The use of humor in the literature by Alexis makes the content interesting to the reader while communicating different themes. There are several points where Alexie, the author, shows how modern men express their feelings towards issues affecting them. When one is emotional, they are not rational thus may make bad decisions. In many societies, it is seen as abnormal for a man to express their emotions openly, and they are supposed to act and not show emotions by any physical means (McRae, et al. 150). To deal with strong emotions, the men in the stores have had to balance their feelings. They are faced with many challenges but in the end they come up with ways of solving them. In this paper, the role played by male characters in expressing their strong emotions is shown. The paper also discusses the challenges that the men faced and gives meaning to the male emotion as expressed by the author.
At times it is hard for men to show their feelings to women, and this affects the message they send. The woman may not take the message seriously. In the book, Paul is attracted to a woman at the airport but he is unable to tell her how he feels but instead waves and smiles at her. The woman may not get the real message that Paul is trying to send (Alexie 117). As a matter of fact, the lady ignores him and boards a taxi. When he meets her later, he struggles to find the right words to tell her so that they could begin a conversation. He is aware that other men in the same place have seen the beautiful lady therefore he has to find a very creative way of talking to the lady for instance being poetic. He is not confident about his approach and wonders whether the lady thinks he is amusing or bemusing. Paul believes that women marry amusing men only, but he is not sure of her stand. Men make great sacrifices in order to get their message delivered (Labott 400). Paul is willing to miss the flight so that he has a chance to talk more with the lady. The lady explains to Paul that she is married, but this does not deter him from expressing his love for her (Alexie 124). This is a case where the emotions hinder one from reasoning in a logic manner. After learning that she is married, one would expect his interest in the woman to end there. However, this does not happen, and he goes ahead to express his love for her, even after she tells him she believes in marriage institution. He is also married and has children, but his behavior towards the lady shows as if he is a bachelor looking for love. He claims to love his family, but his emotional state makes him act otherwise (Alexie 125).
Sadness, anxiety, excitement and anger are some of the feelings that stir up our emotions (Kring, Ann and Albert 686). They may lead to a total change in one’s behavior. The senator’s son is proud of his father’s accomplishments when he emerges as the winner, but he silently feels sad. He cries emotionally as he celebrates his father’s victory, but the cry is not what it seems. The senator’s son lost his mother at the age of six years and he misses her so much and also his father. He feels like an orphan because he knows that he has to share his father’s love attention with the whole world. He experiences mixed emotions, and this affects his reasoning. At some point, he sees himself as a loser who will never accomplish his dreams. His emotional state makes him believe that he will be nothing more than a politician’s son (Alexie 79). The senator’s son wants to be a republican just like his father because he wants to be exactly like him (Alexie 81).
It is not easy to let our closest friends know some things about us especially when the society regards them as abnormal (Simon, Robin and Leda 150). The senator’s son is shocked to realize that Jeremy, his childhood friend is gay. It is hard for Jeremy to break the news to his friend and has to choose a location where nobody else would interrupt their conversation. The shocking revelation leaves the senator’s son in shock, and he is concerned about their friendship. The senator’s son claims that nobody ever told him how to behave in such situations. The gay people have their rights and ways of expressing themselves to the society, but nobody talks about how the parents and friends of the gay people handle the situation. The senator’s son is confused and does not know what to tell Jeremy. He has to support Jeremy or else he loses his friendship.
Sherwin’s dream of being a screenwriter is shuttered when he is fired by the director for expressing his feelings. He finds it unwise to use Blake’s work in a movie, but the director pressures him by telling him that he has to make a movie that will sell more than the book. The loss of his job shatters even his dream of being a writer because he cannot find the words (Alexie 179). Strangely, he becomes complacent with the fact that he will never write again and looks for other activities. He loses confidence in his writing skills and opts to fill crossword puzzles. To make his new activity better, he reads dictionaries and with time he becomes one of the best. At the competition, he gets a chance to talk with a Korean woman, a fellow competitor, and this is when he realizes he has lost his writing skills completely. He realizes that he still has the passion for writing and starts it all over again (Alexie 181).
In the stories, it is evident that the male characters such as Paul, Jeremy, the senator’s son and Sherwin are eager to let the world know about their feelings. They express strong emotions, some that affect their reasoning and others that affect their friendship. However, some of the characters are not as successful as others in expressing their emotions. The strong emotion that Paul has for the lady he meets at the airport impairs his rationality. He confesses his love for her even when he is aware that both of them are married. He wants to impress the lady so badly that he finds a way of talking to her in a poetic tone. Under normal circumstances, he had never thought that the song he used was romantic. Although he strains to get the lady’s attention at first, he later succeeds and even makes her laugh. Jeremy is another character who succeeds in expressing strong emotions. He is aware that his friend does not know that he is gay and feels it is necessary to let him know. He takes the senator’s son to a secluded place where he emotionally reveals his sexual orientation. The senator’s son, on the other hand, is unable to express his emotions. He does not know how to react to the news that Jeremy reveals because he is too emotional. The emotions confuse him, and he finds that he cannot tell Jeremy anything. Sherwin is able to get back his lost confidence in writing although at first he is too emotional to think straight.
The book clearly shows the effect of male emotion to the decisions they make. Emotions make the men reason less logically, and this may even affect their lives. The senator’s son, for instance, is overwhelmed by emotions and thinks that he cannot be anything else apart from a politician’s son. He thinks that his father’s career must be his too and forgets that he has a different life to live. Paul is also affected by emotions and almost ruins the lady’s marriage. He goes off his way to impress the lady with a song that is not romantic, but he finds it romantic at the moment. Strong emotions can cause life-changing events as seen from the relationship between the senator’s son and Jeremy. The end of their friendship is as a result of Jeremy’s expression of his sexuality. It is, therefore, important to maintain a balance in one’s emotions to avoid making erroneous decisions (Brody 100).
Alexie, Sherman. War Dances. Prince Frederick: Recorded Books, 2010. Print.
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