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This Boy's Life

Uploaded by cognetto on Nov 05, 2001

Looking deeper into the story This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff, we can see the impact of growing up with one parent and the effects of not having a father. Growing up without a father can cause several behavioral problems and have a long-term impact on a child’s life. In my essay I will look into the life of Tobias Wolff and point out numerous behavioral problems that may have arouse from his lack of a father.

At age ten, Tobias moved with his mother Rosemary to escape her boyfriend and attempt to get rich on uranium, from that age Tobias was left without a father. Tobias was to enter into puberty, the physical maturity of a boy to a man, without a father to talk to. This led him to an understanding of women that came from his friends and had no true basis or regard for the way a man should treat a woman. This point is relevant on page 44, where Tobias sends letters of his love to Annette with content of “Inappropriate settlements and declarations.”

I believe that Tobias lack of a father figure also resulted in him having a lack of discipline. This lack of discipline is extremely evident when we look at his performances during and after school. I think that had Tobias had a father figure he would not have partook in many of the delinquencies he performed in with his friends.

Not to be overlooked is his constant want to “reinvent” himself. Without a father figure to mold his son and teach him as a man, we can see that Tobias was in constant thought about who he really was, and most of the time who he wanted to be.

Finally I would like to talk about the role of Dwight in his life. Although Dwight, in my opinion, meant well in disciplining Tobias I feel that Dwight had a contrary effect on Tobias’ life. As Dwight attempted to be a father figure for Tobias, and instill discipline in him, Dwight seemed to be pushing him away more and more, instead of embracing him. This tended to drive Tobias toward acts of delinquency. This is best displayed when we note Tobias’ paper route. Although the paper route was a good idea, since all children should learn the value of money, it had a negative effect because it showed no reward for Tobias (when Tobias wanted...

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Uploaded by:   cognetto

Date:   11/05/2001

Category:   Literature

Length:   2 pages (473 words)

Views:   3775

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