This Boy's Life: A Literary Analysis

1057 Words 5 Pages
Literary elements are the salt of literature. When used correctly, they bring out the flavor of a story, but when misused, they ruin the original creation. In This Boy’s Life: A Memoir, by Tobias Wolff, and In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez, literary elements are used to create delicious stories. This Boy’s Life: A Memoir chronicles the author’s childhood and adolescence in Seattle during the 1950s, which includes a broken home, lying, stealing, and cheating. In the Time of the Butterflies tells the story of the four Mirabal sisters in the Dominican Republic during the 1950-60s. All except the protagonist, Dedé, are involved in a revolution to oust a dictator, and as a result, all except Dedé are killed. By masterfully using literary elements such as characterization, setting, and voice, the authors of This Boy’s Life: A Memoir and In the Time of the Butterflies are able to convey themes of self-reinvention and eagerness to please, respectively. The themes of each text are able to come to life because of the use of such conventions. Tobias Wolff uses characterization in This Boy’s Life: A Memoir to convey a theme of self-reinvention. The book opens when a young Tobias and his mother are driving from …show more content…
She continues to live in the house she grew up in because she feels it is her duty to preserve her sisters’ memories. This is exemplified when Alvarez states, “There are three pictures of the girls...Dedé has placed a silk orchid in a vase on the little table below them,” (Alvarez 5-6). She takes such care of the house for she fears she will disappoint someone if she does not. It is now revealed that the theme of eagerness to please serves as Dedé’s greatest strength and greatest weakness. The setting is crucial to expressing this

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