Although we understand the events and attitudes presented in the story largely through the narrator’s point of view, he is disadvantaged by his lack of self-awareness. In part because of his parents’ decisions and in part because of his mixed-up combination of pride and shame, the narrator understands his role in life primarily as his younger brother’s sibling. The excessive responsibility with which he is saddled serves to stunt his own intellectual and emotional development, which expresses itself in his bullying. Rather than being a flat character that the author fails to develop, the older brother does not grow into a fuller sense of identity. When he loses his brother, however, the reader glimpses his compassion, a possible indication of his future ability to change.