A Good Friend or A Bad Friend? A Comparative Analysis of Two Memoirs
By Vania Valencia*

Vania*a 5th semester of English department student

Having one or several friends are what everyone normally wishes because it is in human nature that they love to interact and communicate with each other . The fact only clarifies our status as social being who can not live without other humans. Youngsters, in particular, tend to build relationships with their peers at school, have shown the importance of having one or several people that are named as friends. To construct a good relationship with others, one should know his or her own characters before starting to know others. It is essential for teenagers to completely aware of their characters and needs to become a good friend and also to be able to set up a good relationship with others. Thus, the ability to identify which one is a good friend and which one is not, should be owned by everyone because both memoirs, My Best Friend and My Biggest Regret and My Two Best Friends, have told the readers how crucial it is to become a good friend who is able to maintain the relationship with others.

Image is from: http://www.eatyourbooks.com/blog/2013/11/10/for-your-consideration---a-list-of-the-25-best-food-memoirs
Image is from: http://www.eatyourbooks.com/blog/2013/11/10/for-your-consideration—a-list-of-the-25-best-food-memoirs

The first aspect I would like to underline is age background of both writers. The first memoir, My Best Friend and My Biggest Regret, describes about a young girl named Allison who experienced several problems in her relationship with both of her best friends when they were in elementary school as it has been mentioned in the memoir by Allison (2011): “The problems started in fourth grade I met Katie.” Comparable with the first memoir, the second one also tells the readers about the writer’s issue within friendship in her early school life because Chrysaora (2012) tells that the first problem appeared when she was still in the kindergarten, it was the time when she started to have volatile temper. Those two memiors explicitly narrate the similar age of the two writers when they got difficulties in their friendships. However, the starting age point is not exactly identical for the first writer began it in her middle school, but the second writer had it when she was in her nursery school. Nevertheless, it can be assumed from both memoirs that the issues within friendship are embarked since a very young age like what the two writers have experienced in their school life.
The second point is the efforts from both writers to maintain their best friends. In this aspect, both memoirs are alike because the writers treat their best friends similarly, but based on their own characters. The only similarity is the regret that both of the writers feel in the end because they both know they could have been with their best friends only if they tried harder to preserve their frienship. Allison (2011) shows her sorrow when she has realized the truth about friendship and how she supposed to stand for Sarah to be her best friend, while the regret which is expressed by Chrysaora (2012) can be seen clearly when she describes:

Every time I remember him, I like to think that things would have
turned out differently for us. We could have gone to middle school
together, maybe even the same college, and we might have remained
best friends for years to come.

Nonetheless, there is still a difference between the first and the second memoir related to the efforts of the writers in struggling for their friendship. The first writer, even though she lost one of her best friends, but she still tried to maintain another one by spending her time with that person and trying to forget the gloomy past of their friendship. Meanwhile, the second writer had a tendency to stay away from people around her since she lost her favorite dog which means a lot to her and that is why the relationship with her second best friend was also distant.
A perspective towards friendship based on what has happened to both of the writers’ life is the final aspect which differentiates the two memoirs. It is true that everyone might experience similar things but each of them reacted differently because that is what happened between the first writer and the second writer. In the first memoir, the writer understands that all things which have happened and the loss of one good friend are all because of her fallacy that she decides to learn from her mistakes. Allison (2011) clearly described: “The next time I fight with a friend, or anyone, I’m going to put myself in their shoes and learn what it’s like in their situation.” On the other hand, the writer of My Two Best Friends chooses to shut herself from the world outside and to pretend to be a happy person while actually she keeps all of her true feelings inside, she prefers to lie to the others about her own feelings. As what Chrysaora (2012) has put : ”I became evasive to any question about my past, not saying anything or out rightly lying to people.” From both of those perspectives about friendship, both writers have different decisions in setting their mind because it is explicit that one tries to learn form the past while another one seems can not do the same.

In the end, friendship does have an important role in human’s life for each and every human is unable to live alone without other people. My Best Friend and My Biggest Regret and My Two Best Friends are the real life experiences written by two young teenagers who got through hard times within their friendship. Both memoirs have shown that it is crucial to be at first getting a clear understanding of ourselves and then try to understand others even since a very young age. The last decision is definitely in our own hand, whether it is to be a good friend or to be a bad one, but what is necessary to be considered is that every individual wishes to be understood, to be heard, to be treated well because happiness is everyone’s desire. Hence self-awareness is what everybody should have in the first place and to understand people is the second essential aspect which finally will lead to the better relationship with others.
Sources : http://www.teenink.com/nonfiction/memoir/article/253497/My-Best-Friend-And-My-Biggest-Regret/