The first category that James described was the “Material Me” (James 177). He claims that “the body is the innermost part of the material me in each of us,” and that “the clothes come next” (James 177). James believes that the way someone looks influences their “Self.” This is a valid statement due to the fact that a person’s appearance is a visual representation of individuality and it is part of what makes every person unique. Therefore, if they were forced to change their appearance, then according to James, the person’s self would be altered, if only slightly.
This idea that the appearance affects the self is supported in Night during the arrival of Elie Wiesel and his father at Birkenau, a concentrat...
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...ople then they had been before their imprisonment. By using physical, emotional, and psychological torture, they had completely destroyed everything that had made each inmate who he was. Once the “Spiritual Me,” “Social Me,” and “Material Me” had been destroyed, the people no longer had any means of differentiating themselves from one another. If they no longer had any desire to stand out, the only thing left for them to contemplate was how they would survive the next day. This method was able to reduce intelligent men and women down to a primal state where the survival instinct was the controlling factor, which made the Jews easier to control.
Wiesel, Elie. Night, by Elie Wiesel . New York, NY: Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006. Print.
James, William. The Self. New York: Harper, 1961. Google Books. Web. 6 February 2011
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