Summary Of ' The ' Brother '

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Stephen, Naomi’s brother, happens to be a very unhappy man even though he feels like he is a well-known and celebrated musician. However, he is troubled despite this outward flourishing and as a result, renounces his Japanese identity entirely. He intentionally expunges the Japanese language from his memory and shows discomfort whenever a habit of speech, food or gesture is exhibited. Apparently, he survived by beating down memories of his childhood and to some extent, becomes unknowable like Naomi in the novel. He completely turned away from his family, ethnicity and his country because of his experience on his family’s separation, racism and internment.
In Obasan, each character comes to term differently with their heritage, there is Stephen, who after being tormented and teased in his childhood of being a “gimpy jap” (Obasan, chapter 22), felt ashamed of who he was and tried to completely separate himself from his root. There is Aunty Emily who is quite utmost with the whole situation in her family and would protest against racism and injustice especially when it comes to the issue of the Japanese-Canadians. In this novel, it is seen that the government sent letters to the Japanese families, asking them to hand over their titles and if they refuse, it would be taken away from them forcefully and their families would be interned in camps but it was only Emily who stood up and responded to the government by writing letters to protest against their demand. She appears to be

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