The Rich Brother By Tobias Wolff Summary

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The short story “The Rich Brother”, Tobias Wolff writes about the interaction between two brothers who are driving to Santa Cruz. One of the brothers names is Pete who is a successful business and family man. The other brothers name is Donald; he is poor with no steady job but is still a vary compassionate person. Pete is helping Donald by allowing him to stay at his house until Donald can become self sufficient and able to live on is own. Tobias Wolff develops the character of Pete in “The Rich Brother” to show Pete’s understanding of success based on wealth and intelligence. Society judges people based on their wealth. How wealthy an individual is thought to be is a statused placed on the individual depending on his or her income, property, and saved money. In the short story Pete is potentially considered wealthy by society because he is the owner of a franchise and owns many valuable pieces of…show more content…
The reason for this is that intelligent individuals are generally thought of as having a higher probability for success. Wolff shows that Pete is intelligent by how Pete made the decision to pick Donald up and drive him to his house on the assumption that Donald would try and save the bus money by hitchhiking. Despite the many examples of Pete’s intelligence, Wolff also focuses on how Donald is ignorant. Donald tells Pete the stories of how he always messed up the simple task of buying groceries by not purchasing everything or by buying the wrong type of food. Furthermore, Donald told Pete that one time he gave away all the food, not thinking of what the consequences of his actions will be once he returns to the farm. Wolff continues to show Donalds ignorance by how Donald believes websters story and giving him all the money that he had. By Wolff expressing Pete’s thoughts about what Donald has done develops the character of Pete in a way to show his understanding of

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