"The Man Who Studied Yoga", by Norman Mailer: "Dissatisfaction with our lives."

Essay by blacklist13University, Bachelor'sA, November 2005

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Why are people often dissatisfied with their life? Maybe, it's because people settle for a particular life and want more or they don't settle and wish that they had. According to Sam Slovoda in "The Man Who Studied Yoga" by Norman Mailer, "many people are dissatisfied with the present, and either dream of the past or anticipate the future"(Mailer, 129). Sam discovers that this realization is hard to come by in the real world. Sam's inconceivable outlook over his point of view leads to his dissatisfaction with his family, with his friends, and ultimately with his own self.

Often the people that are closer to each other are the first to know of an individual's personal dissatisfaction with life, and can often become the object or the target of the loathing that it can bring into the relationship. The picture that is given of Sam's relationship with his family is not one of a man with a somewhat firm grip on the environment in which he lives.

Sam has a steady job, a wife and two daughters, and pretty much the picture of what a modern family is composed of. In the beginning of the story, Sam is described as wanting to "free himself of envy... he would like to love more; specifically he would like to love his wife more, and to love his two daughters without the tormenting if nonetheless irremediable vexation that they closet his life in the dusty web of domestic responsibilities and drudging for money" (Mailer, 126). This paragraph captures the feeling that Sam has dealing with the duality of his present life and the life that perhaps he had always pictured himself having. Sam refers to his wife as "She", embodying her as a plaguing or an opposing element in his life (128).