Anda di halaman 1dari 4

Friend 1 Kaitlyn Friend Mr.

Newman English 101: Rhetoric 5 November 2013 A Family Worthy of Thought Family and oedipal dynamics shape not only who a person is, but also how they function in society and interact between others. A psychoanalytic view provides readers with knowledge to understand not only how, but why these dynamics shape people in such a way. The oedipal dynamic can cause tension in a family, while typical family dynamics can strengthen bonds or destroy them. In Sherman Alexies Flight Patterns, there are many family dynamics that are at work in the story, creating a complex understanding of how Williams family works and functions. Family dynamics play an important role in the way people interact with others and the way that they think and react in the society around them. William, while getting ready to leave, portrays a strong family dynamic with his wife, stating that he wanted to climb into bed and make love and that he loved and respected his wife...but he also loved to watched her (50). This makes Sigmund Freuds idea of id, which is the location of the drives or libido, relevant in this short story. By stating that William wished for nothing more than to make love to his wife, he is giving into this idea of id that is involved in a psychoanalytic perspective. This statement also represents a strong family dynamic, as it shows the bond between William and his wife. Family dynamics also play a role in the way the daughter converses with her father before he leaves to go on yet another one of his business trips. She shows concern over

Friend 2 something that, in a childs mind, represents real fear and rationale because she constantly quizzed William about what he would do if the terrorists hijacked his plane (52). This fear, although slightly disconcerting for William, adds to the family dynamic because it shows how more than just Williams wife cares and loves him. This relationship with his daughter plays off on the oedipal complex because the daughter, not the wife, is the one that is concerned with him not returning home due to a complex fear. A proper family dynamic often includes more than just what the family does and how they act, it also influences how each individual person thinks and functions. Even a seemingly perfect family can have its problems and its thoughts that are unique to themselves. William has one such thought process with the inquisition of how his life would be different if he had married a white woman and fathered half-race babies who grew up to complain and brag about their biracial identities (52). This part of psychoanalysis is considered superego, which is the area of the unconscious that houses Judgment (of self and others) (Tompkins). This thought, although stated in the story, could remain to be part of a larger, more unconscious thought process that may have an effect on the way the family functions, as it may be a point of view that represents a want of either the undesirable or the unobtainable, at times it may even be both. Although William often thinks about these things, it does not necessarily mean that he desires to have them, only that he wonders how his life would be different if he had chosen to do so. Functioning in society is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle, and often what occurs at home will influence how someone acts and thinks on a day to day basis. For William, travelling is a common thing, as is the racial profiling he has grown accustomed to. Being a Native American, William lives and socializes with many different races and ethnicities. When getting into the cab, Alexie adds: his accent a colonial cocktail of American British, formal

Friend 3 British, and French sibilants added to a base of what must have been North African (53). This quote, although not perpetually incriminating, allows for the information of diversity to be applied. From Williams perspective, this man is a range of different ethnicities. Being able to not only identify these attributes, but also to acknowledge them is one of the parts of being diverse and of functioning in society as William must do. A family dynamic alters more than just a few things; it alters complete lifestyles and interactions. Family dynamics alter how a person becomes and why they become that person. For William and his family, their dynamics provide readers with a unique insight on how they function in society as well as how strong of a family bond they truly have. From a psychological point of view, the entire family all have desires and egos, each in their own unique way. For William, he has the desires of curiosity and wonder, while his wife, Marie, has the psychoanalytical idea of id, or libido. His daughter Grace shows compassion and care as she worries about her fathers flight and his safety. All of these dynamics bring not only the family together, but they also allow William to function in society, with other people, and to be a diversified individual.

Friend 4 Works Cited Alexie, Sherman. "Flight Patterns." 2003. The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Alison Booth, J. Paul Hunter, and Kelly J. Mays. 9th ed. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2005. 49-61. Print. Brizee, Allen, and Case Tompkins. "Psychoanalytical Criticism." Purdue OWL: Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism. N.p., 03 June 2013. Web. 05 Nov. 2013. Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1999. Print.