Analysis of Tobias Wolff’s “Powder”

Essay's Score: C

Grammar mistakes

D (66%)


B (88%)

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D (66%)


C (73%)

Table of Content

In the short story Powder by Tobias Wolff, the relationship between the father and son is depicted as unconventional, resembling many contemporary “broken home” situations. This story mirrors the reversal of traditional roles between fathers and sons, a reality observed in numerous modern-day families.

In the opening paragraph of his narrative, Wolff reveals that his father had to fight for the privilege of his company due to anger from his mother over a previous incident where he snuck him into a nightclub to see Thelonious Monk. This incident serves as evidence of the damaged and broken nature of their relationship. Moreover, it highlights the father’s lack of responsibility as a parent, as he prioritizes taking his son to a nightclub instead of guiding him towards appropriate activities. Consequently, the mother becomes angry when they arrive home late. The father’s disregard for the mother’s feelings is further depicted in the following paragraph, where he prioritizes skiing with fresh snow over keeping his promise to be home for dinner. The son has a strong desire to be at home, emphasizing the significance of the dinner to him. He vividly remembers the details of the table setting, including the green tablecloth, plates with a holly pattern, and waiting red candles.

There was tension in the diner as the son became upset with the father and refused to speak to him. The son expressed his frustration by stating, “I was supposed to say, ‘Right, doctor,’ but I chose not to respond at all.” When they were turned away by the trooper, the father exhibited peculiar and cautious behavior, indicating that he acknowledged his mistake and felt remorse for disappointing his wife and son. Subsequently, the father decides against bailing his troubled son out of trouble but instead grants him his wish – to be back home in time for Christmas Eve dinner.

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Analysis of Tobias Wolff’s “Powder”. (2018, Jul 05). Retrieved from

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