Bullet in the Brain by Tobias Wolff

1314 words 6 pages
Sagy Sheein

“Bullet in the Brain”
“Bullet in the Brain” is a short story written by Tobias Wolff. The story is about a book critic named Anders, while waiting in a long line at the bank he is the victim of an armed robbery and gets shot and killed. The story is divided in to two parts, and this division allows the reader to see a contrast between two parts of main character’s personality.
I want to argue in this essay that the combination of Anders love of words and negative past experiences are what led to his death, and demonstrate the contrast of Anders wisdom when he was younger ,and innocence when he was older, as a consequence of that combination.
In the first part of the story when Anders is waiting in line,
…show more content…

In the first part the reader gets to know Anders the book critic, His known for the “weary, elegant, savagery with which he dispatched almost everything he reviewed. ” he’s character is very cynical, sarcastic and arrogant. Through out the story Anders was sarcastic, cynical and criticizing everything, that was the cause of his death. In the beginning when he is waiting in line, in the bank, one of the tellers closes her position, Anders was listing to the woman in front of him complaining: “Oh that’s nice. One of them said, she turned to Anders and added, confident of his accord, “one of those little human touches that keep us coming back for more”. Anders had convinced his own towering hatred of the teller, but he immediately turned it on the presumptuous crybaby in front of him. ”Damned unfair” he said “tragic really if they are not chopping off the wrong leg or bombing your ancestral village they closing their position. She stood her ground. “I didn’t say it was tragic,” she said “I just think it’s a pretty lousy way to treat your customers”. “Unforgivable” Anders said. “Heaven will take note”.
Even though that Anders was upset from the position closing, he took his anger out on the lady in front of him by being sarcastic, cynical and arrogant. It’s ironic that Anders said “Heaven take note” and in the end he is the one that got shot.
We witness how the love of words get Anders to react in a careless way: “ Keep your big mouth shut!” the man with the