Identity in Object Lesson

634 Words2 Pages

Identity in Object Lesson Identity is within all of us. Without it, we would be nothing. It determines just about any personality trait, habit or manner one can think of. That humans have such varied attitudes is intriguing, but where does identity come from? People identify themselves using not only qualities within them, but through culture and family as well. A great deal of personality comes from within us. It has to do with likes and dislikes, and how we choose to react to daily things. For example, I have to write a paper. Is that good or bad? Depends on if I like writing papers or not. We see this in “Object Lesson” by Sharon Oard Warner. The main character, Laurel, despises her son’s new girlfriend. To Laurel, the girl named Sophie becomes a seductress, luring her son away. “Laurel sees herself as someone who loves most what she can’t have...soon it will be directed toward her son, Will, who appears to be heading out of her life.” (218) The hatred of Sophie and the blood stain she leaves on the son’s sheets begin to influence Laurel’s daily tasks: “All day, the stain comes back to haunt her...” (219) An emotion within her becomes a part of Laurel’s identity. Another example from La Puerta is “I Give You Back” by Joy Harjo. Hatred of white soldiers from the past is a part of her. Ms. Harjo refers to fear as “My beloved and hated twin.” (59) It has held her back, influenced who she is. The emotion of fear was so strong, it became a way through which she related to things around her. “You can’t live in my eyes, my ears, my voice, my belly, or in my heart.” (60) Culture plays an very important part in everyday society. What we eat, what we wear, the music we listen to, even the ... ... middle of paper ... ...t get rid of and other things you can’t get back.” (230) People identify themselves using not only qualities within them, but through culture and family as well. Through these few examples, it is easy to see some of the foundations that can foster an entire, complex identity. It is understandable how interesting and varied humans can be, drawing from so many directions to build who they are. Identity is not very complex at all, it comes through living day to day. Bibliography: Martin, Wanda, General ed. La Puerta. 2nd ed. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1999. Harjo, Joy. “I Give You Back.” Martin 59-60. Smith, Patricia Clark. “Grandma Went to Smith, All Right, but She Went From Nine to Five: A Memoir.” Martin 192-203. Warner, Sharon Oard. “The Object Lesson.” Martin 214-231.

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