I love the pride question in regard to this story because it is a double-edged question. Generally speaking, anytime a character is filled with pride (or too much pride), it is looked at as a bad or negative trait. However, there are times when pride can drive a person to...
I love the pride question in regard to this story because it is a double-edged question. Generally speaking, anytime a character is filled with pride (or too much pride), it is looked at as a bad or negative trait. However, there are times when pride can drive a person to do good things. What is great about Brother's pride in this story is that it has both the good and bad aspects of pride. What is even better is that Brother later becomes aware of this fact.
I did not know then that pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death.
Brother's pride in this story is centered around his brother, Doodle.
When Doodle was five years old, I was embarrassed at having a brother of that age who couldn't walk, so I set out to teach him.
Brother is embarrassed by his brother. However, personal pride drives him to work extremely hard at getting Doodle to walk. Brother is successful in his efforts, and Doodle does walk. Everyone is ecstatic about it, and they heap praises on Brother. Brother is happy for Doodle, but it is his personal pride in having a brother that can walk that really comes through.
Doodle told them it was I who had taught him to walk, so everyone wanted to hug me, and I began to cry.
"What are you crying for?" asked Daddy, but I couldn't answer. They did not know that I did it for myself, that pride, whose slave I was, spoke to me louder than all their voices, and that Doodle walked only because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother.
Brother's pride causes him to continue to push Doodle harder and harder, and eventually, Doodle cannot keep up. Brother is disappointed, leaves Doodle behind, and Doodle dies because of it.
We never spoke (What are the words that can solder cracked pride?), but I knew he was watching me, watching for a sign of mercy. The lightning was near now, and from fear he walked so close behind me he kept stepping on my heels. The faster I walked, the faster he walked, so I began to run. The rain was coming, roaring through the pines, and then, like a bursting Roman candle, a gum tree ahead of us was shattered by a bolt of lightning. When the deafening peal of thunder had died, and in the moment before the rain arrived, I heard Doodle, who had fallen behind, cry out, "Brother, Brother, don't leave me! Don't leave me!"