A Wizard of Earthsea
How we cite our quotes:
Thus to Ged who had lost faith in himself, Vetch had given that gift only a friend can give, the proof of unshaken, unshakable trust. (4.101)
Vetch's friendship is probably as important as Ged's pride for the plot. That is, it's Ged's pride and rivalry with Jasper that leads Ged into doing dumb things – but then it's Vetch's friendship that keeps Ged from despairing.
Often Ged and Pechvarry and his little son Ioethe went out into the channels and lagoons, sailing or rowing one boat or another, till Ged was a fair sailor, and the friendship between him and Pechvarry was a settled thing. (5.15)
This friendship turns out to be a little dangerous for Ged – Ged only goes into the Dry Lands, the land of the dead, because of his friendship for Pechvarry – but that shouldn't stop us from noting how Le Guin makes sure we understand this. She actually notes twice (5.10 and here) that Pechvarry and Ged are friends. (And, at 5.32, we're also reminded of it.) Does all this make us feel better about Ged, and his ability to make friends?
There was no such comradeship among this crew as he had found aboard Shadow when he first went to Roke. (6.54)
What can we learn about friendship from this scene? It seems as if friendship requires a certain amount of equality. In other words, you can't be friends with your boss (if you're an employee) or your master (if you're a slave), and if you're an employee, you can't be friends with a slave. Do you agree with that, though?