Study Guide

Autobiography of My Dead Brother Chapter 8

By Walter Dean Myers

Chapter 8

  • Jesse's been drawing comics for three afternoons straight. He takes them over to Rise's place.
  • Rise's grandmother is there, but she doesn't remember who Jesse is.
  • Jesse and Rise reminisce about the good old days. They talk about one of Rise's childhood birthday parties and Rise remembers how excited he was that his father came to the party. He comments that he's glad that Jesse didn't put him in the drawing.
  • Rise's grandmother announces that she's going to clean the living room. She already cleaned it that morning, but she's forgotten.
  • Rise tells Jesse to draw the scene when they became blood brothers, instructing Jesse to make the knife really big.
  • Rise mentions that he's going to get his own place soon. Jesse wonders where he's going to get the money.
  • The money's source is some sort of unspecified business—Rise has been thinking about letting the Counts in on the action, though.
  • Jesse wants to know more about this mysterious business, but Rise is pretty cagey.
  • Rise asks Jesse about his drawing technique, and then they reminisce a little more and Rise tells him how much the drawings mean to him.
  • Jesse wants to hear more about Rise getting his own place. Rise says he's been thinking about dealing cocaine; he wonders if the Counts might want to help out.
  • Jesse's like, I thought you weren't into drugs? And Rise is like, I'm just thinking it over.
  • Rise accuses Jesse of getting preachy; he says that people are going to use drugs no matter who's dealing them.
  • Jesse confesses that he doesn't understand this at all—he feels like Rise is speaking another language—which Rise responds to by saying maybe they aren't brothers after all.
  • Jesse reminds Rise about all the conversations they've had in the past about how bad drugs are. Rise says things have changed now—he thinks he has to do this to build a good life for himself.
  • Rise asks if they're still brothers, and Jesse says yes; he's just confused. Rise says he needs to accept what's real, which is the fact that the world is terrible.
  • Jesse makes to leave. On his way out, he asks Rise what he thought about Mason. Rise says it's like Mason is dead.
  • On the way home, Jesse reflects that it's really like Rise is dead. He doesn't want to leave his brother behind, though.
  • Jesse decides that if he does a really good job on Rise's autobiography, maybe Rise will change back to the person he used to be. That guy would never deal cocaine.

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