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The Rich Brother by Tobias Wolff Essay

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The short story, "The Rich Brother," by Tobias Wolff represents the same concept that everyday people all over the world encounter. This portrays how having siblings can be an enormous part of a persons life. The rivalry between siblings is often very competitive, but at the same time similar to magnets. When they are not connected it may seem they are independent and whole, but when examined closely it is obvious they are really relying on each other to function properly. Although Pete and Donald's life are separate and completely different, they are in fact very dependent on each other.

The meaning of dependence is the act of being influenced, relying on, or needing someone for aid or support. Dependence is one of the main characteristics that both Pete and Donald portray without it being easily comprehended. Pete needs Donald as much as Donald needs Pete on an emotional level. Throughout this short story Donald is the one that seems to have a life incomparable to Pete's but both brothers are missing something, and that something is each other. The story begins with Wolff describing the two brothers, Pete is the conceited successful brother with a life people dream about, and Donald is the younger brother who attempts to do something for everyone else when he could. Donald had made odd decisions, such as going to live on a farm in which members of his community had bought to form a family of faith. When Donald became unhappy he became dependent on Pete because he had no where to go, no car, and no money. Pete took action and drove out to pick him up to bring him back to his house. If Pete did not care about Donald, even though they are brothers, he would have made Donald be independent and live in the real world. Pete's a...


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...e this unfair life for Donald to come out ahead in the end." Donald had invested the one hundred dollars the Pete gave him on what Pete thought was extremely outrageous then got worried when he felt Donald would do something to out smart him.
In conclusion, co-dependency and rivalry is very common in the world today. Though it is not a big issue out in the open, it is an emotional attachment that only one can define. In this short story the two main aspects of having siblings is the theme which revolves around codependency and rivalry. Having siblings is a part of everyday life and problems do occur which sometimes makes a person, or changes a person in ways. In this situation, Pete and Donald are completely different people but they are in fact very dependent upon one another.

Work Cited

Wolff, Tobias. “The Rich Brother.” Back in the World. New York: Bantam.


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