An Analysis of siblings in Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True and Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper

An Analysis of siblings in Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True and Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper

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In The Sibling Effect, Jeffrey Kluger discusses the psychological effects of brothers and sisters on human behaviour and the significance of relationships between siblings. In children, typically their behaviour is affected by their parents and the natural habitat of the environment around them. A person’s childhood experiences affect their character development as they grow to adulthood. The children who do not get as much attention from their parents as their other siblings often grow up having anger issues with their brother/sister . The novels I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb, and My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult, both feature parental figures who mistreat their children, as both parents in each book favour one child over the other. I Know This Much Is True is about twin brothers, Dominick and Thomas. Dominick is the eldest while Thomas, the younger, has paranoid schizophrenia. Dominick is torn between being independent and taking care of his brother. His anger towards his brother results from his feeling that he was not as loved by his mother as Thomas. The second novel is about two identical sisters, Kate and Anna. Kate is older and Anna is younger. However, Kate has acute leukemia and Anna has been scientifically modified to keep her sister alive. Anna has always taken care of her sister, but it reaches the point where Anna needs to donate a kidney to Kate. In both novels, the parents tend to ignore one child and seem willing to even abandon the child’s needs, yet, in order to take care of their favourites. As they feel sympathy and sadness towards the deceased child. An important difference between the novels is that the protagonist, Anna, in My Sister’s Keeper ironically dies in a car accident after finally win...


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... the price of having to give away one of her kidney’s to Kate. On the other hand, Dominick realizes why he has anger issues with the help of Thomas’s psychiatrist, which helps him understand himself more. Some parents are just so concerned with the sick kids that they unintentionally tend to ignore the other child’s demands. As humans, we have to learn to accept everyone as different, as they are, and appreciate one another, because we never know what will happen to them or us tomorrow.



Works Cited

Lamb, Wally. I Know This Much Is True. New York, NY: Regan, 1998. Print.
Picoult, Jodi. "My Sister’s Keeper”. Atria Books. 2004. Print.
Melanie. "Do You Have a Favorite Child?" Parenting.com. Time Magazine, 27 Sept. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2013.
Klein, Julia M. "Interview With Jeffrey Kluger, Author of 'The Sibling Effect'" AARP. AARP, 15 Dec. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2013.

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