This Boy's Life Critical Analysis

1961 words 8 pages
Critical Analysis- A Struggle with Identity
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 on uranium mines in Utah. They are short on money, a theme that continually comes up throughout the book, but full of hope and love for each other. Unfortunately, as they arrive in Utah, they discover the uranium resources have already been bled dry and they must go to Salt Lake
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Towards the end of the book, once his mother finally leaves Dwight, he breaks into Dwight's house and steals numerous hunting weapons and ammunition to sell them at a pawnshop in another city.
These brushes with breaking the law are accompanied by what sometimes seems to be a lack of concern for physical safety. In Salt Lake, Wolff remembers using his classmates as targets for archery practice at his catholic school and letting them do the same. He drives his stepfather's stolen car at breakneck speeds around hairpin curves, walks out on a branch over a ravine while intoxicated promptly breaking that branch and ending up at the bottom of the ravine, and even saws off his little finger in shop class while he was not paying attention.
After reading this list of attributes, one would think that Jack is a disturbed child with no good qualities. However, his portrayal of himself and his illness comes across as almost touching. The reader


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