Good Influences In This Boy's Life By Tobias Wolff

1318 Words6 Pages

The people you surround yourself with really do affect who you become as you grow up. From the things they say to the types of things they are interested in, most people will conform to the ways of their friends by just spending time with them. You may not think about it but when your friends show you something cool that they are interested in it can sway your feelings for whatever it is and make you more likely to be interested in the same thing. This influence can work in both good or bad ways. If your friends convince you to go to church with them that could be considered a good influence but if your friends convince you to steal from a grocery store that could be considered a bad influence. In This Boy’s Life, Tobias Wolff exonerates himself …show more content…

Throughout the book Wolff had many abusive father figures however by far the worst was Dwight. Dwight is forced into Wolff’s life by marrying his mother. Wolff’s mother married Dwight to keep Wolff happy since he acted that way even though he was forced to act that way by Dwight. One of the first things Dwight did to keep Wolff busy was assign large amounts of chores as well as make him join the boy scouts and take over the local paper route (95). Wolff says, “Some of the chores were reasonable, some unreasonable, some bizarre as the meanest whims of a gnome setting tasks to a treasure seeker” (96). Even Dwight’s kids thought the chores he had given Toby were unreasonable, so both Norma and Skipper let Dwight know they thought he was overdoing it (97). Beyond the chores Dwight had a tendency of verbally …show more content…

At one point Wolff gets in a fight with a kid from his school and when Dwight hears about this he is proud of him and even starts trying to teach him fighting moves (113). Another example of Dwight being a bad influence is when he ritualistically drives while being drunk. Wolff says, “Dwight came out of the tavern a long time after he went in, at least as long a time as we’d spent getting there from Seattle, and gunned the car out of the lot.” He also mentions “Dwight got in smelling of bourbon. My mother stayed outside. She said she wouldn’t get in unless Dwight gave her the keys” (89,135). Having habits like this can make kids like Toby think it is alright to do this. Throughout the story the main person Toby blames for his delinquencies is

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