Brothers Analysis

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  • Brothers
    • Written from an adult perspective
    • Does not have a strict pattern to its rhythms
    • 3 Stanzas which represent three stages of afternoon
      • 1. Sets scene and shows relationship between speaker and brother
      • 2. Presents disruption of plan
      • 3. Concludes story, revealing separation of brothers
        • Shows how the older boys are still children
    • Imagery
      • Saddled" suggests negative feelings  speaker has for brother, restricting the freedom of the speaker.
      • "Looking back" is used both literally to refer to older boy checking progress of younger brother to find bus fare, as well as metaphorically suggesting a look back through time.
    • Feelings of characters are revealed through choice of words
    • Younger brother worships older brother
    • "chased Olympic Gold"
      • Metaphor for competitive natures
    • Aspiration to be older
    • In line 9 the speaker sees age as an advantage
    • Close friendship, intimacy which is craved by younger brother but will be denied because of "distance"between brothers.
    • The childhood feeling of superiority is later regretted by the speaker
    • Friendship in poem is important, and yet final image suggests loss that speaker feels at not being closer to brother.
    • Compare to "Sister Maude" and "Harmonium"


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