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Free essay on my big brother


Learning comes with experience and no matter how well you study; it is experience that is valued more.
The story of ‘ My Big Brother’ by Premchand is a lesson symbolic of the belief that nothing can displace experience. It would be highly illogical to assume that anyone, who is good at studies, can claim to know everything or do anything right. This is far from true. This is precisely what My Big Brother portrays. The story, as told by the younger brother, begins with him narrating how he is bossed by his elder brother, who is 5 years older than him, but just 4 classes ahead. In the beginning of the story, the younger brother is all ears for his older brother, but fears and respects him. He was very studious, and spent a lot of his time studying. He didn’t give much importance to other activities. This is what the younger brother had to say about his big brother, “ By nature, my brother was very studious.  He spent most of him sitting in front of an open book. At times, I would see him draw pictures of birds, dogs, and cats in the margin of his notebook, or write a name, a word, or a sentence ten or twenty times to rest his brains, perhaps. He would even copy a couplet out in beautiful letters or create new words which made no rhyme or reason, just to keep himself occupied, but free from his books.” (122)
The younger brother could hardly instigate himself to read, let alone studying. All the time, his mind would wonder to the games played outside, and whenever he could, he would run and play, only to be admonished by his big brother for being inattentive. However, every passing year saw the younger pass, coming first in class, while his big brother kept failing. Every year, the big brother would preach the younger one to remain focused on his studies and not get carried away by his achievement, as he would understand the difficulty he faced when he reached his class. Sadly, the big brother kept failing and the younger one kept passing, despite spending more and more time on sports. As always, the big brother kept reminding him of his need to focus on his studies and not let anything else come in the way of it. He gave examples of people in literature, history, politics, and finally his parents, to make the younger brother understand the importance of studying. In the year the two brothers sat in the same class, the younger felt sad that, despite all his efforts, his brother failed and he passed.
The next year, when the younger brother passes, and the elder brother fails again, he tells the younger one that he is intelligent, but should be cautious about letting it hurt his self- esteem. He tells him that he may be thinking that now being just one class higher, big brother has no right to admonish me, but yes, I have the right. Whatever happens, I, as the elder brother, will always be five-years older than you. “ You cannot ever match my experience of the world and life even if you become an MA, or a D. Phil. or D Litt,” because one becomes wise not by reading books but by seeing the world. He then quotes the example of their parents, though uneducated, always has the right to admonish and correct us. It’s not because they gave them life, but because of the far greater experience of the world they have, than them. Father, he says, would identify a problem, and try and rectify it first, before calling for assistance, unlike them. This is where experience counts. He then quotes the example of their headmaster, who though studied MA from Oxford, and earns one thousand rupees, has to get his mother to help him manages his household. With these touching words, he tells the younger brother that even if you are my equal now and free, he won’t let the younger tread the wrong path. And if didn’t, he would even use his hand, as his words were poison to him. Hearing this, the younger brother understood the greatness of his elder brother and became aware of his smallness, “ I was thoroughly shamed by this new approach of his.  I had truly come to know my own insignificance and a new respect for my brother was born in my heart.  With tears in my eyes, I said, ‘No, no, what you say is completely true and you have the right to say it.” (127)

Works Cited

Premchand, (2009), My Big Brother, The Longman Anthology of World Literature (Vol. F), Eds. Djelal Kadir and Ursula Heise, New York: Pearson Longman, 2009

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