Study Guide

Brian Fitzgerald in My Sister's Keeper

By Jodi Picoult

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Brian Fitzgerald

Fahrenheit 451

Brian Fitzgerald is the dad of the family. He's a firefighter who saves people and speaks in a lot of metaphors, like "The safety of the rescuer is of a higher priority than the safety of the victim" (4.1.4). Almost all of his metaphors show us how he would be on Anna's side of the whole legal battle. In this case, Anna, as the one with the kidney, is the "rescuer" whose safety is so important.

Even though Brian is heroic on the job, rushing into a burning building to save a child in one notable incident, he's a little more cowardly at home. He often stays at the firehouse to avoid the drama at home, though this only adds to his strain with his wife, Sara. (Which we talk about more on her page elsewhere in this section.)

Brian also has a little subplot about an arsonist who is burning down buildings all over town. It turns out to be his own son, Jesse, who is setting fires because he wants attention. When Brian finds out, he does what he should have been doing all along: hugs his son and tells him that he is loved. Freaking finally.

Brian sees Jesse as the flip side of the coin: Someone who starts fires instead of putting them out. "Jesse isn't all that different form me, choosing fire as his medium, needing to know that he could command at least one uncontrollable thing" (7.5.43), Brian notes. Who knew that hugs were the cure to being an arsonist?

Brian Fitzgerald in My Sister's Keeper Study Group

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