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I am forty-one years old now, and I think about that time without regret.

This story is about seeing reality in wishful situations. “Communist” by Richard Ford has three main characters Les, Aileen, and Glen. Les the narrator of the story is the son of Aileen and Glen was Aileen’s communist boyfriend. It has been two months since Aileen and Les have seen Glen and when Glen returns Aileen is not pleased to see him. Les on the other hand is happy to see him, this I believe represents childlike optimism. It is alluded to that something must have happened between Aileen and Les to have caused him to have leave initially. Les and the reader have a limited point of view regarding Glen and as to why he has been gone. Therefore we as a reader do not know a whole lot about Glen either. As a result Les in a way has allowed his imagination and limited perspective of Glen to glorify him. The white geese in my opinion represent fleeting innocence, and Glen is the harsh reality that kills innocence. As much as Les would like to believe Glen is a good person, when it comes down to it he is not, that day in November is proof of that. It was important for Les to realize that things are not black and white, there are multiple perspectives and varying realities to everything and everyone. Realizing this is a key part of growing up, but I do not entirely believe that this is a coming of age story. When we are younger we desperately want everyone to be how they appear in our heads. It is difficult when one’s idea of someone is shattered, more so the first time more than any other time. Getting older and learning to accept people for who they truly are, rather than trying to force someone into a roll that is uncharacteristic of them is one of the more difficult things in adulthood. You can save yourself a great deal of disappointment and heartache by not creating unrealistic expectations for the people in our lives.

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