The Importance Of Identity

1251 Words6 Pages
Someone’s identity defines who they are, what they are perceived as, and what they do in relation to everyday life, careers, and other people. Do physical things like material possessions or the way someone dresses compose an individual’s identity? Realistically, who is to name what someone’s identity is comprised of. Though our identities depend a great deal on our experiences and beliefs rather than physical things, numerous aspects about ourselves produce our identities. These major categories that define one’s identity are appearance, faith, gender roles, race, and culture. Sadly, appearance plays a massive part in the way we as a modern society perceive someone. Being such an enormous part of the perception that we receive from our peers, the idea that physical appearance shapes identity falls inward onto us. For example, in “Mirrorings” up until Lucy Grealy moves to London for reconstructive surgery, her entire identity is her illness (Grealy). While it is easy to do, she let other people’s nasty opinions of her change the way she felt about herself (Grealy). She outright believed that she was ugly, but she was basing it on physical appearance (Grealy). She coped with this by becoming a “deep person,” as she referred to herself, but she eventually gravitated towards working on herself and her personality regardless of what her physical appearance was (Grealy). Personally, I feel that physical appearance plays an insignificant role in our identity. Biologically speaking, outward looks determine why someone is attracted to other people and so on. However, I personally disagree that appearances are important, rather someone's values and beliefs, their quirks, etc. Most people will tell you that a “attractive” or “better-lookin... ... middle of paper ... ..., by what comes naturally to us and cannot be changed about ourselves. It is not simply our appearance or gender roles we fall into, faith, race, or culture. It is these things together that make us who we truly are, and define our very purpose of being who we are. Without identity, as I mentioned before, there would be no spice to life let alone literature. In literature specifically, without the unique identities of characters and people in pieces of literature we realize that it would be impossible to have favorite characters or to relate to them at all. In realizing identity plays such a big part of literature and life, we learn more about ourselves and occasionally why we even like certain literature and how it relates back to our identity. Analyzing this fact has helped me to understand that identity is the pinnacle of the person we are and who we strive to be.

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