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This Boy's Life Essay

837 words - 4 pages

Essay: This Boy's Life While reminiscing in their pasts, many Americans reflect on their childhood as a bad experience. In the novel This Boy's Life, Toby Wolff is a young man who had been steered in the wrong direction his entire life. Because of his horrific family life experiences, and his friends who had a negative influence upon him, Toby was headed down the wrong path. Toby has a moral conscience, yet because of his situation, and his negative family and social life, he neglects to rely upon it in multiple circumstances.Although Toby behaves immorally, and engages in illegal activities, he has and shows, his moral beliefs and values. At the beginning of the story, Toby finds himself ...view middle of the document...

The boys drank, smoked, and formed relationships with "easy" girls. Two of these attributes Toby mirrored: drinking and smoking. Going with "easy" girls was one that Toby neglected to follow because of his morals. "When they found a new girl, they shared her...they tried to fix me up with some of them, but I always backed out. I didn't know what these girls expected; I did know I was sure to disappoint them. Their availability unmanned me. And I didn't want it to be like that, squalid and public, with a stranger. I wanted it to be with the girl I loved" (page187). In the above evidence, Toby displays his concept of morals. While his friends acted against common values, Toby showed strength in not caving into peer pressures. Overall, in multiple circumstances, Toby displays that he does indeed have moral values, and a conscience.Even though Toby has moral instincts, for unknown reasons he acts despite them. In the following passage, Toby relays to the reader that he has a lack of self-discipline, by shooting a squirrel, although he understood that it was wrong. "...my little store of self control was exhausted, I had to shoot...finally it (the squirrel) stopped for a moment and I fired...we buried it behind our...

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