Personal Identity And Individuality In Glass Roses By Alden Nowlan

716 Words3 Pages
What idea does the author develop regarding the conflict between pursuing a personal desire and choosing to conform? “Street lights glow red, green and yellow too, do you let signs tell you what to do?”... The words from Lady Gaga ponder over the balance between conforming to authority or self fulfillment. Do we let our individuality falter under the presence of authority and social demands, or do we maintain our own identity and achieve self-actualization? In a society where sacrifices have to be made in order to avoid prejudice, we show tenacity towards who we are at core. We do not let the societal streetlights dictate our every action, as sometimes the red stoplight obstructs the very path to self-discovery. In his short story “Glass Roses”, Alden Nowlan explores the idea between conforming to society demands or embracing…show more content…
Through the protagonist Stephen, Nowland suggests that when faced with the decision between upholding societal expectations or dissenting in order to preserve our identity, we select the latter to achieve inner peace. Where we live, how we live and who we live with, significantly affects how we perceive the world. Living under the influence of others can create a veil over our identity, and cause us to believe in something we truly are not. While under this veil, we either lose ourselves completely or see the veil concealing ourselves from who we are at core. As a growing boy, Stephen is especially prone to the influence of others. He resides and works at a pulp-saw mill, alongside with his father and the pulp-cutting crew. Stephen’s “willowy fifteen-year old body” juxtaposing with the“faintly humped backs and ox-like shoulders” of the pulp cutting crew causes Stephen to hold the conviction that he is a weakling. Furthermore, his father’s
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