Analysis Of 'Bullet In The Brain' By Tobias Wolff

Analysis Of 'Bullet In The Brain' By Tobias Wolff

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

Cover Image Credit: trishandchips1 on Instagram

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.
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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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