This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff Essay

This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff Essay

Length: 1151 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The book “This Boy’s Life” by Tobias Wolff is a memoir written about the author’s childhood memories and experiences. The author shows many different characters within the book. Many of them are just minor character that does not affect the author much in his life choices and thoughts throughout his growth. But there are some that acts as the protagonist and some the antagonist. One of them is Dwight, the protagonist’s or Jack’s stepfather. This character seems to be one of the characters that inhibit Jack’s choices and decisions. This character plays a huge role in Jack’s life as it leaves a huge scar in his memory. The author here spends the majority of time in this character in the memoir to show the readers the relationship between Jack and Dwight.
There are several “masks” that Dwight wears to hide his true intention towards Jack and Rosemary. One of the most obvious times is when during the approval seeking moment where Dwight threatened and instilled fear in Jack by driving dangerously and swerving his car intentionally. Dwight here wants to show Jack that he is in complete control of Jack and Rosemary’s life. To forewarn Jack about his future decisions and implication, Dwight intentionally puts on a mask of “malice.” This proves to be advantageous for Dwight as Jack finally succumbs toward Dwight’s threats and corners Jack to approve his mother’s marriage to Dwight.
Later on, Dwight and Jack started painting their house where white paint is used as a primary paint supposedly to symbolize purity and a new start towards Jack’s new life. But this also had an alternate mask covering the false positive pretense. It shows to the reader that Dwight may be covering the true rotten, ill and malice with white paint. Even with w...

... middle of paper ...

...s violence and his bad attitudes as a safety precaution on Dwight’s future behaviors.
In the end, readers will get a sense of disapproval on Dwight due to many presentations of “evil” and “malice” towards Jack. This may be the deceitful nature of Dwight towards both Jack and Rosemary, or the many tortures that Jack encounters while living with Dwight. In the end, there is a conclusion that points toward a relationship that is based on hatred and a kind of necessity need for both characters to one another as Dwight needs Jack for Rosemary’s love and Jack needs Dwight for Rosemary’s security in life. It is not a relationship desired by Jack as he finally says “We hated each other. We hated each other so much that other feelings didn’t get enough light. It disfigured me” (Wolff 232), and “I left Chinook without a thought for the years I’d lived there.” (Wolff 234),

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff Essay examples

- This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff Mark Twain once said, "We are creatures of outside influences -- we originate nothing within. Whenever we take a new line of thought and drift into a new line of belief and action, the impulse is always suggested from the outside." In the memoir This Boy’s Life, by Tobias Wolff Jack shows that he is a creature of outside influence. Some examples of this are that he copies what his friends do, he doesn't try to shape his own life, and he is heavily influenced by the male figures in his life....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
792 words (2.3 pages)

Effect of Trauma on a Child in A Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff Essay

- ... His mother must have shaped Jack’s opinion about his father, especially since he spent most of his time with her. These feelings lead to opportunities that were missed in the future. Jack’s mother’s choice in men causes a lot of the problems in his life. Rosemary’s second husband, Roy, is alcoholic and abusive. He also has a fascination for guns, passin on one of his 22’s to Jack. Even after Jack and Rosemary try to move west to get away from Roy, he follows them there. He is obsessive and possessive of Rosemary to extremes....   [tags: divorce, stepfather, abuse]

Strong Essays
731 words (2.1 pages)

Critical Analysis of This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff Essay

- This Boy's Life is the autobiographical account of teenager. Toby and his mother's search for financial stability and a peaceful life. Toby’s family was split down the middle as a child, leaving his father and older brother on the East Coast and, for the most part, uninvolved in Toby’s life. The story begins when Toby and his mother, Rosemary, leave her abusive boyfriend in Florida to take their chances at becoming rich in the uranium mines in Utah....   [tags: Analysis Boy's Life Wolff]

Strong Essays
1942 words (5.5 pages)

