Character Analysis Of Morris Lurie's 'Running Nicely'

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“Running nicely” is a short story written by Morris Lurie, about two orphan brothers: the protagonist, Moses, a twenty-two years old young man and the antagonist, Ben, his younger brother. The story is set during the night at ten PM, in the streets in suburban Melbourne. When the two brothers are running, Moses realizes he has difficulty accepting that Ben is getting older, and that his younger brother is now running faster than him. The author suggests that family relationships after a loss may result in being abnormal and can have consequences on one’s development and behavior. The author effectively conveys this theme through his use of characterization, narrative point of view and irony. To begin, the characterization of Moses in relation with his brother Ben demonstrates how the protagonist is struggling to be a perfect father substitute, after both parents passing away. Moses makes Ben grow too fast by doing adult type activities, like showing him jazz music, making him watch old movies and making him read books about war. By getting his brother learn about other things instead of watching the TV like their neighbors, he feels proud about how “[…] he has weaned his brother, a former three-hours-a-nigh man, off that awful habit.” (2). After the death of their parents, Moses must take the responsibility of a father, but ends up controlling Ben too much by trying to educate him as an adult, while he is only twelve years old. By striving for perfection, Moses

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