Sometimes when people are working towards obtaining their desires,hopes and ambitions, they must go through obstacles whether it be a mental decision that must be made alone or an external force. They must also find a method to secure the satisfaction that would lead them to achieving their goals. The short story “The Glass Roses”, by Alden Nowlan suggests that one’s pursuit of selffulfillment can be difficult when encountering internal and external conflict; this can distress their capabilities of attaining their goals, but should not restrict them from reaching their aspirations.The author demonstrates this through Stephen’s conflict of wanting to please his father by being the kind of “man” his father wants him to be, but realizes that he is not and might never be that kind of man, due to the difference of opinion in which he chooses to live his life. Stephen lives to please his father’s stereotypical definition of a “man” while trying to live a life in his own entirety. As a result, they bring about two different senses of selffulfilment; it is a dilemma that he acknowledges and must resolve. Stephen is seeking his selffulfillment in becoming a man, but his father’s definition leaves him to feel inadequate. He envisions being a true man with the characteristics that his father has modeled for him, but understands that he does not correspond with his father’s closeminded point of view. Stephen’s father sees strength in a physical manner only. Since
Stephen lacks physical strength, he feels he does not have the self reliance necessary for him to fit into his father’s world. For instance, the more “he [thinks] despairingly of his own willowy fifteen year old body [working] himself into aching exhaustion at the end of the pulpsaw… [he becomes] more certain [that] he could never become a man.” This represents the internal conflict that Stephen faces as he tries to be recognized as a man by his father, because he
Sweetie Lakou English 301 11/24/2014
lacks stamina. Therefore, he believes his father’s judgments on how to fit the lumberjack mold because he is the epitome of a weak person. His pursuit to meet his father’s standards is hindered by the pressure his father puts on him. Initially, his father makes it difficult for Stephen to become a man. For example, when his father implies that Stephen is not capable of performing the laborious undertaking of using the double buck saw. The environment of fear that his father creates is made clear when he warns him, “there [is] no room for kids in the pulp woods” which shows that Stephen is still seen as a child in his father’s eyes.Stephen is burdened by his father’s need to mold him into the ideal lumberjack, but he does not have the confidence to assert his own views to his father simply because he does not want to be seen as a disappointment.
The different ideologies, of what it means to be a man causes Stephen to experience external conflict. Not only is this revealed by the influence that Stephen has acquired by his father, but also shown through a type of personification. Pathetic fallacy is a term used to describe a type of personification that gives human emotions to inanimate objects of nature for example the weather reflecting mood. It is an explanation that elucidates why the wind might symbolize his father’s presence, and why the wind seems to become more vigorous every time his father is near. The description used illustrates what the cold snows, and harsh winds feels like against Stephen. Although the mustardcoloured streaks of daylight appeared
“the wind [is]…. still raw enough to lacerate [his] temples.” In addition, every night “the wind
[rises] to gale force as soon as the sun sets.” This may