Simple Summaries

The Rich Brother

Tobias Wolff

Simple Summary by Sarah Frank

The Rich Brother, by Wolff, is from "Back in this World"

·      Pete and Donald are the two brothers. Pete has a stable job and lends Donald money.

o  Pete uses his money to buy experiences

o  Donald finds meaning in spiritual spaces + religious communes

·      Pete picks Donald up from the religious commune and gives him $100 for food

·      Donald says Pete is too material

·      Pete says Donald doesn’t take things seriously

·      Donald admits he was asked to leave the commune because he was redistributing their money and resources

·      A hitchhiker asks them for lunch citing a sick daughter so Donald volunteers Pete’s car to Webster

o  Webster tells a story about searching for gold then leaves in Soledad to go to his brother

·      They fill up on gas and Pete asks Donald to pay this time, but Donald has spent all the money

o  “"Let me get this straight," Pete said at last. "You don't have the money I gave you."”

o  Donald gave it to Webster and “invested” in his gold mine in Peru

·      Pete says: "I see exactly where this is going. You can't work, you can't take care of yourself, you believe anything anyone tells you. I'm stuck with you, aren't I? I've got you on my hands for good."

·      Donald says: "I'll get out. Let me out. I mean it, Pete.” so Pete abandons Donald

·      Pete is then scared to go home and have to explain to his wife that he left Donald behind