This Boy's Life Character Analysis

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A lack of a strong father figure can have a dynamic effect on a child's life because the child has one less person to look up to and one less person to discipline them. This is particularly the case in This Boy’s Life a memoir by Tobias Wolff, where he recalls his adolescent life without a strong father figure. In his case, he eventually does get a father figure, Dwight, a man with a drinking problem and an obsession for hunting. Throughout the memoir, Jack struggles without a father, he is constantly in trouble and goes undisciplined, and when Dwight comes into his life, he is abusive, and he makes Jack obsessed with running away. Jack’s lack of a strong father figure makes him rebellious. Without a father figure in his life, Jack is…show more content…
Dwight makes Jack husk Chesnut’s hours at a time, and when he is done, Jack sees all of his work goes to waste, as Dwight forgets about them and they rot in the attic. Also, Dwight makes Jack take up a newspaper job and when Jack tries to put the money he had earned towards his scholarship to a boarding school, all of his hard earned money is gone. It is clear that Dwight is not a strong father figure to Jack as his abuse gives Jack the revolutionary idea of running away to Alaska.“Eighty dollars seemed like a lot of money appeared to be a lot of money, more than enough for my purpose, which was to run away to Alaska.” (Wolff 155) Here Jack plans on running away to Alaska and living off of the $80 from his paper route. This statement makes Jack's feelings shine through, as he is willing to live off such a small sum of money in an extremely isolated place to escape Dwight’s grasp and abusive behavior and once again shows off Jack’s rebellious streak. However, this isn’t the only time that Jack threatens to run away because of Dwight’s lack of father-like qualities; Jack also has a plan for escape when he is at the amusement park, on a yearly scouting trip. He plans on leaving the park with Arthur and not coming out to the parking lot where Dwight would be waiting. “This year he would have a long
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