What Makes Up Our Identity?

1448 Words6 Pages
What defines us? What makes up our identity? May it be religion, nationalism, ethnicity, mode of livelihood, or gender/family; we all have traits that identify us. For some, identity may be good, or for others, bad. Amy Tan uses Ethnicity, Gender/ Family, and Religion to describe how she feels about identity. Mary Matsuda Gruenewald also Utilizes Ethnicity, Gender/Family, and Religion express her feelings for Identity.

Lila Abu-Lughod believed that Identities are not natural, permanent, or fixed. Although people feel that they are, she also thinks that you have many identities. Identity is always defined through difference from something else. Mode of Livelihood identifies use because for impoverished folk, their goal is to just get daily nourishment, but as for an affluent individual, they may be concerned about getting access to an exclusive club. As for religion, if you are Jewish, you would celebrate Hanukkah, although if you are Christian, you would celebrate Christmas. During a world wide sporting event such as the Olympics, your national identity would identify you as America, Russian, Chinese, etc. In Algerian and Muslim countries, women would need to conceal their identities because women did not have the same freedom as men. Your ethnicity depends on your cultural background such as Chinese, Caucasian, or African- American. We all consist of certain traits or characteristics that create our Identities.

Amy Tan shows her interpretation of Identity by showing the differences between cultures in a short, sweet, and heartwarming short story. This story is interesting because it is a clear comparison between the American and Chinese traditions/cultural beliefs. Imagine sitting at a table on Christmas Eve, ecstatic with the ...

... middle of paper ...

... to this extent can be helpful to describe an emotional scene such as that. The parents have to destroy their precious belongings now. “One by one they looked over each record and took turns breaking them, silently feeding their beloved music into the stove until every record was destroyed. The flames illuminated my parents’ sad but determined faces. The family has to destroy their precious belongings. Through the details it helps set the mood of the reader. It makes you feel almost that you are there.

The term identity has many meanings, most identities have problems, for some it is simply how you celebrate holidays but for others it means being put in a relocation camp. Identity is what you are, not what someone else is. Today in society, people always want to have a different identity. People need to accept their identity for what it is, not what it could be.
Open Document