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Characters in This Boy’s Life Essay

Each character in This Boy’s Life demonstrates the struggle to find a sense of identity.’ Discuss.

Young people are most often guided by their parents and guardians of what they should or shouldn’t do. However, some unfortunate ones are left alone to find their own paths. In their search of making their own identity, some young people choose to fight against all obstacles to reach goals that will lead to a successful fortune, while some will walk an uneasy way and repeat themselves in the misery of self-destructiveness and self-sabotaging behaviors. In Tobias Wolff’s memoir This Boy’s Life, the author presents a life that is built up on continuous self-destructive decisions, making himself his own worst enemy and causing all kinds of situations which he hopes to change and evolve into a better self, only to once again find him fallen into the very trap set up by no one but himself.

Some of Toby’s situations is due to his background. He was raised by a single divorced mother, Rosemary, and her failing to take a father’s place to become a powerful guardian to correct and care for Toby’s early mischievous ways. Rosemary is a victim of domestic violence herself. Jack and Rosemary are constantly on the move, which adds to this struggle. When they do settle down, they choose environments that are a disaster. Toby is placed with characters that work to break his self-confidence and pride, therefore making it impossible for Toby to really identify himself.

Revision for Romeo and Juliet
Year 10 English Exam
Friday 8th June, 9.00am to 11.10am
2 hours writing time, with an additional 10 minutes reading time. Two Sections:
Section A: Text Response Essay
Section B: Persuasive Language Analysis


Revise the key characters and key themes in Romeo and Juliet: Reread both the synopsis of the play and some of the most important scenes in the play. Create a mindmap for each of the major themes: Love, Hate and Fate. Create brief character profiles for each of the major characters. Create (and try to memorise) a list of at least 20 key quotes. Revise how to write a text response essay.

Complete a text response essay on a practice question.

“Poor sacrifices of your enmity.” (V.iii.303) ‘Romeo and Juliet explores the consequences of blinding hatred.’ Discuss. ‘Romeo and Juliet: the greatest love story ever told’. What does Shakespeare’s play tell us about the nature and power of love? ‘Romeo and Juliet are both victims of fate, having little control over their destiny.’ Do you agree? Romeo and Juliet is a play more about hate than love. Discuss.


Revise your knowledge of the key persuasive language techniques using your flash cards. Complete a practice persuasive language analysis task. (See me for a newspaper article.)

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