Escapism In Charles Bukowski's Ham On Rye

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“Ham on Rye” by Charles Bukowski depicts a lifetime of Henry Chinaski’s life that starts from childhood to early maturity. From the start, Henry had big ambitions and his actions reflected positive mindset but later he rejects and detests his surroundings and the hardships he experienced. However, in his attempts at escaping tragic obstacles burdened by acne, anxiety, ostracisation and paternal abuse, he turns to alcohol and solitude for peace of mind. As an adult, he is bitter, narcissistic and unable to realise his ambitions. Though he truly desired and strived for a more pleasant life, the tools available to him growing up are exactly what caused his troubles. Rejecting his environment through solitude and alcoholism, he succeeds only at excluding himself before others could, drinking to forget before anyone remembers, and quitting before getting a chance to fail and regret. Henry’s actions reveal a paradoxical strive for escapism through practices that are evocative of and indeed endemic to his unforgiving environment. In the beginning, the young Henry ha optimism in life and his dreams and actions depicted this positive mindset. In that early, the writer shows that Henry subscribed to the concept that one chooses to thrive or fail. However, his exposure to a hostile reality throughout childhood and teenage years demoralises his optimism and introduces in him a viewpoint that threat is a requisite in an environment subjugated by chance and possibility. His involvement
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