Personal Desire In The Glass Roses By Alden Nowlan

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How can young adults pursue personal desire if they are trying to conform into society's unwritten rules? Every day, young men face conflicts where they are forced to make a decision. For array of young male individuals, they are entering the coming-of-age stage where they must choose a path they will pursue in their future lives. In the short story “The Glass Roses”, Alden Nowlan suggests the idea that young men are impressionable by external forces, which then alter their pursuit in life and he explores this idea through the protagonist Stephen. Stephen along with many young males struggle to choose between personal desire into shaping their own identity or conforming into society's expectations from them. Stephens journey in chasing personal desire is demonstrated in the short story through the setting, the conflicts that take place in the story and character development. Moreover, the location of where young male adults mature can have an immense alteration. The setting that Stephen is in requires him to be physically well built and mentally prepared, however, due to his age he is still too young to have the same characteristics as the pulp cutters surrounding him. Stephen is constantly surrounded by a stereotypical perspective of masculinity. Because this short story took place after World War II young males were expected to rapidly develop the necessary characteristics such as a strong physical figure and an inexpressive personality, such as the pulp cutters

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