly becomes a detested memory. Not until Rahim Khan encourages Amir to rescue Sohrab, Hassan’s son, does the carving represent an opportunity for Amir to redeem his broken friendship.
At first, the carving on the tree demonstrates the strength of Amir and Hassan’s relationship. Idyllic and innocent, the relationship takes on all of the normal aspects of childhood friendship early on. Like an adorable group of kindergarten friends, Amir and Hassan spend their weekly allowance on junk food, and they even “saw [their] first Western together, Rio Bravo with John Wayne, at the Cinema Park…and were stunned [after learning about] the concept of voice dubbing” (Hosseini 26). Naturally, to cement their relationship, the two innocent boys attempt to make their friendship permanently known to the rest of the world, which Amir does when “I used one of Ali’s kitchen knives to carve our names on it: ‘Amir and Hassan, the sultans of Kabul’…making the tree ours” (27). For several years, the carving on the tree represents Amir and Hassan’s tight friendship, as shown by the fun the two have making kites and the declaration of loyalty Hassan makes to Amir after Amir asks him to eat dirt. Even Hassan’s dream, where everyone changes “the name of the lake after that [swim]…to the Lake of Amir and Hassan, Sultans of Kabul” testifies to Hassan’s love of Amir (60). Clearly, the carving (and saying) on the tree illustrates the strength of the two’s relationships.
After the rape, the carving on the tree becomes an unpleasant memory, much like Amir’s friendship with Hassan. When Assef first demands the blue kite from Hassan, Hassan staunchly refuses despite the bodily harm Assef could inflict. Indeed, he defiantly tells Assef “[that] Amir won the tournament and I ran this kite for him…this is his kite” (Hosseini 72). Hassan remains steadfast even after Assef points out “[Hassan is] to him nothing but an ugly pet…something he can kick when he’s angry,” indicating his true loyalty to Amir (72). This steadfastness...

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