April 22, 2010
The Hit Man’s Contradiction
T. Coraghessan Boyle is a unique modern author whose work is a mixture of humor and social exploration. Boyle seems to have a very morbid sense of humor; most of what he writes pushes the envelope and challenges the meaning of what humor is. T. C. Boyle was born on December 2, 1948. He grew up in a small town in Iowa and first had dreams of being a musician. To this day Boyle still performs in a garage band and is very passionate about music. Boyle quickly realized in college that he could not make a living from music and drifted through classes until liberal arts became his passion. Boyle was successful in schooling from that point on, “He received a Ph.D. degree in Nineteenth Century British Literature from the University of Iowa in 1977, his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1974, and his B.A. in English and History from SUNY Potsdam in 1968.” Boyle then moved on to become a member of the English Department at the University of Southern California and has raised his family of a wife and three kids in the busy life of California. Boyle’s morbid sense of humor combined with his outlook on social exploration is what makes him such a unique author and his stories compelling to read, “The Hit Man”, a short story in the book, T. C. Boyle Stories, is no exception. “The Hit Man” challenges the social norms of the 1980’s and even Boyle’s own personal history to create the story’s morbid sense of humor.
“The Hit Man” is a very unique story in the way it is styled, the story is split into sections of important parts of the Hit Man’s life; such as early years, first date, marriage and death just to name a few. The story of the Hit Man is disturbing from the beginning, in the first three lines of the section called “early years” the narrator talks about how “the principal dresses him[the Hit Man] down for branding preschoolers with a lit cigarette,” while...