Be My Brother Essay

Briefly state what the text is about:
This text is about a mentally challenged man named Richard who is wondering alone the shoreline by himself, narrating his own fictional story into a voice recorder until he walks to the bus stop and sees a woman - Be My Brother Essay introduction. He then begins to narrate the woman’s actions and describes her appearance in a somewhat offensive manner into the voice recorder loudly, he then sits next to her and continues narrating her actions. She is clearly uncomfortable and attempting to avoid any form of contact with him, until he pesters her to talk to him. He then tests her by quoting famous lines from several famous texts and movies to see if she knows them and begins to really impress her despite her earlier discomfort with his mental state and her rejection of him, and accepts him. He makes jokes about how attractive he is, and really proceeds to impress her and asks her to speak into the voice recorder, at which time she states her name is Amanda and struggles to quote a famous line of literature.

He gets up and continues talking to himself and walks over to a young man sitting uncomfortably on the bench next to him. He asks the young man if he wishes to speak anything into the recorder to which he replies “no thanks”. Richard gets up somewhat angrily and plays something off the recorder he had recorded earlier, stating of how upset he is due to his brother’s neglecting of him and how he constantly feels like an embarrassment. Amanda tells Richard he should tell his brother what he recorded, and he asks her to say something into the recorder again directed at his brother Damien. She states that her name is Amanda and Damien has an extremely entertaining brother. A bus arrives and the young man on the bench next to them gets on the bus, however doesn’t have an amount of money small enough for the driver to change it. They argue, with the man telling the bus driver he needs to get this bus. After being told he needs to get off, Richard gets on and pays for both their tickets. The driver asks if he knows who the mentally challenged man was, to which he responds “yeah”. After not even saying thank you for paying the ticket, the man begins to walk silently past Richard sitting on a seat, then halts, turns around and sits next to him. Richard stares at Amanda through the window then turns around and hugs the young man, whom after a few seconds returns the hug, making it apparent that he is Damien.

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What aspects of belonging are dealt with in the text?
The aspect of social rejection due to prejudice is dealt with in this text, as Richard is socially out casted by Amanda at first, showing a sense of lacking of belonging with people who don’t know him. He then gains a sense of belonging after talking to Amanda and impressing her, showing her his true colours. Belonging is also dealt with showing his lack of it with his family, specifically his brother, who constantly sees him as an embarrassment. As well as this, Damien does accept Damien and shows some belonging with his brother at the end of the short film where they hug each other as brothers who belong together would.

Your personal response to this text
My response to this text is that it is an excellent representation of general society’s tendency to exclude and feel uncomfortable around those with disabilities and that are different to them in a somewhat significant way. It illustrates the lack of belonging and lack of connection that these people who can’t help what they are feel, and how once people actually get to know them they can be accepted and belong to a certain community. It also shows how the issue of mental illness or genetic traits which can’t be helped can segregate individuals from even there family, however once they are accepted by at least some members of the public, even their family can show a sense of connection to them.

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