Home > Free Essays > Literature > Themes in American Novels > Literature: Relationships and Human Behavior

Literature: Relationships and Human Behavior Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Jun 15th, 2022

The process of personality formation is an essential stage of children’s development. The challenges it presents mostly stem from specific aspects of socialization. In other words, initial interactions with relatives and peers have a tremendous impact on it. From this perspective, communication can be considered a ground for one’s success in life. Finding solutions to problems in this area positively correlates with the overall psychological well-being of the affected persons. This is a recurring theme in literary works, and the pieces were written by Sherman Alexie, Kate Chopin, and Joyce Carol Oates demonstrate the influence of social ties on the main characters’ struggles. In this way, the examples from these stories prove that relationships form people’s lives, shape their behavior, define their progress in society as adults, and thereby lead them on particular paths.

The experience of children in their first communication is significantly affected by their parents’ attitudes towards them and their mutual understanding or the lack thereof. In this way, one’s family plays an important role in the process while being the principal source of information about the outer world. Hence, for Connie from “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” the relationships with her parents were perceived as more of an obstacle to making connections with people rather than useful guidance (Oates). She did not understand why her mother minded the obsession with her looks since the latter could not adequately deliver this message (Oates). As a result, she ended up in an inappropriate company. This outcome is partially connected to the absence of common ground with her parents.

Moreover, the intentions of families to instill their worldviews in children often lead to their complete rejection. Similarly, Connie refused to understand her mother’s stance. The girl’s communication style varied depending on whether she was at home or in the mall with her friends (Oates). Such behavior resulted from the neglect of this aspect by parents. Their relationships were built not on trust but on seeming connections. Therefore, the socialization of Connie and her problems were conditional upon poor relationships in the family.

However, when these issues do not disappear over time, adults struggle with communication as much as they did while being children. The story of the narrator from “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” demonstrates the absence of one’s connection to his parents (Alexis). This fact is also subsequently reflected in the man’s relationships with women (Alexie). In the family, his mother did not understand his needs and the specificities of life among white people for Native Americans (Alexie). She only wanted him to find a proper job and integrate into society without directly communicating this need to him (Alexie). As a result, the narrator became discontent with his life and vented anger toward his partner.

From this point of view, the interrelation between family relationships and one’s behavior in adulthood with other people can be seen in the similarities of their deeds. Thus, the main character in the story ignored his mother’s admonition and became depressed (Oates). He did not see his path in life and, therefore, made no attempts to change it. He started drinking instead, and this fact bothered his girlfriend (Oates). Like his mother, he failed to trace the precondition for his behavior. In this way, it can be concluded that the model of interactions existing in the narrator’s family was transmitted to his other relationships in life.

The perceptions of people also depend on their place in relationships, which is directly connected to their behavior. Thus, in “The Story of An Hour,” Louise, the main character, was suppressed by her abusive husband (Chopin). Hence, her reaction to his alleged death was positive, and she started to plan her happy future on her own (Chopin). In this way, the treatment of her husband evoked such a stance and guided Louise’s behavior in communicating the good news to her friends (Chopin). The story proves that a woman’s opinion and actions were conditional upon her spouse’s position towards her. In this case, the gruesome outcome depended on gaining and losing the seeming unlimited freedom within a short period (Chopin). This example adds to the role of relationships in one’s behavior and attitudes.

To summarize, the progress of people’s personality formation is reflected in their initial attempts of communication in life which happen within their families. This experience creates specific challenges, and their influence can be traced from one’s early years. In childhood, the neglect of various needs and the failure to communicate particular messages about the appropriateness of behavior result in social complications. They can be connected either to the selection of improper companies and people or the inability to resolve emerging issues in adulthood. In this way, the relationships in families form the offspring’s lives and define their success in society on a personal level. Thus, the latter selects the paths, which can lead either to healthy partnerships or to the emergence of ties with the wrong people.

Works Cited

Alexie, Sherman. Web.

Chopin, Kate. Web.

Oates, Joyce Carol. Web.

This essay on Literature: Relationships and Human Behavior was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

801 certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2022, June 15). Literature: Relationships and Human Behavior. https://ivypanda.com/essays/literature-relationships-and-human-behavior/


IvyPanda. (2022, June 15). Literature: Relationships and Human Behavior. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/literature-relationships-and-human-behavior/

Work Cited

"Literature: Relationships and Human Behavior." IvyPanda, 15 June 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/literature-relationships-and-human-behavior/.

1. IvyPanda. "Literature: Relationships and Human Behavior." June 15, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/literature-relationships-and-human-behavior/.


IvyPanda. "Literature: Relationships and Human Behavior." June 15, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/literature-relationships-and-human-behavior/.


IvyPanda. 2022. "Literature: Relationships and Human Behavior." June 15, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/literature-relationships-and-human-behavior/.


IvyPanda. (2022) 'Literature: Relationships and Human Behavior'. 15 June.

Powered by CiteTotal, essay bibliography maker
More related papers