The Importance Of Life In A Boarding School

Decent Essays

Boarding school compares to an exclusive club as there is a huge advantage of attending boarding school for students can garner social and cultural capital. Being in a boarding school, in of itself, is a privilege. However, the students themselves in Old School see privilege tied strictly to socioeconomic background. Nonetheless, students divide themselves between the disadvantaged and privileged, while others put on a facade to appear more wealthy. The book tells the story of an unnamed narrator, most likely Tobias Wolff himself, who attends a pretentious male boarding school during the 1960s. Therefore, the narrator, a competitive writer, competes with other boys alike to gain the attention of famous authors and poets like Ernest Hemingway and Robert Frost. While social pressures force students to worry with their social status, the narrator becomes fixated on writing stories that are utopian in nature so not to reveal his mundane and blue collared lifestyle. Privileged students from upper class backgrounds experience the utmost respect of the school and simultaneously never have to worry about an empty future. Specifically, Jeff Purcell is one of the characters in the novel who comes from a long line of privileged heritage and is proud, stubborn, and judgmental of every other student. In the opening of the novel, the narrator notes that class is “a depth of ease in certain boys, their innate affable assurance that they would not have to struggle for a place in the world,

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