In his writings, Alexie shows that families are significant since family members support and care for each other. In the story War Dances, the narrator remembers taking his father to hospital after his father had surgery on his foot. His father suffered from gangrene disease. This disease was brought about by the drinking habit of his father since he was an alcoholic. Despite this fact, the narrator takes care of his father when he was in hospital undergoing surgery. The father of the narrator felt cold while he was in his hospital bed. The narrator ended up noticing this; so he decided to look for an extra blanket so that his father would not be affected by the low temperatures that were in this hospital. When the narrator asked for an extra blanket from the nurse, the nurse ignored him. The narrator argues that the main reason why the nurse ignored him was because she felt that she was educated and that she should not be treated as a housekeeper. The narrator did not give up and he just went ahead to look for the blanket in other rooms in the hospital where his father was admitted. He argues, “But damn if we don't have a room full of Pendleton blankets. New ones. Jesus, you'd think my sister was having, like, a dozen babies.”
The narrator of the War Dances also remembers a poem that he wrote for his father illustrating that he supported his father in addition to being affectionate towards him. He remembers how his father sliced his knee with a chainsaw. His father ignored the fact that he had slashed his knee and continued to cut down more trees. It shows that he was ignorant since he did not care about his safety and health. His boss ended up driving his father to hospital after discovering the dangerous condition he was in. In the evening, the father of the narrator came up drugged with beer and morphine. He told the narrator that he needed him to drive him to the woods. The narrator did not refuse since he cared and loved his father. He said, “Like magic. It was an Indian summer and we drove through warm rain and thunder.” The fact that he agrees to drive his father to the woods shows that he cares for him.
The Ballad of Paul Nonetheless also shows how families are significant. Paul is the main character in this story. He was an entrepreneur, and he really likes listening to pop music. However, he does not like spending time with his family since he always likes to stroll in airports. He was no longer attracted to his wife. While he spends his time in the airport, he keeps on running into an attractive woman who always wears red Pumas. Paul ends up becoming attracted to her despite the fact that this woman is married. This ruins his relationship with his wife. After discovering that his relationship with his wife has deteriorated because of the fact that he does not spend enough time with her, he remembers one of his favorite songs by Marvin Gaye “What's going on? What's going on? What's going on?” From this story, it is critical that families are significant since they determine the success of any marriage. If Paul did not ignore his wife and spent more time with her, there was a very high possibility that their relationship could be better.
After Building the Lego Star Wars Ultimate Death Star also shows the significance of families since the author, Alexie, perceives the relationship with his children through his personal childhood experiences. In this poem, the persona relates well with his children by participating in the games they played. He states, “How many planets do you want to destroy? Don’t worry, Daddy, its just a big toy, And there is nothing more fun than making noise.” He goes ahead to tell his children of his memories when he was a child. He used to play with dirt clods. He states, “My sons, when I was a boy, I threw dirt clods, and snow grenades stuffed with hidden rocks.”
Family plays a big role in shaping the well-being of the characters in all the three selections as explained above. In the story War Dances, the act of the narrator caring for his father when he was young made him a caring father when he grew up. The narrator in this story has two children. He takes care for these children since his wife was away in Rome for a vacation. He discovers that he has hearing problems when his two kids ask for food. It shows that he was the one who provided for his family. In the story Ballad of Paul Nonetheless, Paul was distant since he had a poor relationship with his wife. The persona of the poem After Building the Lego Star Wars Ultimate Death Star was caring and affectionate since he had a good relationship with his family. All these illustrations prove that family plays a big role in shaping the well-being of characters.
To conclude, Alexie shows that families are significant in the writings War Dances, Ballad of Paul Nonetheless, and After Building the Lego Star Wars Ultimate Death Star. In War Dances, the significance of families is shown by the fact that the narrator always supports and cares for his father despite the fact that his father is an alcoholic. Paul’s marriage with his wife had problems, because he did not value his family. In the poem, the persona shows the significance of families by playing with his children. Families are important in providing the well-being of characters by shaping their relationships
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