This Boys Life Essays

Born to an abusive father and passive mother, Rosemary was bound to reflect some of her family’s past in her own life.While her father abused her mother and herself; her mother allowed this violence and didn’t respond to it.In the film, it was actually a few seconds before she changed her mind to allow him to keep the riffle.

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She constantly restrains herself from physically or verbally reprimanding her son, more apparently in the novel.

In the movie, though we see the actual situations where Rosemary does not set boundaries for Toby, in the novel her struggle is more obvious.

Some of this seems reaction against his wealthy, estranged father, now dead, about whom he feels "grief and rage, mostly rage." Most adults treat him shabbily--a problem accentuated when his mother links up with a man named Dwight, a Lawrence Welk freak who smells of turpentine and brutalizes Wolff into husking chestnuts until his fingers bleed.

He finds some relief in the Boy Scouts, which offers "the clean possibility of mastery"; in high school, he dreams of running away to Alaska, but instead he escapes to a prep school in Pennsylvania.

Many women say that they will be nothing like their own mother when they grow up.

As a response mothers often tell their daughters that they will in fact be a reflection of them, and will in fact end up with a man similar to their own father.Maternal Obligations - A Paper Written on Tobias Wolff's Memoir This Boy's Life Herbert Ward once said “Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.” In Tobias Wolff’s memoir, This Boy’s Life, Rosemary Wolff’s childhood causes her own parenting skills to suffer and reflect her past.This failure is much more evident in the novel than in the film.The worst of Dwight's violence is focussed on Tobie, just like Rosemary`s father was exceptionally cruel to her.Toby therefore had no choice but to remain helpless by Dwight's persistent authority over him.In the movie, however, the abuse is much more violent and physical than that portrayed in the novel.Perhaps this is for dramatic effect; however it does change the view of the dynamics between Dwight and Toby.Rosemary Wolff is portrayed as an important figure to her son Tobie, and has only good intentions for her him. Toby realizes this, and loves her in return."Everybody but my mother saw through me." However, her good intentions and love for her son do not make Rosemary a `proper` or `good` mother figure.Her attitude towards him distorts her logic, and because of this she makes judgments that are provoked by her emotional state, and creates misleading ideas that are damaging to Tobie, regardless of her true and good intentions.Wolff sets the tone right off the bat, as he and his mom, driving to Utah to strike it rich as uranium prospectors, watch a truck careen towards a fatal crash. Wolff recalls his early years in Florida, where he shoots arrows at friends and lies in the confessional.When he and his doting mom finally settle in Seattle, he becomes a petty delinquent, shoplifting, drinking, writing bad checks, breaking windows, scrawling obscenities on walls.

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