Identity And Identity In Dee's Everyday Use

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What is identity? Often, people confuse identity with personality. While personality describes your personal qualities such as being shy or outgoing, identity involves a combination of different aspects. Culture, language, family, friends, and society are a few of the aspects that helps shape a person's identity. For a person to feel identified, they must share similarities or differences with others. Sharing personality traits is effortless, but identity requires active engagement. Identity also involves a combination of how you see yourself and how others see you. How others see you can be influenced by economic, social, and physical constraints. These constraints cause a tension between how much control you have in constructing your own …show more content…

Feeling ashamed of her African culture and family, Dee wishes that her mother and sister look different and that her home would be nicer. Mama always knew how Dee felt about her, “My daughter would want me to be a hundred pounds lighter, my skin like an uncooked barley pancake. But that is a mistake” (par. 6). Dee’s judgmental nature has affected her mother’s self-view. Dee has returned from college to visit her family, but with a different attitude. Dee portrays herself as a confident and exceeding person, however, her mother sees her as arrogant and insensitive. In attempts to reconnect with her African roots, Dee has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo. Mama is cognizant that Dee’s intentions are not genuine and sees it as a rejection of her heritage. Worrying more about taking pictures of her surrounding, Dee neglects to spend time with her family. Mama notices that Dee, “Lines up picture after picture of me sitting there in front of the house with Maggie cowering behind me. She never takes a shot without making sure the house is included” (par. 22). Mama recognizes that Dee’s has only come to collect items to take back home instead of honoring and embracing her roots. Before leaving to college Dee’s mother had given her a quilt to take with her, but Dee was too embarrassed by it to take it. Now, Dee has asked her mother for it so that she can take as a part of her collection. Infuriated, her mother decided to stop Dee from continuing be deceitful of who she is. Evidently, Dee and her mother have very different views about Dee’s character. Between Dee’s self-view and her mother’s, we can see different features of Dee’s

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