Friday, October 17, 2014

Rebellion Against the Family

        All three of the short stories deal with a rebellion against their own family.  In “Paul’s Case”, by Willa Cather, Paul does not have a close connection with his dad and he wants to live his own life away from him.  Paul had, “Not once, but a hundred times had planned this entry into New York”(Willa Cather 273).  Paul was able to run away after stealing money from his job.  In “The Chrysanthemum”, by John Steinbeck, Elisa is unhappy with her life at home in the garden and she wants to live freely like the tinker who she is paid a visit from.  She feels she has been treated unfairly and while her husband is gone and the tinker is with her in the garden her “Hand went out toward his legs in the greasy black trousers” (John Steinbeck 356).  She is yearning for the free life the tinker lives but she is unable to grasp it and live it.  “Barn Burning”, by William Faulkner, tells the story of a boy whose life is run by his father, also a criminal.  He wants to escape this life so the only way he sees the ability to seek freedom is to turn in his dad for burning barns.  Eventually, “He was free.  His aunt grasped at him but it was too late” (William Faulkner 338).  The son was able to escape his family’s problems in his pursuit of freedom.  A boy had planned to escape from his family as an act of rebellion many times because he was unsatisfied with his life.  He had even gone out for runs in order to prepare for his escape.  On his run, while away from his family, the boy is tempted to ask a stranger for help to escape while they talked, but he decided against it.  He was inspired by the free life the man lives and wants the same for himself but when the boy mentions it to the stranger, the man says it would not be a good life for the boy.  The boy does not listen to the stranger’s advise and the next day, he decided he was sick of living with his family and all of the problems his father had.  He darts towards the door in his attempt to leave for good and just before reaching the door, his arm is snatched by his aunt.  Although it made him tumble, he was able to bounce back up and he was finally free.

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