“Friendship” is a term that originates from the Greeks in which they refer it as “philia,” meaning “getting together” (Helm). It describes the relationships endowed by various people towards each other. Aristotle describes friendship in three unique ways. He illuminates how friendship has created peaceful co-existence in the world. Aristotle was triggered by the curiosity to establish the factors that led human beings to coexist and relate to each other (Helm). As a result, he stated various notions concerning friendship and how people related to each other. For instance, in his two books VIII and IX, Aristotle devotes to writing about friendship and how Nicomachean Ethics influences them (Bussanich 668). In addition, he reveals various attributes that enable human beings into making friendship with each other.

Types of friendship

Aristotle reveals three classifications in which human friendship is based (Bussanich 668). These classifications are influenced by certain attributes that influence human beings to get attached to each other. The first attribute that binds people, according to Aristotle, is symbiosis (Bussanich 668). Symbiosis is where one person gets attached to another to benefit either materially or socially. According to Aristotle’s readings, it is evident that in today’s world, friendship is mostly based on this attribute. Most people who get entangled in such relationships are students, workmates, and business people (Bussanich 668). Another attribute that enjoins friendship is a good character. It is evident that a person with good character appeals more to the public and the vice versa is true. As a result, people with modest morals interact freely and end up making long-term relations. According to Bussanich, people tend to feel secure when they are in company with good people (668). Finally, people with pleasant attributes are likely to make friends easily. Pleasant attributes include good morals, sharp brains, and talents (Helm). That’s why musicians and sportspersons have large followers despite their social backgrounds. The three attributes that classify friendship are eminent in our families, workplaces, and public institutions as depicted by Aristotle in two of his books.

Arguments on the friendship

In his arguments, Aristotle states that true friendship should be based on goodwill and not on conditions (Helm). He states that true companionship should be fostered without conditions and friends should offer each other assistance without expecting perks. He further exploits this statement by claiming that such relationship should be bound by virtues. Friends should stand for each other despite challenges arising. According to Aristotle, such relations are eminent in our society. For instance, people prefer civil partnership where they benefit from each other. Aristotle argues that beneficial friendship is not bad as long as each benefits. However, he reiterates that selfless people should be careful to escape being misused by mischievous greedy people (Helm). In his arguments, he states that one should keep the circle of friends small to experience quality friendship. According to psychologists, human beings are attracted and influenced by people with common goals and ambitions (Helm). For instance, it is easier for school going children to make friendship with each other as compared to random kids in the streets. School going children are entangled in a paradox of getting educated and becoming successful in life. Thus, getting along with each other becomes an easy mantra. On the flipside, random children on the streets are prevented by social barriers such as family restrictions and insecurity. Thus, for people to get together and build friendship, there has to be something that unifies them.

Friendship in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

In the novel “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, Huckleberry, a young man found himself in a dilemma in establishing real friends (Helm). Being born in a broken family where his mother died when he was a little boy, and his father being a drunkard, he lacked role models to emulate (Helm). This triggered well wishers to come to his aid. He got enrolled at the school as well as being groomed to be religious. He later escaped with the help of Tom Sawyer, a young man who had the freedom Huckleberry dreamt of. On his side, he felt uncomfortable living with the elder ladies who had lots of expectations from him. After realizing that they were unattainable, he decided to abscond and went to stay with Tom Sawyer (Helm). At first, Tom seemed adventurous and open-minded; however, things changed, and Huckleberry realized that Tom was exaggerating himself. He had a fake inner personality, and at times he forced Huckleberry on missions he had no interest pursuing. Their relationship was cut off when his father intervened and rescued him from the two elder ladies and Tom. In reality, Huckleberry realized that his father was not the real figure he needed to emulate, thus he planned to escape to a far island. On his escape mission, he met with Jim, a slave who was escaping to avoid getting sold. Jim was more open minded and gave Huckleberry space to make personal choices. However, he was opposed to unethical things that Huckleberry wanted to pursue. First, Huckleberry realized that true friendship was based on mutual understanding and respect. In all the people he had interacted with, he felt that Jim was the only human who met the threshold for being a true friend. Human beings prefer living in an environment they feel appreciated (Helm). In his first case, the friendship was based on pure good will where the two ladies wanted to help Huckleberry live an ethical life. His second relation with Tom was symbiotic since Tom wanted to benefit from Huckleberry by engaging his activities. Among the three personalities, Jim was the best as he wanted to stay with Huckleberry so as to assist each other in a positive way (Bussanich 668).

Samples of friendship from Odyssey

In Odyssey’s readings, goodwill friendship, that Aristotle talks about in his books, comes out clearly in Penelope’s case (Bussanich 668). Penelope had waited for 20 years with high hopes to see her husband. In such an instance, the lady was optimistic that despite the many years her husband was engaged in war, she still had faith he would return home. Although Aristotle does not bring this issue well, it is evident that such loyalty is rare in our current society (Helm). His son also acted as a shrewd manager by managing the home and keeping enemies at bay. Freewill friendship is eminent throughout the scenario as the son and some of the maidens took care of Odyssey wealth. However, some of his workers betrayed him by selling secrets to foreigners, sleeping with them and stealing some of Odyssey’s wealth.

In Aristotle’s works, this issue, in which friends betray each other after they feel that they have stood for the disadvantaged friend for so long, is not clearly covered (Helm). Although the maidservants were not friends, they shared a common shelter, and there was the need to safeguard each other interests. Betrayal is regarded as the worst form of friendship in which close friends act in unethical ways. In our case, it was unethical for the maidservants to sleep with outsiders and especially those regarded as enemies. Such cases are eminent in our current society where human beings are continuously displaying disloyalty to each other (Helm).


Examples of friendship from The Great Gatsby

In The Great Gatsby novel, it is evident that there exist several characters with diverse ethical attributes. Nick was an outsider from the Middle East who got influenced by Daisy and Tom Buchan into committing crimes. Daisy and Tom Buchan were bad drivers who committed several crimes including murder. Later, they influenced Nick into becoming a bad driver so as to conceal their deeds using his identity. Such kind of friendship is detrimental and can lead to innocent people suffering (Helm). In Aristotle written works, such relationships, where friends incriminate each other, are not well covered (Helm). Jordan, on the other hand, got involved in unfair competition. She got involved in cheating during the golf tournament. Besides, she got labeled as a hypocrite woman who would do anything to get a leeway.

Previously, Nick was working with Jay Gatsby, a great driver who worked hard to steer the American dream. At first, he felt that Jay was self-centered, but after the encounter she had with people from the east, it dawned on him that Jay was the better person. Jay Gatsby was honest, more loyal, and ethical. According to Aristotle thinking, it is evident that he showcased freewill friendship in his engagements with Nick (Helm). Tom and Daisy conspired to implicate Gatsby with death since he was the one driving the car at the time of the accident. Later, Nick felt that he had been contaminated with unethical behaviors and went back to Midwest to restore his morals. In Aristotle books, it depicts clearly that friendship influences one’s conduct and moral intensely (Helm). This is affected by the fact that most of the time I spent deciphering ideologies of one another.


Aristotle devoted two of his books to writing about friendship and how it occurred in the world (Helm). He made the adept analysis from three perspectives, in which most companionship arise from. In addition, he uncovered how Nicomachean Ethics influences most relationship. With the increase in population and migration of people from one region to another as it is evident in Gatsby readings, there is a high likelihood of people getting brainwashed and embraced into foreign societal communions and beliefs (Bussanich 668). Conversely, many people will get hooked with new friends as others will establish long-term companionship depending on interpersonal skills and attributes.

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