Wesley Hayden Essay

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Yasamin Roozbeh English 081 May 21, 2012 Wesley Hayden In the novel Montana 1948, Larry Watson tells the story of the struggles of a family torn between loyalty and justice. The identity of Wesley Hayden is explored and the different points of views of his brother, Frank’s sexual assault case add a new perception to the story. Wesley grows as a person because of the circumstances and misfortune he undergoes throughout the novel. Watson portrays Wesley to be a weak and brittle man, making him seem as though he cannot defeat anyone or anything that comes his way. Wesley lives under the shadow of his brother Frank and as the story progresses he is slowly escaping it. However, despite Wesley’s wilted physique and lack of superiority in the Hayden family hierarchy, he possesses a great deal of moral virtue and mental strengths. First of all, Wesley’s leg injury leads to other factors to develop Wesley as a better and stronger man. In his life he goes through many obstacles, such as his failure to go to war, and thus becoming the underdog of the Hayden family. This is discovered when the patriarch, Julian Hayden, says to his son Wesley “Ever since the war…Ever since Frank came home in a uniform and you stayed home, you’ve been jealous” (118). This favoritism shows what little respect Julian holds for his younger son that stems from Franks dominance between the Hayden siblings. Wes is constantly put down because of his brother’s achievements; these situations can either make or break Wesley. In all families, there is a member who thrives on ‘power trips’, and in this specific situation, it was Julian, “He wanted, he needed, power…he was a dominating man who drew sustenance and strength from controlling others” (20). Julian acquires his power through putting others down, especially Wes; this causes Wesley to have a lot of animosity towards his father. The
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