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“People are more interesting than events. I like books that present fascinating charachters” - This Boy’s Life

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Introduction

"People are more interesting than events. I like books that present fascinating charachters" This Boy's Life "This Boy's Life", by Tobias Wolff is an autobiography, which shows the young Tobias's struggle to grow up in a dysfunctional family. Deception, Disguise and illusion are the weapons the young Tobias Wolff has to adopt in order to get along in his life. This Boy's Life starts on the road from Florida to Utah when Wolff and his mother are trying to escape the grasp of her violent boyfriend Roy. "To get away from a man my mother was afraid of" They Drive to Utah and expect to "get rich on uranium" but when they got there they discovered all the uranium that was to be found had been. They then ventured on until they got to Salt Lake City where his mothered "figured there must be some ore around there". Although no one had ever found uranium in Salt Lake City, she did not take this as a deterrent, in fact she took it as more reason to go. "The fact that nobody had found any meant that we would have the place pretty much to ourselves." This is when we first experience his mothers optimistic view on most issues. If she wants it badly enough, she will do anything she can to get it and no facts or stories can make her change her mind. ...read more.

Middle

"And then came Dwight". This Quote really sums up Wolff's attitude towards Dwight. Dwight on the outside seemed respectable, romantic and a very father-like figure, but as soon as he has his foot in the door we discover the real Dwight. This being a man of spite, jealousy and most of all power. This need for power results In Wolff being brutal beaten for no reason but for Dwight's own amusement, as Rosemary was with her own father. As soon as Wolff arrived in Chinook the violence started. The first time we realise Dwight is not who he seems is on Wolff's way to Chinook "You're in for a change, mister. You got that? You're in for a whole nother ball game" This change Wolff has to circum to happens, but not because Wolff is willing. Once in Chinook, Dwight gets to work on re-shaping Wolff. This re-shaping meant filling up Wolff's time so that he had no time to carry on his delinquency, which was very prominent in his life in Seattle. Although Dwight was very strict on Wolff about minor things of no importance. On the major events, such as fighting, Dwight was very much in favour of Wolff's actions and even tried to help Wolff. "I can show you a couple of moves that will show little lord Gayle wondering what month he's in" Although at times worrying, Tobias Wolff as a main character makes for a very interesting read. ...read more.

Conclusion

But like everything else in his life, that falls through as well. This Boy's Life is an autobiography told in a very frank, unforgiving voice. This novel presents us with very complex charachters that echo our real life experiences. No excuses are given for actions taken as a child by Tobias Wolff. "The man can give no help to the boy" The narrative style of the novel works very well with the elements that we face inside the novel. This works because the Novel is not written in chronological order and the adult Wolff gives many statements telling us how these events have affected his life throughout his life. Also the way in which Wolff has spent time considering the different sections of his life to report on and what to call these sections has a great affect on the overall readability of this novel. This Boy's Life is a novel that leaves us with a sense of relief. Mainly relief that we don't have as many family problems as Wolff but also relief that now we know what not to do with our lives, and that we should be seen as we see ourselves and not to be seen as others want us to be. This boy's life is a very well crafted novel and I would seriously recommend it to anyone between the ages of ten and sixteen as it really touches the heart with the issues that it raises. ?? ?? ...read more.

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