Conflicting Effects Of Imagination In This Boy's Life By Tobias Wolff

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Conflicting Effects of Imagination in This Boy’s Life The human imagination is capable of changing people’s perspectives during trying times. In Tobias Wolff’s memoir, This Boy’s Life, this point is displayed in its protagonist, Jack Wolff. During his harshest moments, Jack harnesses his imagination to liberate himself from reality and give his actions meaning. When life turns for the worst on him, Jack relies on his imagination to put himself in a different situation. Because Jack lives a rough and impoverished life, he uses his imagination to help him mentally escape his harsh childhood and reinvent himself, but this unknowingly hurts him because of his glamorized perspective on life, showing the ambivalent consequences of a heavy dependence on the imagination. Jack utilizes his imagination to give his actions and life meaning. Late in the…show more content…
Jack communicates that he is a “straight-A student…, an Eagle Scout, and a powerful swimmer, and a boy of integrity” (213). All of these statements are false; Jack gets mostly C’s in school, doesn’t hold the ranking of Eagle Scout, his school doesn’t even have a swim team, and certainly someone who lies and writes his own letters of recommendations is not “a boy of integrity”. What’s worse, Jack believes in these false declarations, he says, “It was truth known only to me, but I believed in it more than I believed in the facts arrayed against it” (213). In the midst of lying, Jack relies on his imagination to give his life meaning. He knows that he isn’t amounting to much. He realizes he is making the wrong decisions. But, if he dwells too much on his past mistakes, he
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