On September 11, 2001 America was attacked by al- Qaeda, a terrorist group led by Osama Bin Laden a Saudi native. There was a total of four hijacked airplanes by 19 members of the al-Qaeda group. The first and second attack were on the twin towers on the World Trade Center in New York City at 8:45 am (CNN).
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The third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington D.C and the fourth plane hit Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, 3,000 Americans lost their lives and at the time of the attack our president was George W. Bush (History). George Saunders short story, ‘Adams’ was published in the New Yorker on August 2004, the time of the Iraqi War period. Adams is an allegory that mirrors the historical event and adds a perplexing yet interesting twist to the stories message. The main questions is whether Frank Adams’ had ill intention in hurting Roger’s children or if Roger was assuming the worse. The comparison reflects President Bush was on his guard ready to protect his country and assuming the worse from former president Saddam Hussein. President Bush had assumptions of Hussein’s actions and constantly sent our soldiers out to Iraq to fight a war that was unclear but the assumption was that Hussein was out to attack America.
Roger remains paranoid through out the entire story because of the encounter he had with Adams in his kitchen: I never could stomach Adams and then one day he’s standing in my kitchen, in his underwear. Facing in the direction of my kids’ room! (101). Roger assumes Adams has an intention to act maliciously towards his children: What if we slip up? What if a kid gets out or he gets in? No, no, no I was thinking not acceptable (101). Saunders message is about people conscious and how one assumption can lead to a domino of destruction. The idea that Adams could be up to no good is portrayed through out the story such as the second time Adams is caught in his underwear again. Saunders makes an attempt to mock Roger’s paranoia and Adams actions are up to question because there was no other side to why Adams was in his underwear facing Rogers children’s room. The reader only gets Rogers side of the story which draws a connection to how America was only hearing President Bush’s side of the story, our country did not hear Iraq’s side of the story it was always one sided and it left no questions for Iraq to answer. Anything that had to do with 9/11 was related back to the Middle East and the media did a great job making Middle-Eastern-Americans a target just like in Adams the reader instantly assumes Adams is going to harm Roger’s children.
Violence is portrayed with Roger’s ‘wonking’ Adams: So I wonk him again in the back of the head and down he goes. When he stands up, I wonk him again and down he does (101). Rogers anger leads him to act aggressively towards Adams, the reality is Rogers did not like Adams from the beginning therefore, it encouraged him to become aggressive. Saunders shows how foolish Roger looks attacking a man that doesn’t even have the chance to explain himself. Roger is letting his anger get the best of him. He attacks Adams more than once and at this point of the story Roger shows his egoism: Hey Roger, hey With Roger being me. And then he rises up.Which killed me! Him Rising up? Against me? And I’m about to wonk him again (102). Roger egoistic personality makes it hard to understand him or side with him which draws the comparison with President Bush was trying to establish the “Bush doctrine” which had three ideas behind it and those are: The United States must maintain to be the world’s only super power, secondly its protection against the country in other words being allowed to attack the enemy first and thirdly eliminate any enemies (Costly). The egoism Roger presents is a mockery of President Bush’s obsession of attacking anyone who threatens to top America. Saunders makes it very clear that egoism drives a person to do and think impulsively.
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