Brother Dear

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Brian Van-Huynh

“Brother Dear” by Bernice Friesen

In the short story Brother Dear, Bernice Friesen introduces the antagonistic relationship a parent and child share when they do not see eye to eye in terms of success. Greg and his father struggle through difficulty as Greg is caught in the midst of what his father wants him to do as appose to what he wants for himself. The conflict that exists between Greg and his Father proves that parents should allow their children to discover and follow their dreams, rather than forcing them upon their own wishes. In addition, the author suggests that success can come in various forms, but each form is unique to each person. Therefore when parents deny their kids’ ambition to achieve something, they only create dissatisfaction and despair.

This story takes place when Greg comes home from university, where his Dad had paid for his tuition, and had planned for Greg to study law. Sharlene, who is in grade 11, parallels the conflict between the ideals of success based on her brother and father. She is caught between two contrasting approaches on life where agreeing with her father or supporting her brother Greg are her only options. Greg is introduced to be a rebellious character that does not take orders from anyone. This does not meet his fathers standards for he is strict and controlling when it comes to planning his children’s future. When Greg’s father discovers that he has chosen a different path in life, he is enraged. Not only does this create a predicament between two individuals but also draws in the whole family as it becomes the topic of discussion.

In reference to the above, the pressure that Greg’s father puts on him makes him feel meaningless because he has chosen to do what he wants to do rather than following in his fathers footsteps. Greg’s father claims he is lazy, has "no drive, and no ambition to do well in school" (Friesen 4), this only forces Greg away from caring about school and creates...
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