The Rich Brother

Topics: Sibling, Need, Tobias Wolff Pages: 3 (864 words) Published: April 11, 2014

The Rich Brother
“The Rich Brother” by Tobias Wolff is a symbol of sibling rivalry. Like most siblings, no matter how much they do not agree and how different the siblings might be, they still love each other. Even though these two brothers, Pete and Donald, do not get along and are vastly different, they need each other to co-exist.

In the “Rich Brother” there is one brother Pete is the successful materialistic brother and Donald the loner who lacks everything but faith. Pete has a family, nice car, good paying job, and nice house but lacks faith. Donald is a wanderer, who has a kind heart, who paints houses when he needs to but has nothing but faith. The brothers are like polar opposites but they need each other to co-exist.

During one part of this story Donald joined a religious farm but was kicked out because he gave away the congregation’s groceries to non-English speaking workers. Also as Donald was trying to cook dinner for this community, he caught the house on fire. Donald told Pete that he wanted to leave the farm but the people who run the farm wrote Pete a letter stating that Donald was kicked out. Pete did not hesitate to go get Donald, when he could have sent him bus fare but Pete knew Donald would not have bought the bus ticket he would have hitched a ride. This example shows how Donald needs Pete for basic needs and Pete’s lack of trust in people even his brother.

During the road trip Donald reminds Pete that when the brothers were younger Donald needed surgery and after the surgery could not take a blow to the stomach or he might die. Pete would sneak into Donald’s bedroom and hit him in the stomach. Because of this “Donald claimed Pete tried to kill him” (Wolff 329). During the road trip Donald reminded Pete of this torture and Pete blew it off saying kids do these types of thing. This torture from Pete scarred Donald to the point he couldn’t let this go. This is an example of the brothers constantly needing each other. Pete I am...

Cited: Wolff, Tobias. “The Rich Brother.” Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Readers and Writers. 5th Ed. John Schilb and John Clifford. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012. 323-336. Print.
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