This Boy's Life

“Toby’s unsparing self-portrait shatters the image of childhood as an innocent child time”

The influence of adult figures in Toby’s (Jack) life plays an important factor contributing to his

childhood. Toby is raised up around awful adult role models that influence Toby in negative ways. At a

young age he is taught that it is okay to tell petty little lies from his mother, Rosemary, when he

notices that she lied about her typing speed to get work. Since he sees his mother doing it he himself

thinks it’s okay to lie about little things, which then becomes an often thing for him to do. Since the

day his father walked out on him and his mother, Toby has lacked a father figure who was supposed

to make his childhood the best moments of his life. Toby didn’t have that. Instead he was brought up

around abusive and brutal father figures such as Roy and Dwight, who both had an act for being

mentally and physically abusive. Not only were they abusive but they would go to great lengths to try

and ruin the lives of both Toby and his mothers. Roy introduced Jack to duplicitous and deceiving

activities such as stalking Rosemary when she was finished with work. “Roy acted as if this was a

game, I knew it wasn’t a game, but I didn’t know what it was” Since his father left, his mother

frequently went out with abusive and dominant men and since her father was an abusive man himself

she didn’t believe in discipline. As Toby lacked a father figure he resulted to acting out and behaving

badly to gain the attention of adult figures and feel as if they actually care about him for once. At a

young age Toby was introduced to such horrific behaviour from men who set a terrible example of

what Toby could be when he grew up. They introduced him to lying, stalking and abusive

relationships between a man and a woman. His childhood was shattered when it was depicted to him

that this is what it is like to grow up. He was...