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The Glass Roses

             While raising a child a parent has a dream of what their child will become, they help to ensure this by passing on a set of beliefs and morals, then watch them develop into an adult, with their own values and ideals. However in the short story, "The Glass Roses- by Alden Nowlan, it shows the struggles of a "willowy fifteen-year-old- trying to live up to his father's ideals and expectations. The protagonist, Stephen is faced with a decision between conquering his father's dreams by becoming his protégé and devoting his life to cutting down trees, or to fulfill his own dreams and desires to learn about history, life and love from his logging partner, Leka. The choice to let his own values and ideals start to steer his life shows that Stephen has begun to find his path and road to his ideals. To what extent should a child aspire to their parent's impossible expectations or to satisfy the yearning inside them, and live up to their own ideals?.
             "There ain't no room for kids in the pulp woods."" Words said to Stephen by the "foreman- of the pulp crew, his father. Throughout his life, Stephen has been trying to live up to his father's expectations and now finds himself in a "world [that is] a maelstrom of darkness and wind."" Stephen's attempt to live up to his father's expectations and ideals, thus "becom[ing] a man,"" find him struggling to cut down trees and "the axe ma[kes] him feel stupid and ridiculous."" In a snowy Canadian climate, Stephen is continually convincing himself that he is now "more certain that he could never become a man."" His father is a "solemn- man who prides himself on his work ethic and physical power. He longs for his feeble son to mature into a "husky- man, much like himself. "You got to start actin' like a man if you want hold down a man's job,"" Stephen was told this as a boy, and still "remember[s] the too-familiar squint of doubt,"" when his father looked at him and "the hard knots of disappointment above [his] cold grey eyes.

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