Other Voices Other Rooms

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Other Voices, Other Rooms In the novel Other Voices, Other Rooms, Joel’s father has a subtle but persuasive role. Joel Knox, a 13-year-old boy from New Orleans who has never met his father before, is called to Skully’s Landing, Alabama to live with him. Joel runs across a number of characters, such as Idabel, Florabel, Miss Amy, Randolph, and many other people, including his father. Randolph and Miss Amy are taking care of his father, because he is paralyzed and cannot move. It is Randolph’s fault that Mr. Sansom is paralyzed and he needs Joel’s help, but no one tells him this at first. In the novel, Joel’s father is the perfect embodiment for amour propre, or self love, which is described by Jean Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau states that there is self love and love of self, both which are completely different. Self love is the bad type and love of self is the good type. Self love is perverted and is a state of being in which one expects other people to give up part of their selves for that one person’s desires. Love of self is a natural state, which keeps one alive. Rousseau believes that without this love of self, love for another is completely impossible. Because of Mr. Sansom’s paralysis, he is not as active as other characters in the story, but his existence is connected with crucial imagery and symbolism. The father’s values can also be examined, along with his relationship with his son, Joel. Mr. Sansom’s expectations describe a perverted self love. He does not ask, but expects that other people should give up their lives for him. The reason that Joel was called to Skully’s Landing was to take care of his paralyzed father, but he was not told this. One day, while Joel is reading a magazine to his father, he notices that Idabel is outside and he wishes to be with her. A father is supposed to be happy that his son has a friend and should let him go out and

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