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Gore Vidal
The prodigal and the peever

We take our text today from the parable of the prodigal son, and what it can teach us about the psychology of the peever. We are not much interested in the prodigal himself, an all-too-familiar and not particularly interesting type. No, we are going to look at the older brother and his reaction to the prodigal’s welcome home. We can understand the elder brother. He stayed home and worked the family farm. He did the chores every day, 365 days a year, and endured the old man’s endless quirks. He was the good boy, the dutiful son, the one who stayed home and followed all the rules and did everything he was supposed to do. Now comes the younger brother, the spendthrift, the...

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