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Richard Ford’s story, “The Communist” is about the complexity of family relationships and how to deal. Many of the examples of the relationships aline with the ideal of the American Dream, and the ideal family. Les is taken by his mother’s new boyfriend to go shooting, this situation is typically seen as a young, American male’s passage into manhood. Les having lost his father previously makes everyone more eager to jump on board the hunting trip. Les appears brave while shooting geese with his mother’s boyfriend, Glen, who seems more on edge with the guns when before leaving he asks Les to shoot him. Despite his involvement in Vietnam and his need for protection from whoever could come after him, it appears by his actions that he isn’t afraid of death in general just specifically of his own and the unexpectibility¬†his life choices have made death appear to be. While the death of Les’ father was unexpected as well, he seems more adjusted to the change than Glen.

Through this Les is seeing different types of love through his Mother’s relationship with his father and Glen. She seems more desperate with Glen, having waited for him to return after disappearing and not questioning him when he returned. This was ultimately Les watching his mother lose interest in finding love, and increase her desire to not be alone, causing a lower level of her self esteem.

Do you think I’m feminine?¬† I’m thirty-two years old now. You don’t know what that means. But do you think I am? (324)

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