• stephanylow posted an update 7 months ago

    An Analysis of Tobias Wolff’s “Powder”

    “Powder” is a short story by Tobias Wolff that gives a world of information about an estranged couple and their son in just one very short episode in the boy’s life. Writing an analysis of Tobias Wolff’s “Powder” is aided by the fact that “Powder” is a very short story and can be read several times. Before beginning the task of writing an analysis of Tobias Wolff’s “Powder”, read the story one time through early on and let it steep for a few days. In the meantime, check around the library and internet for some reliable sources on Tobias Wolff’s “Powder”. Reading the ideas of other writers on website can help you formulate your own. Try reading examples of other analyses on “Powder”, as well as analyses of other short stories such as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Purloined Letter”, Kate Chopin’s “The Storm” and Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path”.

    After spending plenty of time thinking about your own ideas and comparing them to the ideas of others, read the short story once again immediately prior to writing your analysis of Tobias Wolff’s “Powder”. This time, try to determine the theme. In “Powder”, Wolff seems to juxtapose the father’s risk-taking nature against the son’s meticulous pre-planning. The son finds security in his ability to plan ahead, but by the end of the story is able to lean into his father’s adventurous spirit.

    When writing an analysis of Tobias Wolff’s “Powder”, it might be feasible to spend some time on the biography of the author. Does anything in Wolff’s background or beliefs point to any of the actions or themes in the story? Is Wolfe trying to make a point or just share a universal theme about life in general? Another possible approach to an analysis of Tobias Wolff’s “Powder”, would be to look for literary devices that the author uses like symbolism, imagery, and tone. Does the author’s style of writing help to advance the plot at all? In analyzing Tobias Wolff’s “Powder”, it does seem that Wolff’s fast-paced prose aids the imagery in the father’s reckless drive through fresh powder. After thinking through all of these elements, develop a thesis for the analysis of Tobias Wolff’s “Powder”, support it with strong facts and opinions in the body of the paper, and summarize your conclusions succinctly and confidently in the final paragraph.

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