Write a personal reflection or explain what you think of or relate to in chapter 11 of Medicine River.

In chapter 11, we meet Joe, Harlen's brother. Harlen and Joe do not seem to have the best relationship. Similarly, Will does not seem to have a great relationship with James, his brother, either. This chapter may inspire readers to reflect on the relationships people have with their siblings.

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Naturally, you will have your own personal reflection and thoughts on chapter 11, but the following ideas may help you compose your own ideas.

In this chapter, we are introduced to Harlen’s brother, Joe. Everyone seems to think that Joe is a great guy with interesting stories, yet Harlen seems to have a tense relationship with him. When Will questions Harlen on why he doesn’t “seem to get on too well with [Joe],” he responds by saying that they are “just different.”

Both Harlen and Will seem to have tense relationships with their brothers. Additionally, both James (Will’s brother) and Joe seem to be very adventurous, considering they have been all over the world. This may cause readers to reflect on why it may be difficult to have a good relationship with someone that is different from you. Also, readers may wonder if Will and Harlen have a strained relationship with their brothers for a reason besides just being so different. For the readers that have siblings, it may incline them to reflect upon their own relationship with their brother or sister.

At the end of the chapter, Joe convinces Harlen and Will to climb the trestle bridge. When they get to the top of the bridge, Joe jumps off into the water while Harlen and Will climb back down. This moment seems to bond Harlen and Will with an understanding for one another. This may inspire readers to think about if people tend to gravitate towards individuals that are similar to themselves.

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