Essay on This Boy 's Life Is A Memoir By Tobias Wolff

- This Boy’s Life This Boy’s Life is a memoir by Tobias Wolff. This memoir gives us an insight of Tobias’s, who called himself Jack in his younger years, life with his mother Rosemary. The mother and son tried to move on with life after the separation of their family. To be able to support Tobias, his mother, Rosemary, met the wrong type of men who were abusive and clings on to her. As a single parent Rosemary took great care of Tobias and made sure he had food and a roof over his head. The two had a rough path, but in the later years they were able to become independent and successful....   [tags: Parent, Abuse, Marriage, Family]

Strong Essays
811 words (2.3 pages)

The Path to War in This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff Essay

- Must you have battle in your heart forever. The bloody toil of combat. --Homer, The Odyssey Shortly after the publication of his memoir, This Boy’s Life, Tobias Wolff addressed the topic of Vietnam. When asked about the influence of Vietnam in This Boy’s Life, Wolff responded that he “wanted the reader to be aware very early on that this boyhood is a progression to a place. That the boyhood obsession with weapons has a terminus somewhere, that it ends in war. There’s a logical progression in the kind of life that boys are encouraged to lead and dream of in this country....   [tags: This Boy’s Life 2014]

Strong Essays
990 words (2.8 pages)

The Movie, This Boy's Life Essay examples

- The movie ‘This Boy’s Life’, which is based on the real life of American author Tobias Wolff, features renowned actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin in the leading roles while actors Jonah Blechman, Eliza Dushku, Chris Cooper, Carla Gugino, Tracey Ellis, Kathy Kinney, Tobey Maguire, Deanna Milligan and Morgan Brayton play the other minor roles. The film is directed by Michael Caton-Jones, and is a classic tale of domestic abuse, emotional neglect and other issues faced by Tobias....   [tags: Tobias Wolff]

Strong Essays
850 words (2.4 pages)

The, By Tobias Wolff, And Father And I Essays

- Parents play an irreplaceable role in the life of their children. They are a source of comfort and support warmth, security and protection, and they help each of their children to make sense of the world in which their live. In “Powder”, by Tobias Wolff, and “Father and I”, by Pär Lagerkvist, one of the common themes throughout the stories is the strong, irrefutable relationship between father and son. In “Powder”, the ordinary role of father and son is reversed. The boy and his father are quite different in personality, however the boy learns to admire his father and see him as a model of enjoying life to the fullest, without worrying over consequences....   [tags: Family, Anxiety, Tobias Wolff, Son]

Strong Essays
1200 words (3.4 pages)

Powder by Tobias Wolff Essay

- Powder Powder, a short story written by Tobias Wolff, is about a boy and his father on a Christmas Eve outing. As the story unfolds, it appears to run deeper than only a story about a boy and his father on a simple adventure in the snow. It is an account of a boy and his father’s relationship, or maybe the lack of one. Powder is narrated by a grown-up version of the boy. In this tale, the roles of the boy and his father emerge completely opposite than what they are supposed to be but may prove to be entirely different from the reader’s first observation....   [tags: Powder, Tobias Wolff]

Strong Essays
814 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Tobias Wolff's Writing

- Tobias Wolff is a strange writer whose work is "so absolutely clear and hypnotic that a reader wants to take it apart and find some simple way to describe why it works so beautifully"(Tobias Wolff, This Boy's Life [back cover]). Although sometimes taking place in such foreign locations as Vietnam, Wolff's stories are predominantly based on banal situations and people. The magic in his writing though is the fact he draws the reader into the story at all times. He does so by connecting his characters and their conflicts to the reader, be it through quirks, qualities or quandaries....   [tags: Writer Author Wolff]

Free Essays
1400 words (4 pages)

Tobias Wolff Essay

- Tobias Wolff Tobias Wolff, a boy of a troubled childhood, and a very tough father. Tobias Wolff had no intentions of being a writer from the start; it just seemed to of popped into his life. The Amazing part about this writer is that he was not supported by anyone but himself. His father was against everything that he did, and his brother, Geoffrey, also a writer would always take his fathers side, leaving Tobias on a side of his own. “I wasn’t fair, I always took my father’s side.” Said Geoffrey (Wolff, G; Duke of 144) Geoffrey was known as the ‘Good Brother’ as his father would say....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1538 words (4.4 pages)