Bullet in the Brain by Tobias Wolff
I once heard that if you get executed with a guillotine you feel, see and hear when your head hits the ground. I don’t know if it’s true. A friend of mine told me that he once killed a hen. He held it tightly to the woodblock, he was intended use, and when he brutally separated its head from its body he led go of the hen and it ran headless around for several seconds. I know that’s true. I read that when you get shot in the head and the bullet smash into your brain, destroying everything which makes your mind and body work, the split-second that passes before you die give you the time to remember massive amounts of memories. If that’s true I hope my memories will be different than Anders’.
“Bullet in the brain” is a small story written by Tobias Wolff. It starts in “in medias res” which is characteristic for a short story. It contains very few characters; actually it acts around the main character Anders in the entire story except for the flashbacks where we get introduced to Anders past, which is also typical for the genre. Anders has similar with several others a way of focusing on the negative around him. Your first sight of this is on p. 1“Anders couldn’t get to the bank until just before it closed, so of course the line was endless…” (p.1 l.1). In stead of being glad that he made it to the bank before it closed he focus on the line. This first impression of Anders is confirmed already on l. 3 where is says that Anders never was in a good temper, and known for his way of dispatch almost every book he reviewed as a book critic. What separates Anders from many other pessimists is that he seems not to care about anything. When the bank gets robbed Anders doesn’t get frightened like the rest of the costumers. It seems completely idiotic that he answers the robber back though he holds a gun to his head. Anders is dominant of the situation and he actually makes the robber insecure. “Hey! Bright boy! Did I tell you to...
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