Tbl Struggle for Identity

Set in America, during the turbulent times of the end of the Californian Gold Rush which lead to a time of economic prosperity after World War II. Tobias Wolff opens his memoir in 1955, where he gives readers an insight into the protagonist, Jack (Tobias) Wolff's life challenges between the age of ten to sixteen. Through the protagonist, and the characters close to him, the author explores the struggle to find and forge an identity in a harsh environment, such as Chinook. Initially, the readers are drawn to the challenges that Jack's mum, Rosemary, faces as she is constantly drawn to women who mistreat her. The memoir also demonstrates how difficult it was for Jack to create his own identity not only to the abuse and loneliness that he faced in his own home. However, finding an identity in a harsh environment is not impossible as Jack could have created an identity if he wasn’t a convulsive liar. The protagonist's teen years were made even more challenging due to the culture he grew up in which included the rebellious teen culture of the early 1960's.

Rosemary constantly faces the challenge to forge an identity in the rough surroundings she is situated in. Rosemary is a strong minded and loyal mother who wants the best for her son, Jack, which results in them leaving their dire past to find uranium. She sets out in search for a better future which includes a stable relationship and financial security but is constantly attracted to abusive men, such as Dwight and Roy.