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Two Boys And A Girl By Tobias Wolff

1029 words - 4 pages

I Saw Her FirstIn Tobias Wolff's "Two Boy's and a Girl," the main character, Gilbert, envies his friend Rafe, wanting what Rafe has instead of accepting and trying to enjoy his own life. His sarcastic way of coping with this self-made problem develops as he looks after Rafe's girlfriend and convertible while he is away. Although not accepted by Gilbert, the reader learns that even Rafe, whose life seems to be perfect, has problems of his own. For example, Rafe possesses the material things and the girlfriend Gilbert hopes for, but not family love. Not understanding of Rafe's problems and too concerned with his own self, Gilbert is depressed about everything he considers wrong in his life; he is overreacting. Just like him, nobody has everything, but in an effort to solve his loneliness, he wants a girlfriend like Rafe's. Gilbert's resolution to betray his friend by stealing Rafe's girlfriend proves his ruthless self-absorption; he puts his own self-entitled needs before the feelings of his best friend. Despite his determination he does not get the girl and thus is faced with the option of accepting the way things are.Gilbert bitterly compares what he has to what Rafe's life is like seeing this as unfair and wrong that Rafe has more. Rafe has money, looks, brains, and a cute girlfriend that Gilbert does not have, but wants. He is jealous of his good friend getting more and more bitter the more he notices what luxuries Rafe has. For example, Gilbert and Rafe see the same girl at a party, but: "Gilbert saw her first" (102). Even if this makes Gilbert entitled to this girl as he had felt, Rafe makes a move on Mary Ann first. After this first feeling of jealousy towards his best friend again Gilbert compares what Rafe got that he did not. Gilbert, not having a car depended on Rafe to do: "...the driving; his grandfather had given him his immaculate old Buick convertible as a reward for getting into Yale" (102). Rafe has a great car, a great girlfriend, and was accepted into a great school while Gilbert has no car, no girl, and on top of that: "...he hadn't gotten into Amherst" (106). Rafe is even confident and good-looking shown when: "At one point he walked over to the mirror and studied himself as if he were alone and Gilbert was surprised by the anger he felt" (104). It is natural for Gilbert to be jealous of all these great things his friend has, but throughout the story he makes his own life out to be unhappy without having these things. Nobody has everything even though it may seem like that. Such as: "It was true that neither Rafe's father nor his mother took much pleasure in their son" (110). Gilbert ignores this problem of his while making the mistake of comparing lives.Gilbert begrudges Rafe for having luxuries that he does not have. The well to do is wrongfully and unfairly blessed with their wealth in his eyes. Gilbert:...

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