Sherman Alexie’s, Flight Patterns, portrays the character, contradictions and conflicts surrounding the modern Indian man who faces struggles in balancing his life: family, identity and career. The first characteristic of the main character William is depicted as the bemused…
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Despite his love for his family, William is drawn to his business. There are times that he feels like staying with his family, but the weight and attention for his business messes everything. The society he serves expects more from him; on the other hand, his family needs his presence. Sometimes his family, the wife and daughter understands his obligations to the business, but at times feel the need of him being around them. In an occasion, when he is about to leave for business, his wife urges his to stay and wraps around his legs, but when he tells her that he is not strong enough to do ‘this’, Marie, his wife replies “Willy Loman…….pay attention to me” (Alexie 51). This portrays his family’s need for him and the conflict that he faces in his 21st century American life. His Family loves him, and his society has expectations for him bringing about the sense of two conflicts between man and man, man and family, and man and society. This is also an indication that William is a loving man torn between conflicts. His conversation with Fekadu induces a chain of action that makes his abandon his luggage at the airport, not worrying about the actions the airport authorities could take. When he notices how Fekadu was forced to choose between his values and family, he take the move, abandons everything, finds a phone and calls his wife just to tell her that he is there. This confirms the caring character of William.
Leaving his luggage on the road was symbolic. It meant that William was abandoning the social expectations and constraints and the bags on the road meant that he had put the conflict between self and the society on the road to resolution at the cost of solving the conflict between him and his family. Choosing to abandon the social constraints and the demands of the society in order to meet the demands of his family also symbolized that
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This old woman
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