Analysis of Bullet in the Brain

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The short story Bullet in the Brain by Tobias Wolff is about a man named Anders who is shot in the head during a bank robbery. The story is told from an omniscient narrator’s point of view and uses flashbacks to show important moments in Anders’ life. Initially, Anders is portrayed as a rude and sarcastic man who criticizes the bank robbers for being predictable. After he is shot, the narrator lists the things he did not remember, which is just as telling about his personality as the things he did remember. Tobias Wolff uses this technique to highlight the importance of both memory and forgetfulness in shaping a person’s identity.

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The short story “Bullet in the Brain” is written by Tobias Wolff. The story takes place in a bank, where we meet the main character Anders. We see the incident from an omniscient narrator’s point of view. The short story is told in chronological order with flashback. We meet Anders in the beginning of the text as a rude and sarcastic man, who has the need to be sarcastic towards a strange woman. When Anders gets shot in the head, the first thing the narrator tells the reader is the things, which did not pass before his eyes.

What we hear about here is things he has experienced in his adult life. The narrator returns to Anders real thoughts, and takes the reader back in time to his childhood. In the last part we once again return to the present moment. Anders critiques the bank robbers, as he would criticize one of the books. For example you can tell he is criticizing them, when he says: “ Great script, eh? The stern, brass-knuckled poetry of the dangerous classes” He finds these bank robbers to be predictable in their actions, and he cannot take them seriously. Did you hear that? ” Anders said. “Bright boy” Right out of “The Killers”. Tobias Wolff introduces flashbacks, when Anders gets shot in the head, to show the reader his highlights in his, now ending, life. Wolff accentuate the fact that, what Anders did not remember, is just as important and telling about his personality, as what he did remember. The narrator is introducing Anders’ flashbacks by list, what the reader would assume.

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Analysis of Bullet in the Brain. (2016, Sep 15). Retrieved from

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