Literary Essay Sample: Characters Analysis of Anders from Bullet to the Brain

Published: 2022-05-13
Literary Essay Sample: Characters Analysis of Anders from Bullet to the Brain
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Character analysis
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1263 words
11 min read

Characters analysis of Anders

The short fiction Bullet to the Brain is a short fiction that revolves around various themes which includes robbery, violence and even rebellion. The story is told of a protagonist Anders whose immense contribution in the development of plot, theme, and characterization can never be underestimated. The book analyses, the characterization of Anders who most of the time remains conspicuous in doing things which are not expected and pretends to be very serious afterward. He attracts the attention of other customers and then pretends that nothing has really happened. To the amusement of the others, he gives comments and distances himself with such utterances by uttering more which are completely out of the topic of discussion. The character traits of the protagonist Anders starts from the first sentence when the protagonists visit a bank. He goes very late and gets stuck behind some women with a bad motive of gossiping others. However, his motive is short lived when two men in blue business suit interrupt' the whole process. Anders becomes more composed and rather insensitive to the dangers lingering and makes comments which are very ironical and untimely. Unfortunately, the jokes and comics he makes later own earn him at least a bullet passed his brain. The protagonist's character traits are thus discussed below:

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Poor time manager

The author describes the protagonist -Ander as a poor timekeeper. He goes to the bank very late when the bank is almost being closed ("Tobias Wolff's Short Story, "Bullet in the Brain""). His timing doesn't augur well for him since he finds a very long queue of people who had come a little bit earlier. Regardless of the situation, he joins the queue as the last customer and fixes himself in between two women. From the description of the activities which were happening at the bank, it can be authoritatively said that Anders' poor time management skill was very important in his case since the businesses in the bank were numerous and hence causing the long queue. As a matter of reasoning, there was no need for Ander to get to the bank very early to queue for a long time yet he could make it late and queue for a rather short time.

Aloof and egotistical

Ander is described to be a character who has never been in his best temper. The author describes him as an individual who is well known for the weary and elegant savagery with which he dispatches almost everything that he views. Wolff & Heald 3 notes that when he gets to the bank late and position himself behind some women who are storytelling, he disguises them and rubbishes such stories and equally gets mad about them describing the conversation as loud and stupid. The protagonist's ego is too high to allow him to listen and converse effectively with others. For instance, when a tell walks across the hall and a woman in front of him comments a concern, he refutes her comments and gives a very awkward reply. Anders keeps on making comments which are not specifically targeted to anyone and when a response comes from those around him, he pretends not to be concerned and diverts his attention elsewhere. His ego is too much to allow him to converse effectively with other. Personally, I feel that the egoism of the protagonist is very important since it helps him to be secretive and independent. However, the manner in which he expresses himself portrays him negatively.

Unsympathetic and non-caring

The woman in front of him turns to the protagonists and comments negatively about the bank teller who walks to and fro in the banking hall. On realizing that the conversation is directed to him, he immediately turns it on the presumptuous crybaby in front of him and totally ignores the woman's question. The woman gets pissed off and Anders steers in the space unapologetically. His actions here portray him as very unsympathetic and not sensitive to other peoples' feelings. As if that is not enough, he goes ahead to engage the woman in very nonsensical arguments about her village atrocities which anger the woman further as noted by (Bausch and Cassill 74). On realizing that Anders has carefree feelings, she turns around very much disgusted.


According to ("Tobias Wolff's Short Story, "Bullet in the Brain""), Anders is very much non-sensitive to the environment around him which makes him becomes ignorant. When the two robbers in blue suits enter the bank, he sees them handle the watchmen feels that it is a pretty movie. When one of the thieves utters that any teller who shall raise an alarm shall be dead, Anders repeats the words and says "bravo" and turns to the woman and tells her how the occurrences are just but the poetry of dangerous classes. The actions at this stage make him conspicuously appear very much ignorant and stupid to an extent that he cannot differentiate between danger and jokes. Could be, it is his ego that brings the ignorance in him which further exposes him to the lingering danger. It takes him quite a long time to notice that the two men in blue are out on a mission and are not friendly to anyone who is paramount to block their mission in any way. Similarly, when the robber with a gun moves close to Anders and pokes the gun on his gut, Anders still continue talking and laughing at the robber which angers him more and make him let out a bullet which then goes directly to the skull of Anders. Ignorance thus brings the irony and sarcasm in the poetry setting stage for a flowing plot and themes.


The protagonist is described as a sadist character who is very happy when others are in trouble. For instance, when the robbers get to the tellers and order them to fill the bags, the teller who was previously walking to and fro in the banking hall find herself in trouble with the robbers. On seeing this, Anders turns to the woman in front of him and tells her that justice is done referring to the earlier comment by the woman that the teller was not good.


Andres continues to talk even after the robbers have ordered everyone in the hall to keep quiet. He defies the orders and continues conversing with the women in front. The defiance here makes him appear to be backward. To the amusement of everyone in the hall, even after the robber poked a gun on his gut, he still goes on with his stubbornness and continues to behave funnily says (Wolff and Heald 5).


From the Tobias Wolff's short fiction, "Bullet to the Brain", the writer develops his story based on the characters of the main protagonist Anders whose behavior leads him to trouble. The fiction is thus used by the author to educate people and warn them about some character traits which may lead one astray. The characterization described above are thus very important in building the plot of the story and its moral value.

Works Cited

Bausch, Richard, and R V. Cassill. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. W.W. Norton, 2006.

"Tobias Wolff's Short Story, "Bullet in the Brain"." P.O.V,

Unconscious Resistance against Althusserian Ideology in Tobias Wolff's Short Story bullet in the Brain in the Light of Raymond Williams and Terry Eagleton. Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture (CAOOC, 2011.

Wolff, Tobias, and Anthony Heald. Bullet in the Brain. Blackstone Audio, Inc, 2014.

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