Compare/Contrast Essay: Brother Dear and The Charmer

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Compare/Contrast Essay The Canadian short stories “Brother Dear” by Bernice Friesen and “The Charmer” written by Budge Wilson focus on the struggles and common conflicts between parents and their children during adolescence. Both stories are told in the younger sister’s point of view and show how everyone matures and gains independence throughout and at the end of the story. Friesen and Wilson’s short stories over all focus mainly on the theme of dysfunctional families; which can be represented through the characters, symbolism, and conflict in the stories. Both parts of the family: the parents and the children, play a part in what is considered a ‘dysfunctional family’. In the story “Brother Dear” the son Greg is expected to stay and…show more content…
Considering how lenient the father was with Zack and allowing him to get away with so much and forgiving him all the time, even if he had expectations for Zack that he didn’t go through with, he probably would’ve used his charm to get out of the situation. The short stories “Brother Dear” and “The Charmer” contain symbolism that represents the theme of dysfunctional families. In “Brother Dear”, when Greg returns home he has garbage bags of laundry with him. The garbage bags could symbolize the fact that Greg has returned home to tell his parents that he didn’t make it to the final exam and he isn’t continuing his schooling, which could be referred to as his garbage that he is dumping off or emptying at his house. In “The Charmer” Zack’s mother calls him a “real devil” (Viewpoints 103). “Devils are considered fallen angels, and can often fool you for a very long time” (Viewpoints 103). So Zack is considered a devil because of how he wrongfully fools his family all of the time to get what he wants, and because he has addictions to gambling and drinking. When Greg in “Brother Dear” is caught flaring his nostrils when Sharlene asks him if he has a girlfriend, Sharlene stays that he is “hiding something” (Viewpoints 28) when he flares his nostrils. This could symbolize the fact that not only is he hiding something about his relationship status, but he is hiding the truth about how he didn’t make it

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