The theme of friendship and loyalty is central toboth novels to portray the significance of friendship and loyalty in a warenvironment. The importance of this theme is shown throughout the ‘kite runner’through the way it is experienced and demonstrated due to social and religiousinequality when Baba’s father adopts Ali they still grow up as friends, whichis followed by their children, Hasan and Amir. Whereas the portrayal offriendship in ‘Empire of the sun’ is portrayed differently as the friendshipsdeveloped due to the war. The first friendship is between Jim and Bessie, thefriendship is developed through the willingness of surviving the war, howeverthis friendship is seen as weak as it is based on material possessions such asfood and clothing and are only together to look out for one another.Both novels use symbols to highlight the theme’friendship’ and ‘loyalty’ as in kite runner, Khalid Hosseini, users kites as asymbol to portray both the happiness and innocence of Amir’s Childhood and his disloyaltytowards Hasan, The importance of this symbol is used at the very start of thenovel as Hasan is referred to as at the start as “the hare lipped kite runner”this eponymous reference to Hasan as the “kite runner” signifies the importancethat Hasan will play on the novel. The adjective “harelipped” exemplifies Hasan’s low status insociety and is shown as one the ways how he is inferior to Amir, as Hasan’sfather does not have the money to fix this deformity. The two kite fights Amirwins symbolises the juxtaposition of roles, as at the start Amir is flying thekite for his happiness and Hasan is the kite runner however this symbol of thekite changes as Amir becomes the kite runner with Hasan’s son Sohrab flying thekite in hope for Sohrab’s happiness and vindication of Amir and Afghanistan’swrongdoing.
WhereasBallard in ‘Empire of the sun’ uses the symbol of planes to build thefriendship between Jim and the Japanese boy as it shows the innocence of thechildren even though they are at war with each other. Jim sees the Jap planesas something that brings stability to his life because as long as they arethere the war will continue and once the planes are destroyed the friendshipsand family he has made in the camps would also be destroyed. “I sat in thecockpit of a Japanese fighter.” This shows that despite being English heprefers the Japanese showing that his loyalty to his country is also testedhowever the reason why Jim relates to the Jap Air force more is because theyhave has such a strong authoritative role in his life, despite nearly killinghim he doesn’t have compelling loyalties is because the British prisoners he isliving with are lazy and less willing to contribute and work. Loyalty in friendship is pivotal in both novels;this is because it can be shown that in both novels due to a lack of loyaltyfriendships are broken, this is because in the ‘Kite Runner’ loyalty is key toAmir’s and Hasan’s friendship are broken, due to the fact that in the novel,Amir and Hasan are portrayed as more as brothers than friends; “then he (Ali)would remind us that there was a brotherhood between people who had been fedfrom the same breast, a kinship not even time could break.
” Even though bothboys knew this, loyalty was still unequal on both sides. This is shown throughthe quote “For you a thousand times over” this quote by Hasan indicates hisloyalty towards Amir as he had said this before he had run off after the kiteand had said it again years later in a faded polaroid paragraph even thoughHasan was continuously faithful to Amir however Amir never stood up for Hasan,he even accused him of stealing which goes to show his lack of faith andloyalty to their friendship. However in ‘Empire of the sun’ the theme loyaltyis portrayed through many different ways throughout the novel, the main seenthat broke loyalty between Jim and Bessie was when Jim was with his Japanesefriend and Bessie came back to the came and killed the Jap boy and came back toloot the camp and move on, this shows that he never came back for Jim and onlycame back for his personal gain, whereas even though the Japanese boy is fromthe enemy side he still game Jim a mango which shows that compared to Bessie,the Japanese boy does not have any ulterior motives for his friendship he isonly with him for his company and the mutual desire they both have for planes.In the ‘Kite Runner’ the symbol used to portray thetheme ‘loyalty’ is the symbol of the sacrifice, this symbol portrays Hasan thisis because in Islam an animal is immolated to show the loyalty a man has withGod, in ‘Kite runner’ Hasan is being raped by Assef as he refused to give upthe Kite that he had won for Amir. Hasan is being shown as a sacrifice as had immolatedhis own dignity for the sake of Amir getting his Kite back, this shows thelevel of loyalty Hasan has for their friendship whereas Hosseini shows in the textthat Amir had closed his eyes like he is trying to shut off what is happeningto Hasan without actually doing anything. As when he did see what Hassan wasgoing through he could only see “the innocent stare of the lamb.
” This extendedmetaphor shows Hasan is being immolated and sacrificed, this is because likethe “lamb” who had been immolated, likewise Hasan had done the same thing as hehad sacrificed his dignity and self-respect for the loyalty he had for Amir andtheir brotherhood, this once again shows the lack of loyalty Amir has towardstheir friendship this is because he stood there and had done nothing to stop Asseffrom raping his only friend and brother. This is an extended metaphor becausethroughout the book Hassan is the lamb and is always has to sacrifice himselffor the sake of Amir and shows that throughout the book, Hosseini portraysAmir’s behaviour towards their friendship and brotherhood as cowardice and alack of respect for Hasan. Overall in both booksthe theme of friendship and loyalty is central to the texts to a great extent.This is because in the ‘Kite runner’ without the theme of ‘friendship’ and’loyalty’ Hasan and his father would never have left Baba’s house this isbecause they left due to Amir accusing Hasan of stealing due to his guilt ofwatching Assef rape him and do nothing about it.
Hasan had still accepted thestealing accusations for the sake of loyalty towards their friendship and showsthat even after Amir had put him through he was still loyal towards him in theend. The reason this theme is central to a great extent is because it thereason why he had saved Sohrab for the reason that Amir was feeling guilty andsaving Sohrab was a way he could have a feeling of redemption towards his andHasan’s friendship. The theme is also central to ‘Empire of the sun’ this isbecause one of the main reasons how Jim survived the war was due to hisfriendship with Bessie, reason for this because that if he had not found Bessiehe would not have been able to go the camp with him and otherwise he would’vebeen killed by the Japanese.
Throughout their stay at the camp Bessie is seenas a father figure towards Jim, this is because the two times Bessie was beatenby the Japs Jim stood there watching and therefore shows the similaritiesbetween Bessie from ‘Empire and the Sun’ and Hasan from the ‘Kite runner’ thisis because both of them sacrificed themselves for the sake of their friend, IfBessie wasn’t Jim would’ve been beaten by the soldiers likewise Amir would’vebeen attacked by Assef if Hasan wasn’t there to protect him. . Whereas throughoutthe book Hasan shows the upmost respect for both Amir and their friendship asearlier in the book he also says he would “eat mud” for Amir and now is doingsomething equally as dire