The Half Brothers By Elizabeth Gaskell and My Oedipus Complex By Frank O'Connor

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The Half Brothers By Elizabeth Gaskell and My Oedipus Complex By Frank O'Connor

These two stories are very different upon first glance. For example

one is about a pair of half brothers set in Victorian times and the

other is about a small child named Larry who thinks he's a lot wiser

then he is. However, if you look deeper you can start to find

similarities between the two. They have similar themes, and links can

be made between them.

A big difference between them is the titles. For example 'The Half

Brothers' is a very self evident title but 'My Oedipus Complex' is a

little more obscure. 'My Oedipus Complex' is ironic because although

Larry does have a strong attachment to his mother it is an

exaggeration to call it an Oedipus Complex. The title is almost as if

the narrator is mocking himself. 'The Half Brothers' is indeed about

two half brothers.

Another difference between the titles is that they make they reader

react in different ways. For example 'My Oedipus Complex' is an

intriguing title whereas 'The Half Brothers' is simple and obvious.

The reader would be more drawn towards 'My Oedipus Complex' because

the word 'Oedipus' is unknown and the word 'complex' makes the story

seem interesting and almost mysterious. The title of "The Half

Brothers" wouldn't catch the reader's eye because it is boring and the

words are all familiar.

When looking at the general themes of the two stories it becomes clear

that they are very similar. For example both have the theme of

jealousy. In 'The Half Brothers' it is William Preston's jealousy of

Gregory and in 'My Oedipus Complex' it is Larry and his father's

jealousy of each other first and then of Sonny. In both stories it is

jealousy of a mother's love, ...

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ending of 'The Half Brothers' makes the reader think, because of it's

regretful conclusion whereas the ending of 'My Oedipus Complex'

doesn't give the reader a lot to ponder on as it is a simple happy

ending. This makes the stories suitable for different types of reader.

If they want a light-hearted book 'My Oedipus Complex' is more

suitable but if they want a book that teaches them a lesson then they

should choose 'The Half Brothers'.

Overall I preferred 'My Oedipus Complex' to 'The Half Brothers'. This

is because it is set more recently and the language is easier to

understand, I found it easier to relate to. Also it was humorous. 'The

Half Brothers' also had good points such as it made me think and gave

me a greater understanding of Victorian language. 'The Half Brothers'

is a more educational story whereas 'My Oedipus Complex' is light


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