Identity In This Boy's Life

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It is simply human nature to want more than one has. Individuals often dream about acquiring more money, friends, or a better job during their lifetime, especially during hardships. To illustrate, in the memoir, This Boy’s Life, by Tobias Wolff, Wolff moves to Washington state with his mother in hopes of finding a better life. He explains about the time in his childhood where he longs to be like other people and imagines what it would be like if he were in another place. Tobias longs to acquire different personality traits along with other imagined personalities. Moreover, as described in This Boy’s Life, Wolff’s sense of fantasy saves him from his reality even if it is for only a short while.
To begin, Wolff introduces a new identity for
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Salinger, Holden Caulfield is a troubled teenager who is kicked out of school and runs away home. Holden is a teenager who fails out of boarding school and ends up in a mental hospital. He tells the doctor about his trip to New York City, how fake people are, and how he loves lying. He tells the doctor how he would have fought a kid back at school if he was not so yellow. In the 1950’s, yellow was a term to describe someone why is shy and cowardly. Holden describes himself as shy and “yellow” when it comes to confronting people or doing anything social in general. He fantasizes about a situation where he is stronger, more confident and intimidating than he actually is. Holden remembers the event of someone stealing his gloves. He imagines what he would have done to the person who stole them by “going down to the crooks room and [saying] Okay. How ‘bout handing over those gloves”(Salinger 88)? He further explains that the kid would act innocent until Holden scares him into giving him the gloves. Holden does not have the confidence or boldness to confront the person who stole his gloves, no matter how mad he is. Holden fantasizes about this encounter because he, like Jack, is too timid to stand up for himself or talk to other people and therefore turns to fantasy to be the person he wants to
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