Brother: A Novel

Chapters 6-7

: The first part of Chapter Six focuses on Michael and Francis' trip to their mother's hometown. During their ride back to the airport when the trip is ending, Michael (and the reader) learn that their mother has not told her family about many of the details of their life in Canada (Chariandy 146). What specific details has their mother kept to herself (from her family), and why has she done this?

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The description of Mother's regular outings to the Rouge Valley show how it came to represent resilience and the possibility for a thriving life. It is made explicit that the trips to the Rouge Valley are more than just recreation when Michael asks, "what was the hope or philosophy in these excursions?" (148). The descriptions focus on verdant growth, blooming possibility, and resilient wildlife. She compared monarch butterflies to migrants, and notes the "pure fierceness and pride" (148) of a red-shouldered hawk. When she told her boys a story about moths in the Rouge Valley while they were lying in bed, she said that even if they looked like trash in the wind, they are alive and flying. Through the connections Mother drew between resiliency of life finding a way to thrive in a green pocket of habitat, surrounded by concrete, she was suggesting that they could also manage to thrive in a hostile environment.


Brother: A Novel