In a world where gloomy atmospheres and fragmented societies rule the cities, the protagonists often seek the meaning of their existence, while trying to cope with their confusing and chaotic minds of the every day life. Such is the genre of postmodernity, which depicts the struggles of the average human trying to live their average life. William Lychack shows this in Stolpestad, a short story from 2008, about a police officer in his middle age, trying to deal with his dull and unsatisfying life, and how a simple execution of a wounded dog can go terribly wrong.
Stolpestad, which is the name of the police officer, lives a very uninteresting life, and does little to nothing to try and change it. Having lived his entire life in the same city, Stolpestad does not seem to want to change his way of living, even though he’s uncomfortable up with his apparent position in society, “…this is your life, Stolpestad” (l. 9). Furthermore he spends most of his time on duty either waiting to get off from work, or simply procrastinating his time on duty by postponing his actions, such as having to put the dog down. The story can be seen as how Stolpestad learns to get a larger perspective of his life, as the particular event with the dog serves as a sudden realization of his current situation, thereby letting Stolpestad excel to a higher level of self-awareness, which will followed up on later. He lacks a clear purpose of life that his career as a police officer cannot fulfill, as he avoids his family and would rather drink and eat out than be home with them (l. 88-94).
Stolpestad is a rather common depiction of the postmodern society, for a number of reasons. The first one is his psychological appearance. In the eyes of the postmodern society, the individual lives his life without any purpose, and constantly seeks out other roles to fill the void in their existence. This is also shown in Paul Auster’s “City of Glass”, where the main character, Quinn, partakes...