It Is Difficult for the Reader to Feel Much Affection for the Protagonist in Wolff’s Memoir. Do You Agree?

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Tobias Wolff’s memoir, “This Boy’s Life”, explores the concepts of self-discovery and truth. It focuses on the journey of the protagonist, Jack, as he undergoes many different poses and transformations. Throughout this transition, audiences may have different feelings for the character .There are times within the memoir where readers struggle to feel much affection for Jack as a result of his inability to lean and his characteristic to be easily influenced by his delinquent friends. However, there are also moments where it’s difficult not to feel sympathetic for the vibrant protagonist who refuses to surrender his belief in himself and his future. In addition, readers also feel pity and affection towards Jack as he deals with neglect and domestic violence from cruel and corrupt Dwight. Wolff explores the idea that it is both external and internal factors that shape us as an individual. Jack’s childhood is riddled with violence, alcohol abuse, criminal activity and emotional neglect. He feels he must accept responsibility even for situations that he could not have controlled which elicits pity and affection from the audience. At heart, Jack is kind, caring and very compassionate to his mother. His relationship with her is intimate and it is not unusual for him to sometimes act as her parent, comforting her and “soothing her” after her date with Gil. In this way, Jack is more mature than most and has to grow up faster even though he could not control the events. Another event out of his hand is his father’s abandonment of the family. He therefore adopts the role his father has left him and wants to provide for his mother. The lack of a father-figure meant that Jack had to create one “out of dreams and memories”. This further highlights his neglect and isolation which evokes fondness for Jack as he is only a child, but has to deal with more than what people have to

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