Chinook Character Analysis

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Tobias Wolff recalls Dwight’s’ destructive and violent nature and from the beginning of his time in Chinook, Jack is abused by him. What gets him through the harshness of Dwight is the unconditional love for his mother Rosemary. Rosemary is the one who gives him strength to try and build a relationship with Dwight while trying to live the ‘ideal’ childhood. Rosemary is always in the memoir and this is as much a story of her and a reflection on her influences in Jacks life. This love allows Jack to explore himself and face the task of growing up and finding his identity. The unconditional love that rosemary provides Jack with the support he so desperately needs. In many situations, Jack finds himself alone with nobody to help him. This leads…show more content…
What keeps rosemary from leaving Dwight is the fact that she still has Jack. When the opportunity of Jack moving to Paris with family presents itself, the chance for Jack to move and Rosemary to make her escape also presents itself. Even though this could be a new beginning for Rosemary she only wants what is best for Jack, she lets him make up his mind and doesn’t push him into decisions he will regret for her own advantageous situation. Given that Dwight wants nothing more for Jack to go, she stands up to him and tells him it’s not his choice to make and that the decision rests solely on Jacks shoulders. “The human heart is a dark place” This references to Rosemary and her silence being due to a part of her wanting solitary freedom and having no ‘weight’ pulling her down. Perhaps for her, Toby’s departure could mean an escape from a violent and abusive man she does not love. When reflecting back, Wolff gives the cruel nature of Dwight an image through his ‘Flaring nostrils’. Jack understands that from the very first day that Dwight does not want Jack in his life and will do anything to remove him. Dwight’s abusive nature takes the childhood away from Jack that he was never able to get back. The scene of Dwight killing the beaver and letting the blood run down onto his shoe can symbolize how Jacks childhood has been stained by Dwight and his inner child…show more content…
The constant lying to himself and mixed beliefs of what it is to be accepted plague his mind. Jacks identity is something even he struggles to work out. After changing his name to Jack after Adventurer Jack London, He feels that the new name will “charge him with the idea [Jack has of him]”. Part of the reason Tobias changes his name had to do with sharing his name with a girl. Feeling that this could be used against him in a way that he isn’t masculine also gives reason behind the changing of the name. Looking for the acceptance of his peers, Jack becomes someone who he isn’t. Jack is largely influenced to belong due to his need to “Belong to a conventional family”. He is willing to try putting up with Dwight to achieve this not only for himself, but for Rosemary too. What is easy to see is that Rosemary’s unconditional love is what gets Jack through what can be seen as the toughest and most abusive time in his childhood. It is with this support that Jack is able to find who he is and learn more about himself. Wolff’s memoir shows the importance of his Mother and the effect she had on pushing Jack and being there for him when she was needed. For what can be concluded is that there is nothing more powerful than a mothers
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