The Rich Brother Analysis

1270 Words6 Pages
“No one would have taken them for brothers” (Wolff 364). Truth be told, this is the main thought that can be drawn throughout the entire short story, “The Rich Brother” by Tobias Wolff. From the very beginning of the story, it’s clear that these two brother Pete and Donald are polar opposites of one another. The reader will discover from this that Pete and Donald, no matter what time it was in their life, had problems with each other. This would infer that Pete and Donald were in a dysfunctional relationship due to Pete’s success, Donald’s lack of success, and “abuse” incident in their childhood. This becomes abundantly clear when they go on to meet Webster. Firstly, one explanation for the two having such a dysfunctional relationship, would…show more content…
Who, in comparison with his brother, has a whole different look then his brother, the story had said, “Donald was bony, grave, and obsessed with the fate of the soul”(364). Saying this, it completely adds to the fact that people couldn’t believe that these two men are brothers. As well as these two brothers looking different from one another the story also emphasizes that unlike his brother Pete, who was married and had kids, Donald is , “the younger brother, was still single”(364). This probably shows why Donald was such a carefree person because he doesn’t have any responsibilities to deal with as an adult, while his brother had many responsibilities to look over throughout his life. In addition, “He lived alone, painted houses when he found the work, and got deeper in debt to Pete when he didn’t” (364). Thus bringing up another point because unlike the success of his brother Pete, who has his own Century 21 franchise, Donald made his living going from job to job, but mostly went out painting houses when he finds them available. As well as not being able to keep a job, it also mentions the thought of the multiple times Pete has bailed his younger brother, because of the mentioning of the debt he…show more content…
The most important thing that the reader can discover from this part of their journey together is how right after Donald tells Pete of the events and how they unfolded, Pete immediately began to shove away the allegations brought up against him, transpiring Pete to say, “It might have happened once or twice. Kids do those things. I can’t get all excited about something I maybe did Twenty-five years ago”(369). This is such a depressing thing to hear, because kids don’t normally try to kill their siblings. As these events begin to unfold, it seems that the conversation sparks a fire between the two that very well may explode as the dysfunctional loop
Open Document