Figurative Language In This Boy's Life

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Looking Ahead: Toby’s Dire Fate
If you had the ability to see your future, would you? While it may be impossible for us to foresee what is coming in our own lives, Tobias Wolff allows us to look ahead at what will become of our protagonist, Toby, is his 1989 memoir This Boy’s Life. He does so through subtle yet artfully crafted figurative language, abundant throughout the novel. “[...] a big truck came around the corner and shot past us into the next curve, its trailer shimmying wildly” (1). “[The salmon] were already dying. The change from salt to fresh water had turned their flesh rotten” (75). While these two uses of metaphorical language occur years and dozens of pages apart, they both paint a grim picture of what lies in store for Toby.
As Toby and his mother crossed the Continental Divide, likely one of many landmarks passed on the long journey from Florida to Utah, the car “boiled over again” (1). As the pair waited for the engine to cool, they heard the shrill wail of an airhorn from above. The sound neared, and eventually “a big truck came around the corner and shot past [Toby and his mother] into the next curve, its trailer shimmying wildly.” Not only does this statement allow us to picture what is happening to this truck and its driver, but a mere paragraph into the novel, Wolff is giving us an idea about what will become of …show more content…

My adamant answer is no. If Toby had been able to foresee the hardships that would occur in his life as a result of these two major changes in his life, his relocation and his mother’s remarriage, he would not have been able to retain the naive optimism that allowed him to get through these rough times. Life is full of bumps in the road, and we need to learn to embrace these ups and downs, to take them as they come. Toby is a testament to

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