It is soon made apparent o the audience that as a coping mechanism in conjunction with his desire to reinvent his identity, a theme posed throughout the narrative, Jacks only means of escape is his wild and vivid imagination. As a result Jack became overcome by his fantasies and stories so much that even he began to believe them as he continuously repudiates his responsibilities “l had become convinced of my own innocence”. Characters such Rosemary, the antagonistic Dwight and Roy alongside miner characters of Marina, Silver and Taylor often more than not hamper his ambition to be different “l was not the young antenna pretended to be”.
As Victor Frankly states, ‘When we can no longer change the situation we are forced to change ourselves. ” When one is continuously faced with unrelenting barriers growing up they may be forced to take on a different persona in order to assist in the reinvention of their identity. Such is seen to be the case in this poignant yet reflective retrospective. In the beginning the audience is immediately drawn to Jacks own dreams of transformation and freedom however by being influenced by his “mothers freedom.
Her dream of transformation”, it roadblock his ambition to reinvent himself as Jack is continuously troubled by fits of unworthiness and constant speculation that his identity is a transparent facade’. Jack constantly yearns to become the boy his imagination shows himself to be – a independent, strong and mature young man “I could introduce myself to be a scholar/athlete” and to be apart of a high class life where he would never have to work for anything again “I wanted it with all the feverish, disabling hunger of first love, a life with money’.
Jacks actions of changing his name from Tibias to Jack is symbolic of his attempts in his ambition to reinvent himself during his quest for self identification “l decided to call myself Jack, after, Jack London”. The cultural nuances of the 1 ass’s American society is evident as the society is dominated by a patriarchal system which meant Jack was somewhat of a misfit because his mother was unmarried for extended periods of time leaving Rosemary outside of the social convention, therefore fuelling Jacks dream of living the American dream by belonging to a conventional family and his desire for a new and better life.
Referring back to the beginning of the memoir it shows a good illustration bout how Jack feared Other peoples perceptions of his true self. The fact that Wolff and his two friends, Taylor and Silver were raised without true father figures in their lives played a major role in the behavior and character of these three young ‘men’ “we were all raised by our mothers”. Through their double consciousness, the boys came to realize their weaknesses.
In an effort to hide their weaknesses, they participated in deviant behavior in order to quench their thirst for power and strength but despite their male bravado, they are ‘claimed by uncrosses’ “one look was enough to see he was everything we were no? ‘. Tibias Wolfs intentions of writing such a powerful memoir were to find how he became a man today, and as a healing tool for him to finally let go as he conveyed the recollections of his adolescences and the pain he felt as a child.
The absence of a father figure in the lives of Jack, Taylor and Silver had a critical effect on their emotional health. Taylor father never returned home from Korea, Silvers father left his mother and remarried and Jacks father lived in Connecticut essentially erasing Jack’s own existence from his memory “l made excuses for him long after should have now better”. A boy learns a lot from just being around his father. He learns what a man is and how they should act, whether it’s good or bad. These three boys never had that experience from a father on a regular basis.
Everything that they learned at home, they learned from their mothers. Hence the feelings of inferiority Jack felt as the idea of someone seeing through his facade made him anxious because not even Jack himself could put into action the facade he tried to make others believe, ‘to seek status seemed the most natural think in the world to me”. One person who could see through Jacks aced was Marina and Jack was made conscious of her ability to do so. There was nothing ‘mysterious’ or ‘instinctive’ about their dislike for one another.
Jack simply possessed a certain hatred towards her because he resented the fact that she knew of his weaknesses. Tibias Wolff scribes the piece as a catharsis in an attempt to alleviate him of his psychological discomforts from his childhood and assess his indiscretions by simply writing the memoir. Jack continually struggles to find and reinvent his identity and throughout the depressing recollection of his younger years it s strikingly clear that his relationship he has with his mother played a major role in Jacks attempt of reinvention.