a. What image ofbrotherhood is presented in the passage?
The passagepresents a metaphor of the speaker standing at an orange door with awindow located above it. In particular, the closed door is used as asymbol to portray the speaker’s exclusion from his family. Thepassage describes two characters, namely, the persona and his olderbrother. Also, the father of the boys is mentioned in the metaphor.The narrative voice belongs to the younger of the two brothers.
The passage showsthat identical behavior does not define brotherhood. The differencesbetween the two brothers are portrayed through their speech patterns,relationships, and physical appearance. For example, the speaker wastaller, albeit skinnier, than his older brother. Although the persona“bought many of his brother’s clothes,” they did not fit himproperly (Sala). In fact, he was ashamed of viewing himself since he“looked like a lost scarecrow” (Sala). On the other hand, hisbrother wore clothes with “ease” (Sala). Furthermore, his brotherhad many friends and admirers while the persona was “solitary”(Sala). The setting of the passage seems to be in Australia. In thisregard, the brother had acquired the local accent within a year and“blended in at school in every way” (Sala). Nevertheless, thenarrator “still carried the thick, tumbling textures of Holland”(Sala). Therefore, the passage shows that brotherhood does notexclude the presence of differences.
Also, the passageportrays an oppressive and cynical image of brotherhood. Inparticular, the older brother bullied the persona by selling theformer`s old garments. Additionally, he would never tolerate anynegotiations pertaining to the price. The older brother`s scornfulpersonality was seen in how he would throw away some clothes "witha mocking, regretful expression" (Sala). He had contempt forthose who lacked his natural ability. Moreover, the garments “werealready worn by the time they got to” the narrator (Sala). Thespeaker recalls how he became enraged at his brother. He also bemoanshow his brother “had always put” him down and “oppressed” him(Sala). The narrator remembered how his sibling had consistently madelife difficult for him. The cynical nature of the 18-year-old brotherwas seen in the superficial praises he directed towards the persona.In particular, the sibling noted that the speaker "was betterwith words than he was" (Sala). Notwithstanding the label of“clever one,” the narrator had little leverage over his brother(Sala). Therefore, brotherhood could be exploited as an opportunityto enforce one’s will over younger siblings.
Besides, thepassage also depicts brotherhood as a mild form of apprenticeship.The persona had a great admiration for his brother. He purchased manyof his brother’s clothes despite their ruggedness. Also, thepersona was “fascinated” by his brother’s skin surface and hisremarkable ability to adopt the Australian accent within a short time(Sala). In addition, he was deeply impressed by his brother’sprowess in sports. Consequently, all his brother’s friends calledthe narrator by the sibling’s name. In fact, people would add“junior” at the end of the name as if the speaker was thebrother’s son. Therefore, the passage shows that a younger brotherwould be in constant awe of his older siblings and strive to emulatethem in word and deed. In this respect, younger siblings would beidentified and known courtesy of their other brothers. Consequently,the reputation of one brother would automatically become implied onthe other.
b. What does thepassage’s reflective tone add to its message?
The passage’sreflective tone adds several facets to the passage. For example, itcontributes to authenticity. The plot shows how the narratordescribes his relationship with his brother. On the other hand, thenarrative structure of the passage comprises of the speaker’spersonal reflection along with some quoted words from the olderbrother. The reflective tone allows the narrator to share hisinnermost feelings and thoughts. Additionally, it enables the speakerto use a first-person point of view. Therefore, readers can gain deepinsight into the persona’s thinking process. Besides, the tonepaints a clear picture in the mind of the audience. Hence, the readerwould empathize with the experiences of the narrator.
Furthermore, the reflective tone adds emphasis to the message in thepassage. The speaker mentions the mistreatment suffered at the handsof his brother. Consequently, it is easier for the reader to believethe message in comparison to if a third party was relaying theexperiences. The reflective tone also adds more details to themessage. For example, the private interactions between the narratorand his brother would have been excluded if a different personattempted to explain the relationship between the siblings. Outsidersmay have concluded that the brothers were similar to the extent ofcalling the persona by his sibling`s name. Nonetheless, only thespeaker was aware of the glaring differences between them. Moreover,the reflective tone aids in comprehension of the message. The readercan evaluate the narrator’s personal growth. In the first sectionof the passage, the speaker submits to his brother in all aspects.However, he gradually gains the courage to stand up to the derisionin his brother’s tone.
Sala, M. Like My Father, My Brother. In Wood, C. (2009). Brothers& sisters. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin.