Analysis Of 'Bullet In The Brain' By Tobias Wolff
Start writing a post
Entertainment

Analysis Of 'Bullet In The Brain' By Tobias Wolff

What we can learn from Anders and his daring antics at a local bank.

26154
Analysis Of 'Bullet In The Brain' By Tobias Wolff
trishandchips1 on Instagram

Anders is a unique character that Tobias Wolff had thought would change the way we see life in the twentieth century. The struggles of growing up, the change in attitude, and living in a world of imperfect human beings are all apparent in Anders. Anders is quite sarcastic, funny, and at one point, very nostalgic of his childhood; An exaggerated character, book critic, and image of the twentieth century.

Anders’s sarcasm is the most apparent of his traits in "Bullet in the Brain." From the moment Anders walks into the bank to his untimely death, Anders is harshly criticizing everything that is going on in the bank like a book. He first attacks a bank teller that closed his post, calling the action “Tragic." Then, as a robbery is occurring, Anders’s sarcasm comes to life. He treats it like a show, telling a women “Oh, Bravo” and felt that it was a “Great Script.” He eventually gets into an altercation with one of the robbers. Anders takes the robbers comment of “Bright Boy” as another criticising point and almost laughs at the fact that the quote came “Right out of ‘The Killers’.” The finishing touch to the sarcastic sandwich made by Anders was his reaction to the robber saying “Capiche”, a hardy laugh. It was surprising how he reacted the way he did. It was also surprising that he meant it. However, it is important that Anders reacted this way, as it leads into his nostalgic childhood.

Anders’s nostalgia of his past is probably the most important aspect of ‘Bullet in the Brain’. Anders is dead, however, we get a look into his mind and what he “Remembered”. We learned that most of what Anders remembers is that of childhood, and not of adulthood. He didn’t remember “Sherry”, his love, or his wife He didn’t remember “Professor Josephs” and his teachings on “Athenian prisoners”. He surprisingly did not remember his daughter either, a “sullen professor of economics at Dartmouth”. What he did remember was a childhood baseball game, in the heat of summer, and overhearing his friend Coyle's cousin saying that shortstop is “the best position they is." What intrigues Anders in this statement is the Coyle's cousin’s vernacular of ‘they is.' He is somehow entranced by the two words. It is an art he has never been familiar with. A strange new way of speaking, but an acceptable one to that of children. That sort of acceptance in childhood, playground fun, brotherhood, the ‘they is’ in life, is what Anders has lost as he grew up. Life became dull to him. The “hall of commerce”, robbery, and his adulthood was just another book to criticize. To Anders, nothing in the world could beat his childhood days.

Anders has changed throughout the entire short story as the robbery ensues and the bullet is shot into Anders’s brain. Anders in the beginning simply couldn’t care enough to realize the seriousness of the robbery of a bank. Anders being shot in the head had brought him back to what really mattered to him, and that was his childhood. As the bullet is traveling through his brain at “900 feet per second”, all he can remember was a summer moment during his childhood baseball days. Anders at the moment realizes that although he is well into his adulthood, he can somehow “still make time”. Anders can still savor the happiness and elation of his childhood, and bring back the ‘they is’ in his life.

Anders has become an amazing character and image of adulthood that Tobias Wolff has carefully crafted. Anders variations of sarcasm, nostalgia, and comedy have turned him from book critic to everyday adult. The irony of murder being the only way for Anders to understand life is what makes this story so unique. ‘The Bullet in the Brain’ will always be a classic with a character like Anders.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Ready or not, here come the holidays, friends, and if you're as obsessed with the spirit of the season as I am, you are much more ready than not. Thanks to Hallmark Channel's Monopoly game making it possible to celebrate all year long, you can be ready now, too!

Keep Reading... Show less
Stephanie Tango

The pandemic has been in our world for more than half of 2020 and people are still acting stupid. If anything, they're getting stupider. They think that the virus is gone. It's not. Stop going to frat parties. Stop trying to go places without a mask. I wish things were normal, too. They're not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Kai Parlett

In the summer of 2017, 20 type 1 diabetics completed a 10-week 4,000+ mile bike ride from New York to California. They biked against the advice of doctors, family, and friends. Many were skeptical that people with diabetes could complete such a physically challenging trip without putting themselves in danger due to their disease.

Keep Reading... Show less

That's right, you heard that correctly: Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich called off their engagement after the couple originally announced their engagement in July after beginning to date in March.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

Demi Lovato's Called-Off Engagement Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Taking Our Time In Relationships

While this may be another hardship she sadly has to endure, I know she will find a way to inspire and help others through it.

6495

I am heartbroken.

Keep Reading... Show less

We all love a good ol' sappy Christmas movie and this year, the Hallmark Channel is finally giving us what we want: diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Seasonal Depression Is Real And It Deserves Our Attention

Check in on your friends throughout the winter season, it can be brutal.

483

As we transition seasons and enter the last few months of the year, some are feeling grand about this natural shift. But that doesn't mean everyone is thrilled that the weather is cooling down — it's important to extend your knowledge to the phenomenon that is seasonal depression.

The lack of sunlight during the later seasons of the year, beginning with autumn, triggers a state of depression for about 15% of the population. This results in the lack of serotonin provided by the sun, causing it to be hard for some to do a lot of the things that would normally be deemed simple tasks to do during the earlier times in the year like getting out of bed, showering, going to work/school, etc. A major difference is an intense need for sleep similar to a hibernation effect.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

September Is Suicide Awareness Month, But Mental H​ealth Is An Everyday Discussion

Mental illnesses deserve our attention 365 days a year.

1357

September is Suicide Awareness Month, providing an opportunity to raise awareness, further educate yourself, and remember the reality that mental illnesses present. Yet it's critical to understand that suicide awareness is not an annual Instagram hashtag to use and forget. Actively advocating for mental health resources, progress in education, and a broken stigma is an everyday ask — an activity that we can each participate in.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments