What is the summary for "Death in Jerusalem"? How are the two brothers contrasted and what are their different attitudes about their trip to the holy land?

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Francis has always followed what his mother has wanted.  She has always controlled his life for the most part, and he has remained home while his brother has gone off to San Francisco.  When Francis tells his mother of his trip, she does not verbally disagree with them going, but her demeanor shows her disapproval.  Up until his trip, Francis is uneasy about his trip.  As he contemplates his uneasiness, he is interrupted by another passenger who wants to recommend places to him.  That only frustrates him more.  By the time he arrives, he is too exhausted to do anything but retire for the night.

Paul, on the other hand, seems to be looking at this trip as a tourist.  He wants to enjoy himself and drink the whole time.  He receives the message that his mother is dead, and yet he wants to prolong the vacation as much as he can.  In this selfish act, he also does not tell Francis of their loss. 

Eventually they do leave, but only because Francis has realized how insensitive and selfish his brother is.  Frances had always idolized his brother until this point.  Francis wanted to visit Jerusalem for the religious aspects, while Paul wanted to have a vacation.  Neither trip turned out to be holy.  It only brought misery for them both, yet in different aspects.

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Death in Jerusalem

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