Flight Patterns

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“Flight Patterns” by Sherman Alexie demonstrates many qualities and mishaps of the middle-aged businessman in America and how they pertain to the qualities and priorities they should have instead. Flight patterns is a story all about the conflicts that an Indian man faces as he tries to figure out who he is, where he’s going in life, and how to take care of his family in the process. In the beginning of the story, William is a man who displays ignorance to appreciation and I feel as if he learns how to value many aspects of his life through the experiences that he undergoes. In example, when the taxi driver tells about his life story, there is a distinct change in William’s character. He goes from confused, cluttered, and mixed in his emotions about his family and who he is and starts to open his eyes by taking time and realizing that family is everything and I feel like Fekadu teaches him that. Personally, I relate to this in a sense of, before college, I didn’t care about family or anything that didn’t revolve around me. When I hit college and started living on my own and out of my own wallet, I realized that my family was everything. They were the foundation that helped me build my character up and got me to where I am today. If my life didn’t change, my valuation towards family wouldn’t have either. And I feel as if many people go through this realization.

Throughout the story, Williams makes many poor decisions regarding his family, but as sacrifice for his career. I feel this is normal for a middle-aged man who feels as if they need to focus on what society needs from them. I couldn’t help but think of my father himself as I read the part of the story when William’s ignores his wife’s request for him to stay home and not attend his meeting in Chicago. Once again, middle-aged men have different priorities other than family sometimes; for the most part, they have their mind set on their careers. If I recall, at one point in the taxicab, William’s does...
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