The primary reason why brothers ended up in different places is their family’s respect for one another’s privacy, which ultimately prevented family members from discussing their problems. This was a crucial mistake since this lack of bonding, especially between two siblings, could help Robby to express his feelings and become better. Another contributing factor was Robby’s street reputation which he was not able to resist and was encouraged by his peers to live recklessly since he had to prove his “rebel” status (Wideman, 2005). The factor which was the result of the previous one was Robby’s self-reliance which made him refuse to follow the established rules of behavior. There is also an external factor in the form of the absence of jobs in the area, which forced him to seek different ways to earn money.
One of the major events in Robby’s life occurred when doctors could not save his friend Gareth, this was, perhaps, the tipping point that made him embrace a negative approach towards the world (Wideman, 2005). His outlook was fueled by another factor, which is discrimination and hate towards black people, as well as their unequal status in society which radicalized Robby. I believe that all of the factors listed above were important, but, in my view, Robby’s way of life and subsequent incarceration were a result of his rebellious nature. Perhaps, there simply was no other outcome for him since he was predisposed to destructive behavior.
The essay “Our Time” by John Edgar Wideman is a reminder that all people are different even if they are siblings, and everyone experiences a certain number of factors that lead to their position in life. The author’s brother Robby had a difficult life and faced challenging moments which partially influenced his conduct. Yet, it is hardly true that there was one particular incident that completely changed Robby’s perception and behavior.
Wideman, J. E. (2005). Brothers and keepers. Mariner Books.