Relationship between Amir and Hassan
The relationship between Amir and Hassan is one that is complex. There is a bond between them that is only openly acknowledged by one party. The Amir’s denial of their friendship and constant picking on Hassan stems not only from their different cultural and ethnological background but also from his insecurities as a boy. Despite all of this, Hassan still insists, “Amir Agha and I are friends.” (43) and he does so without reservation or malice. As can be inferred from the above statements, the relationship between Amir and Hassan is one-sided.
Amir and Hassan do things that friends usually do together: play hide and seek, watch movies, both immensely enjoy “insect torture” (25) They even carved their names on the pomegranate tree where they would climb and Amir would tell Hassan stories. However, despite all the seemingly friendly almost brotherly things they do together, it must be noted that all of these are done in private where no one else can see. Amir himself thought “Why did I play with Hassan when no one else was around?”(44) True, there are times when Amir might seem like a good friend like the time he comforted Hassan in the theater after the encounter with the soldiers but it must be noted that the theater is a dark place where no one can really see what’s happening. This indifference by Amir is due to what is imposed by their culture and by himself.
The Afghan social hierarchy has dictated that Hassan should be lower than Amir since he is a Hazara and being a Shi’a Muslim only widens the gap “Because history isn’t easy to overcome. Neither is religion.”(27) Not only that, Baba’s attention to Hassan caused Amir to have many insecurities about himself. Whenever they came upon a difficult word in one of their reading sessions, Amir would “tease him, expose his ignorance”(30) in an effort to seem like the bigger man but he’d always give some broken toy or old clothes to Hassan to quell his guilt afterward....
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