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Quotes

Quote #1

"Mama, he smiled. He's all there! He's all there!" (1.5)

This is a positive example of pride in the story. Brother is the first to recognize that Doodle is an intelligent child. It's a little chilling when we know that six-year-old Brother wanted to kill Doodle when he though he wasn't intelligent. The story tries to show that people should be valued for the simple fact that they are alive, despite any physical or mental disabilities.

Quote #2

When Doodle was five years old, I was embarrassed at having a brother of that age who couldn't walk […]. (3.1)

Embarrassment is part of pride for Brother. He thinks he can't be proud of himself if Doodle is disabled. He has the idea that physical disabilities are something to be ashamed of, and that a disabled person reflects shame on family members.

Quote #3

I did not know then that pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death. (3.12)

Throughout the story Brother stresses the duality, or the double sidedness of pride. It can push us to achieve important and valuable goals, but can be destructive if we lose sight of more important themes. Brother's pride pushes him to give Doodle a life away from his rubber sheet on the bed. When Brother's obsession with turning Doodle into the "ideal" Brother goes too far, his pride pushes Doodle to his early death.

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