Identity In Alden Nowlan's The Glass Roses

649 Words3 Pages
Through the eyes of a vulnerable fifteen year old in “The Glass Roses”, Alden Nowlan suggests that conforming to narrow-minded ideals will lead to the lacking of a sense of identity. The central conflict of the story is that Stephen’s path to manhood is filled with obstacles due to his youth. He is intrigued by a foreigner who shares his experiences of life, which is regarded unmanly in the eyes of the whole crew. This combination of push and pull from his instilled goal of becoming a man (push) and his curiosity of the world surrounding him (pull) is the cause of the central conflict of the story. The author provides several examples of such push and pull, e.g. he apologizes to Leka, deems the action “babyish”, and proceeds to saw a tree furiously…show more content…
The author introduces a character that indirectly challenges Stephen’s aspirations, which gives some insight on the actual role models of the crew. When word spreads that Stephen has been getting “chummy” with Leka, the father makes it clear to his son that he will attack Leka if he continues his behaviour. This dialogue between Stephen and his dad is significant because we’re given insight on the father’s character. Having cold, grey eyes, combined with his dedication to nothing but being manly, it’s sensible to assume that he is simply an emotionless work machine that wants his son to follow in his footsteps. Furthermore, no information is given on any of the other men of the crew; they are all simply referred to as one group, suggesting an even higher lacking of identity. If Stephen were to become like these men, he would just be another wood cutter for the rest of his life (as he expects by saying “the millions of trees he would have to fell before dieing”). The millions of frozen trees he would have to cut symbolize the monotony of the lives of the men, due to their lacking of

    More about Identity In Alden Nowlan's The Glass Roses

      Open Document