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This Boy's Life Essay

676 words - 3 pages

“It is the ability to dream that saves Jack and Rosemary in the end. To what extent do you agree?”
Essay written by Ruby Griffith

In the memoir by Tobias Wolff ‘This Boy’s Life’, the main protagonist Jack, who is Tobias Wolff himself and his mother Rosemary both had vivid dreams and personal motivations in their lives. Jack as a child had huge desires to transform himself into the boy he fantasized about being to create stability in such an unstable life and to suppress his feelings of guilt and unworthiness. Rosemary as a mother was fiercely independent and never lost hope that her and her son’s situation would improve. In the end both Jack and Rosemary’s ability to dream overcame situations they had been faced with and ended up saving them.

During Wolff’s childhood, he masked his true self in what he desired to be. “The first duty is to assume a pose. What the second is, no one has yet ...view middle of the document...

Rosemary always pictured that everything will wok out better in the end. In Wolff’s memoir however, things don’t exactly work out all that well when Rosemary’s hopes and expectations of Dwight turns out to be a terrible mistake, just like all her other old abusive ex-lovers. Rosemary’s determined nature and open mind allow her to have dreams of a better life elsewhere, which were thoughts that were too familiar to her. Dwight was nothing but an abusive, selfish man with no heart and did everything to ruin Jack’s happiness and force Rosemary to stay by his side. Dwight’s plan to keep Rosemary close never worked out as Rosemary could see right through his scheme and decided this wasn't the life for her or Jack.

Jack constantly struggled with his rebellious behaviour at Concrete High and when the opportunity came to attend Hill, he took it as he dreamed of being the outstanding student and scout leader he had described himself as over a phone call to his older brother Geoffrey. As Jack beings his journey to start hill he promises himself he will live up to his expectations and become the boy he has always fantasized about being. Jack is overwhelmed with a sense of relief that he is able to leave Chinook and all that was in that place. Jack had literally felt like he had been saved.

Rosemary on the other hand was still under Dwight’s power, even when she thought she had escaped. Dwight had followed Rosemary to her work in Washington and tried to strangle her. At that moment Rosemary’s thoughts would have been flooded by the fact that this man may end her life and steal away her happiness, However Dwight was later arrested and would not be able to torture Rosemary again. Rosemary’s faith was restored and her hopes and dreams to move on from her past were stronger than ever.

Both Jack and Rosemary were extremely vivid dreamers. Rosemary would look ahead and envision a positive future and Jack would live in a fantasy if the boy he wished he would become. Through the hard times this mother and son duo faced they were always able to think ahead of the current situation and get out on the other side feeling a sense of relief and hopefulness.


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