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Emerging Brotherhood in “Halves” Short Story by Benji Whalen Essay

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Updated: Aug 19th, 2022

“Halves,” a short story, was written by Benji Whalen in 2002. The novel’s plot contains an enveloping process of getting each other by two half-brothers who had been living separately for their whole lives. The attitude towards the new family member of the main character is ambiguous and changes gradually through the narrative course. Both boys become lucid personalities to readers by the end of the story while entering into a new relationship: brotherhood based on shared experience.

The remembrances of the narrator begin with a clear statement about the nature of his acquaintance with his brother before the main events. Namely, he clearly states that Alexis was not always his brother (Whalen 1). The relationship between the children seems ambiguous because of the negative emotions expressed by the narrator after the first impression of the meeting. The twelve-year-old main character is afraid of losing his world to the newcomer, an outsider, and is devastated by the profusion of Alexis’s presence. In brief, the little only child in a family experiences a lack of attention from his mother and suffers a personal crisis due to the changes in his life.

However, the outcome of the story shows the possible rise of intimacy, kindred between the two. They are obviously from different worlds, which contributes to their personalities being distinctive from each other. However, a scene where both youngsters commit a forbidden deed is a decisive point in their story. After that, the introductory stage of the novel may be seen in a new light: a person whose problems were not the narrators became such, evidently (Whalen 1). Thus, the acceptance of each other is achieved by participating in a connecting activity shedding light on the further development of the brotherhood.

Brothers do not always know one another from their birth. Moreover, the feeling of solidarity or unity of kindred may come not immediately after recognizing a person as one’s relative. Despite the differences in the worldview or general life experiences, people can become sib after significant events that unite them somehow. In the case of the story, the troublesome brother and the curious child came to be close after the shared wrongdoing.

Work Cited

Whalen, Benji. Halves. The Crab Creek Review, 2002.

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"Emerging Brotherhood in "Halves" Short Story by Benji Whalen." IvyPanda, 19 Aug. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/emerging-brotherhood-in-halves-short-story-by-benji-whalen/.

1. IvyPanda. "Emerging Brotherhood in "Halves" Short Story by Benji Whalen." August 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/emerging-brotherhood-in-halves-short-story-by-benji-whalen/.


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IvyPanda. "Emerging Brotherhood in "Halves" Short Story by Benji Whalen." August 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/emerging-brotherhood-in-halves-short-story-by-benji-whalen/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Emerging Brotherhood in "Halves" Short Story by Benji Whalen." August 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/emerging-brotherhood-in-halves-short-story-by-benji-whalen/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Emerging Brotherhood in "Halves" Short Story by Benji Whalen'. 19 August.

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