Tobias Wolff’s “This Boy’s Life”

“This Boy’s Life” is an autobiographical story. The last one can serve as the best way to research Woff’s main periods of his biography and the ways of his outrageous individuality’s developing. This work describes the hard Toby’s childhood while living with his stepfather.The action takes place in 1957. His parents divorced. Toby with his mother moved a lot of times and lived in many states of America to run away from her cruel boyfriend.  Their way of life changed greatly when his mother married Dwight who disliked the boy and made everything to do his life terrible.To my mind, the global message of the novel “This Boy’s Life” is the thought that a person can triumph over all the hardships of his or her life no matter how difficult the situation is and to achieve his or her aim even when the people around him or her don’t believe in it. The surroundings of Toby seemed to absorb everybody who was inside it but he overcame this disaster successfully.The second important issue of the novel is describing the uneasy period of life in adolescence that every person has to pass. The author analyzes the teenage person’s behavior with a great attention and shows the relations between the person and people and events around him or her.  There is the idea that forming individuality in adolescence is an inevitable and serious period of life and it has to be accepted with concentration on the inner world of person itself. So, it is not accidental that the epigraph of the novel is the words that were said by O. Wilde: “The first duty in life is to assume a pose.  What the second is, no one has yet discovered.”This novel also reveals such burning problems of young people as emotional experience of parents’ divorce, living in incomplete families, difficulties in finding a common language with stepfathers or stepmothers, assault and battery in such families and as a result the appearing of juvenile delinquency.In my opinion, the main reasons for writing the novel “This Boy’s Life” were the personal ones. Wolf loved his parents very much and wanted to honor them by describing their characters in the novel and immortalizing them in this way. The reader feels his attitude towards his mother who became president of the League of Women Voters and father when he writes about them with strong feelings.His contrary attitude towards his stepfather Dwight that he was obviously keeping in his soul for many years also became the reason of writing the novel and to my mind this fact has the features of confess. It is hard for a person to endure violence and the fact that he or she is forced to live life that is disgusting. That’s why the sharp need of telling about it appears. Wolff’s father was also tended to negative short periods of equivocation, and was finally committed to an infirmary after a harsh psychological breakdown. Though, the story is an unusual autobiography. In most of them authors try to arose sympathy towards their lives while Wolff just states who he is as a matter of fact.The authors’ desire to turn public attention towards the problems of difficult age of young people, frequent cases of divorces at families, violence and juvenile delinquency appearing probably caused the writing of such novel that is full of social and psychological aspects.“This Boy’s Life” is written in first person. The writer is extremely forth coming and deep in thought. It’s comprehensible by the method he writes that he has had time to evaluate the state of affairs he’s writing about. He analyzes each circumstance as a stranger, rather than someone who’s lived through the practice. This stopped using too much sentiment from flooding the book. This permitted the writer to be very truthful about himself. He appreciates his disadvantages and his naivety the approach as grown person would. It is significant that the Tobias Wolff can write down sincerely for the reason that it helps him track his development as a person.The novelist usually writes in short sentences, using the smallest amount of expressions to state his position. This forces the reader to pay attention when he formulates a point.So, Tobias Wolff writes in a language that is emotional without decoration, describes his characters with precise features and completely inclined tones and produces tension around usual actions, establishing the profound secrecy within them. For example, the silent scene when Toby and Dwight exchange glances while watching the TV program about the fourteen year old girl who killed the lover of her mother can’t leave the reader indifferent.The narrator achieves his aim that includes revealing the profound internal world of his protagonist and bright description of the others characters very successful.“This Boy’s Life” reads and amuses as simply as a work of fiction. Wolff’s writing and describing the time are outstanding, as are his representation of those community that lived in the fifties years.In spite of this amusing feature the author reveals the inner world of the protagonist that is full of dramatic feelings and experience that skillfully touch the readers on the raw. For example, when his mother says that she loves Toby, he answers that if she really loved him, she wouldn’t divorce.Wolff also truthfully illustrates Toby’s emotion when he misses his father greatly. He uses metaphor when the protagonist speaks about his father: the boy imagined him as a duke who lived somewhere at the other end of the world. Every time when Toby was walking he was looking at citizens who went to meet him and saw in his mind’s eye that his father was one of them.Individuality is a subject that the greater part of the characters in the work of fiction struggle with. Toby is in no way given an occasion to realize who is. His existence is continually in disturbance, making it tremendously tricky for him to take a step back and observe himself. The boy and Rosemary are all the time in motion that is joined with this struggle. As soon as they settle down, they turn to be in the atmosphere that damages Toby’s growth. The boy is found with characters that effort to smash his self-assurance and self-importance, thereby making it impracticable for Toby to recognize himself actually.Toby always efforts between who he believes he is and who he desires to be. Neither of these evaluations is truthful. Toby isn’t as awful as he is sure he is, nor is he as great as he desires to be.Toby’s words about his misdeeds while arguing with his mother are also very penetrating and reveal his complicated inner world. The boy says that he hates himself for doing such things and that he doesn’t understand why he does them.Toby wishes to be a fine person, nevertheless he doesn’t always makes out how to do something according to this wish. The element of the motives for this is that he has diminutive mature management. He feels affection for his mother, but as he becomes elder he understands that she’s taken care of him more like a comrade than a son. She has not made his education her top main concern, which has permitted him to run wild and fall under some harmful authorities.Toby’s need for male role models puzzles his self-development too.The author uses exact and clever comparisons that described his uneasy period of life and developing individuality. For example, he writes that saying obscenity among boys was just a formality as sprinkling holly water in church. The comparison of Toby’s alienation in society where he was forced to live to the chicken which has black color of feathers impresses. The fact is that the others chickens peck him to death.Wolff enthralls with the contrast between fantasy and reality, possibly because of his own impressive trickery and possibly thanks to his father, a conman who served his sentence in penitentiary for falsifying cheques.In conclusion it can be said that Tobias Wolff skillfully showed the internal and external conflicts of the novel and one of the main thought in this work is:”These shows instructed us further in the faith that we were already beginning to hold: that victims are contemptible no matter how much people pretend otherwise; that it is more fun to be inside than outside, to be arrogant than to be kind, to be with a crowd than to be alone.”