This Boy’s Life


Tobias Wolff

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Mr. and Mrs. Welch Character Analysis

A couple who own a farm not far from Chinook. Their sons go to school with Chuck and Jack—the Welch boys are all “sad, shabbily dressed, and quiet to the point of muteness.” Chuck, Jack, and their friend Huff siphon gas from the Welches’ tanks, but are caught the next day and are forced to apologize to the farmers, who are shocked and disappointed by the boys’ betrayal and do not accept their apologies.
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Mr. and Mrs. Welch Character Timeline in This Boy’s Life

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. and Mrs. Welch appears in This Boy’s Life. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 26
Abuse Theme Icon
...cans and a hose, they set off across the fields towards a neighboring farm. The Welches live nearby, and send their children to school with Chuck, Jack, and the rest of... (full context)
Abuse Theme Icon out a “plan of reparation,” which involves them returning the gasoline, apologizing to the Welches, and promising never to drink again. (full context)
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Chuck and Jack drive the cans back over to the Welches’ and then bring them up to the house. Mrs. Welch opens the door. Upon seeing... (full context)
Storytelling and Escapism Theme Icon
Abuse Theme Icon
...if they made their apologies. Jack confesses that though he wanted to say something to Mr. Welch , he could not. Mr. Bolger resignedly tells Jack that it’s clear Jack isn’t happy... (full context)
Storytelling and Escapism Theme Icon
Identity and Performance Theme Icon
Abuse Theme Icon
...Jack stay, and they have finally agreed, on one condition: he must work at the Welches’ farm after school in order to put things right with them. Jack says he doesn’t... (full context)
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Later that week, Mr. Bolger tells Jack that the Welches have refused to accept his help—this, Mr. Bolger says, is the “ultimate punishment.” Jack is... (full context)