Analysis of a Key Passage
Brother Dear by Bernice Friesen
In Brother Dear by Bernice Friesen, the author suggests that success can come in many forms, but each form is unique to each person. In the excerpt, Greg is leaving the house, with Sharlene following him and trying to convince him to stay at home.
Sharlene, who is in grade 11, is caught between agreeing with her father and supporting her brother Greg, and based on their opinion of success. Greg asks a simple question as he leaves: “Is that all my family can ever do? Point out what’s wrong with me?” it is this question that makes Sharlene think about what her brother’s thinking about. This question is completely based on point of view, and following the footsteps of parents, because many parents consider what they do to be right, and what they don’t do as wrong. Greg is simply doing something different, and his father Jack, considers this to be taboo and irresponsible. “Be something. Be something. That’s all I ever get from Dad” this sentence describes how his father is always demanding Greg to do something he considers proper, such as entering university and earning a degree. However, Greg feels that he should be allowed to make his own decisions. When Sharlene asks, “So you never want to be anything?” Greg looks as if he is ready to kill someone. We can see from his reaction that, though he is not going to continue university or get a degree, he will still be successful, but in his eyes. The word “nothing” describes the way Sharlene was brought up, how she was taught that money and social class meant something, but self contentment was not important in life, because that did not bring success to anyone. She realizes that Greg has defined his own success, and when she begins to see this, she describes it as “My brain feels all twisted, like I’ve just discovered I’ve been staring out of the wrong side of my hear all my life.” Suddenly, Sharlene sees what Greg sees. She can see that his definition...
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