The Rich Brother

558 Words3 Pages
In Tobias Wolff’s, “The Rich Brother,” we are escorted into the lives of two brothers that have very little in common, yet depend on each other on a level that is not so easy to see at first. Pete was older and well-established while Donald was more of a free-thinking drifter. Both could learn a lot from each other if they hadn’t developed such a toxic relationship. Pete’s high expectations didn’t allow him to appreciate Donald’s open-mindedness. On the other hand, Donald’s immaturity allowed him to continue to take advantage of his brother. This vicious cycle affirms their dependence on one another in a deep, sadistic way. As Pete is picking up Donald at a service station to save him from a failed attempt at residing at a faith-based community farm, he immediately starts off with, “Get a Mercedes” (326). Pete’s drive for money is revealed right away. This inherent trait leaves Pete blinded to anything other than money, success and high expectations. It doesn’t allow him to see the good in not only others but also in himself. Pete was also jealous of the way their mother coddled Donald and lied when Donald asked him what he dreamt about. He claimed he only dreamt about sex and money, when in reality he dreams of Donald often, usually with Pete being vulnerable while Donald acts as his aid. This is because he feels guilty for the violent acts he committed against Donald when they were younger. Donald explained to Pete, “. . . you would lift up my pajama shirt and start hitting me on my stitches. You’d hit me as hard as you could” (329). Pete denied the accusation, even though deep down he knew it was true and felt guilty for what he had done. Donald, with his willingness to live for God and give strangers money, may seem on the outside to be a kind soul (and perhaps he truly did mean well), but upon observing his actions toward his brother, his

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