Rich Brother

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The Rich Brothers is a story of two brothers, their sibling rivalry and their contrast in everything including worldly success and failure. While Pete is rich and Donald is poor by the end of the story we are left wondering who among the two is actually rich in the real sense of the term.

Pete, the older among the sibling is rich and successful. He exemplifies the American middle class dream - nice family life with a wife and two daughters, a house, a sailboat, and every other thing that money can buy you - of success that his hard work in real estate business could attain for him. Donald, the younger brother is just his opposite. He lives alone and survives out of painting houses. At times, he lives in a Berkeley ashram and lives in financial debt.

Pete comes to rescue Donald out of his difficulties and donates him money right in the beginning of this story. The two are driving in a car when Pete gifts him $100. However, there is a subtle sub-text of sibling rivalry in the background during their childhood as also when they grow up. Donald for instance, reminds Pete how as a kid he wanted to kill him, to which Pete replies, "children always do such things".

Pete doesn't bother to or perhaps doesn't like to discuss his personal life with Donald, yet Donald asks him if he ever dreams of his younger brother. Pete, in fact has a recurring dream that he is blind and needs his brother's assistance. Perhaps, the author has metaphorically hinted at the blindness inherent in material success and in need of genuine spiritual assistance from people like Donald.
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