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The Glass Roses

             In the short story "The Glass Roses", there are many conflicts associated between the characters. First, there is the conflict of Stephen vs. his father. Stephen has a gentle, kind personality with lots of appreciation for the beautiful things in life; Stephen is almost like the Glass Roses. On the other hand, Stephen's father is a "burly" man who has physical strength and no intellect; he has no appreciation for beauty and enlightenment, he is like the ruthless weather in the lumber camp. Stephen's father tries to make Stephen a man, just like him, but Stephen's definition of a man is different from his father's. This creates conflict between Stephen and his father. Stephen feels like a "slave to the monotonous rhythm of the pulpsaw". This mens that Stephen feels like he is a slave forced by his father to work in a lumber camp; Stephen is too proud to show weakness and become a failure in his father's preception. For example, when he returns to the camp "only pride kept Stephen from throwing himself down as soon as he entered the bunkhouse". Stephen's father does not know that a man can be intellectual and appreciative of beauty. He does not understand the definition of a man that applies to his son, that is, a man does not have to have physical strength in order for him to succeed in life.
             Secondly, the conflict of man vs. nature emerges as Stephen is forced to cope with the harsh weather and the brutal living conditions in the luber camp in order for him to fit in with the rest of the men. The irony here is that Stephen is not yet a man, he is only fifteen years old, in fact, he is still a child. Stephen is not prepared physically or mentally to do the work of a grown man in a lumber camp. To illustrate, as Stephen is cutting down the tree, he feels like the wind "gnaws" at his legs so that it is hard to keep standing. This description leads the reader to believe that Stephen is neither old enough, nor physically capable of working in a lumber camp.

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