Analysis Of The Glass Roses By Alden Nowlan

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Shattered “There is not much room in the world for glass roses.” On a daily people attempt to live their lives in accordance with their own values but can be constrained towards certain actions because they feel obligated and/or forced to do so. Alden Nowlan’s short story “The Glass Roses” demonstrates the role of self-preservation in response to competing demands through a “willowy fifteen-year-old” protagonist who is faced with conflicting views on the true meaning of manhood. Throughout the story Stephens beliefs are detained and tested by the pulp-cutters, the Polack, and his father. Initially when Nowlan introduces the readers to the protagonist it is clear to see that Stephen strives to achieve this idealistic manhood that’s been forced upon him by his father and the “burly, red-faced me,” the only way to make this transition into a man is to strip himself of anything remotely childish.…show more content…
Leka, the polack contributes towards Stephens embracement of the harsh reality of life as he can’t seem to escape his enthrallment with fairy tales and stories. Leka is imaginative, apologetic and friendly, he has more experience in the real world unlike any of the other men, because of this he creates a conflict to the social norms the others live by. We can see that for Stephen “the boyish daydreaming that he was expected to scorn now that he was becoming a man,” is complicated as he still feels this fascination in hearing the polack’s stories and has his own dreams of the future. Yet he is so far gone into his crisis of manhood that he is “not certain what he [feels].” In the short story Stephens need to be more ‘manly’ for acceptance among the pulp-cutting men, becomes of less importance once he meets the
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