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Effect of Trauma on a Child in A Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff Essay

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When a child experiences trauma, it stays with them for the rest of their life. When a child experiences abuse, one of the highest forms of trauma, they can do little to stop it from affecting everything they do. Tobias Wolff’s memoir, This Boy’s Life, Illustrates this. While it can be said that Rosemary, the mother of Jack, was in many ways responsible for his life, she herself can not solely be blamed. The trauma and abuse she experienced as a child contributed greatly to her choices, and her son’s life. This shows that adversity in Rosemary’s life lead to her not being able to act normally, and this caused the life of her son. Jack lead a life that would not make most envy him. He suffered from many traumatic events, most of these can…show more content…
This constant presence of a man who abused him and his mother can only add to the grief which the repeated trauma experienced by Jack caused. The relief Jack must have felt when he watched Roy pack his trunk and leave was only to be short lives as his moved onto another abusive man. His mother’s next man is the one seen for most of the book. His name is Dwight. They meet in Seattle were Jack and his mother move to. Dwight seems at first to be a decent enough guy. He invited Rosemary and Jack to visit his family for Thanksgiving and shows her around the town. Dwight convinces Rosemary to let Jack go and live with him and if all goes well she will join him later. On the car ride there Jack gets a taste of what is to come. Dwight drives drunk, swerves to scare Jack, and tells him how he is in for a drastic change. While living with Dwight he is treated very poorly. Dwight is abusive and alcoholic. He forces Jack to do useless task and does into take care of him well. When Jack visits his mother, Dwight makes sure they are never alone together so Jack can’t tell her how life really is. When she moves in and realises how life is there, she does little to change it. The three men his mother chooses impact Jack’s life greatly, mostly in a negative way. All three are abusive, and treat him badly. They all also clearly have some sort of psychological problem. However, the most common theme shared by all, ih how similar they are to Rosemary’s father. Everyman she goes after
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