What is Hosseini saying about the importance of friendship over honor as a theme throughout the novel? Emily Capetillo 2nd

Have you ever wondered what you would do if given the choice between keeping a friend or keeping your honor? Amir is a young boy who goes through Afghan life and learns what it means to be a man after making some tough decisions and seeing some bad things. This is all in the fictional story, The kite runner, by Khaled Hossein. Throughout the novel Hosseini is saying that friendship is more important than honor by having Ali and Hassan leave, making Baba get offended, and having Ali and Hassan forgive Baba and Amir for their past decisions.

At the beginning of the novel Ali and Hassan leave Baba's house because their friendship is more important to them then having Baba forgive them. When Baba ask Hassan if he stole Amir's presents he says yes and covers for Amir. Amir says"thin, raspy voice."yes"... this was Hassan's final sacrifice for me… if he said no Baba would have believed him… Baba would never, ever forgive me."(ch9 pg105) Instead of telling the truth and protecting his honor Hassan lies just so that Amir, his best friend, can have an ok relationship with Baba. Likewise, Ali makes Hassan and himself leave so that he won't tell Baba the truth about what happened. Hosseini writes ""But I forgive him, Ali didn't you hear?" Said Baba."life is impossible for us now, Agha Sahib. We're leaving"… Ali glanced my way in a cold, unforgiving look…"(ch9 pg106) Just like Hassan, Ali gives up his honor just so that Baba won't be mad at Amir. Ali does this even though Baba forgives Hassan. Ali and Hassan both show that friendship is more important than honor in the beginning of the novel.

In the middle of the novel Baba gets angry at Mr.Nguyen because Baba believed that their friendship was more important than his honor. In chapter 11 Baba becomes upset with Mr. Nguyen because he wants to see Baba's ID since he is writing a check. Baba says"Almost two years we've bought his damn fruits and put money in his pocket and the son of a dog wants to see my license!"(ch11 pg127) Baba caused a big scene because he thought that because he was a loyal customer to Mr.Nguyen he wouldn't ask for his license and would believe him since they are friends. Baba thinks this because in Kabul they went by the honor system and people believed and trusted one another. Amir says "…in Kabul, we snapped a tree branch and used it as a credit card… That was it. No questions. No ID..."(ch11 pg128) Baba was offended by Mr.Nguyen because he was used to Kabul where people vauled friendship more than honor and the trusted each other. Hosseini shows friendship is more important than honor by having Baba get offended by Mr.Nguyen.

At the end of the novel both Hassan and Ali forgive Baba and Hassan even though it could ruin their honor. In chapter 17 Amir gets a letter from Hassan that shows has forgiven him. Hassan writes " And I dream that someday you will return to Kabul to revist the land of our childhood. If you do, you will find an old faithful friend wanting for you…"(ch17 pg218) Even though Hassan knows that Amir didn't stand up for him years ago yet he still doesn't blame him and he even calls him a friend. Most men wouldn't forgive the one that hurt them but Hassan cares more about Amir then his honor. Similarly Ali forgive Baba for how he betrayed him because he cared more about his friend Baba then what people thought about him and his honor. Amir thinks " How had Ali lived in that house, day in and day out, knowing he had been dishonored by his master in the single worst way an Afghan man can be dishonored?" ( ch 18 pg 225) Even Amir can see how much Baba's and Ali's friendship was more important than Baba dishonoring Ali. At the end of the day Ali and Hassan both show how important friendship is and how much honor isn't.

To conclude Hosseini valued honor much more than he vauled friendship. He thought that honor didn't mean anything compared to great friends. He also thought that even if you aren't as close anymore with an old friend that you should still value the friendship over what people thought about you.

Credits:

Created with images by richard evea - "Friendship" • sakeeb - "Friendship" • cherylholt - "girls children kids" • deinarson - "kids children boys" • dw1FLY / THEDDY MAGPAYO - "friendship"

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