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This Boy's Life

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Characters

Dwight

Characters Dwight

Dwight is unmistakably the antagonist of the memoir, a villain who steals Jack's happy childhood right out from underneath him. Dwight is cruel, a monster whose only motivation is to degrade and defile everyone he can. The worst of Dwight's brutality is directed at Jack, who is rendered helpless by Dwight's unflinching adult authority.

Dwight mercilessly berates Jack for his every move and, at his worst, uses physical force to make his power known. Dwight derives satisfaction from exercising his power over other people, primarily Jack and Rosemary, and needs to belittle and victimize others to reassure himself that he is important. Dwight is also exceedingly deceptive and dishonest, either making various promises he cannot keep, or simply lying outright, relishing his self-serving underhandedness. This deception is best exemplified when Dwight steals Jack and Rosemary's hard-earned wages, spending the money on himself after he has assured them both that he is depositing it into their respective bank accounts.