The Sisters Brothers

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Yehuda Dubrofsky ENG3U Mrs. Thompson 11 January 2011

Eli Sisters’s Character Development
Patrick deWitt’s novel, The Sisters Brothers, tells the tale of two brothers, Eli and Charlie, who make a living together as professional assassins. Right from the start, it is evident to the reader that Eli does not share his brother’s appetite for killing. Despite this, Eli has never known anything else. As the novel progresses, Eli becomes familiar with his sensitive side. He starts watching his weight, searching for love, and brushing his teeth. Finally, Eli solidifies his separation from murder, when he is searching for gold with Herman Kermit Warm. This is the first time he has been exposed to something created and acquired solely by the genius of the human mind, and not by brute force. Over the course of the novel, Eli transforms from being a cold blooded murderer, into a sensitive man, who appreciates the small, intelligent things in life. However, a sensitive man is not the impression the reader first receives of Eli Sisters. In fact, Eli and his brother, Charlie, are murderers for a living. As a result, it is logically hard to imagine how a man who makes a living by ruthlessly taking the lives of other men, can be sensitive. Nevertheless, this is what makes Eli’s personality special, and different. Dewitt makes this clear to the reader by including many hints to Eli’s repressed sensitive personality, right from the start. The first hint to this side of Eli, is on the second page of the novel. In it, Eli empathizes with his horse Tub, who he does not like to whip because his horse may think that he is cruel and that life is sad. This is not how one would expect a murderer to act. Other hints to Eli’s sensitivity include his dislike for lying, his sympathy towards others who are sad, and the list goes on. All these small traits eventually climax,

when Eli and his brother discover that the man they were sent to kill, is not actually a bad person. His brother,...
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