Analysis Of Glass Roses By Alden Nowlan

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The title of the short story “Glass Roses” by Alden Nowlan summarises the fragility of nonconformists in a society dominated by a collective stereotype. From the society's perspective, someone who is different is automatically classified as a misfit, solely on the premise of being anything other than the ‘norm’. The title “Glass Roses” represents Leka and Stephen at the pulp mill, as they possess different values and characteristics from the men with “ox-like shoulders”. They are beautiful in their own right; their beauty shines in comparison to “the monotonous rhythm of the pulp saw”. Unlike the men of the pulp cutting crew, Stephen and Leka engage with stories of fairy tales and beautiful cathedrals. They are different to the robust and muscular men, and instead take much pleasure in immersing themselves…show more content…
Stephen's father and the majority of the pulp cutting crew all share the belief that men are only men if they show both physical and emotional masculinity. In their world, “the saw [is] the most important thing in the world”, and “men [do] not tender apologies”. Due to Stephen and Leka’s dissimilarity to the standards of man, they are forced to either conform and wield the “ax [to pretend] to be something [they are not]”, or to hold on to their individuality and live in their world of wonders. Being different from others subjects one to the pressure of mainstream prejudice and discrimination, and can cause one to break and conform. The conflict of choosing between following their own path or conforming to society creates internal turmoil in the individual. Stephen enjoys the “tales of [faraway] places” told by Lenka as it satisfies his inner desires for exploration and daydreaming, yet he feels guilty as the society deems these actions as
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