finding identity

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Identity is what defines a person and what makes them unique. In the novels, Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, the reader is introduced to two female protagonist, Nyasha and Marji ,who struggle to find their identity and achieve self discovery due to their socially constructed rules that tell them how to dress, act and what to believe in. However, both Nyasha and Marji have their own way of finding their sense of identity and individuality by challenging the societies they live in. Nonetheless, they must also find the perfect balance between what is expected of them and what they desire as individuals. Nyasha struggles to find a unified identity and often challenges the patriarchal society she lives in. Spending most her time in Europe, Nyasha grew up in Western culture and did not get the chance to strengthen her native culture. Therefore, she has difficulty separating herself from her two distinct cultures. This causes her to talk back to her parents and question their authority. She also finds herself trapped as she is not fully accepted by the whites as her classmates sneer at her, " She thinks she is white.... She is proud... She is loose" (Dangarembga 128) or by her family since she "offends them." In addition, Nyasha also believes that it would have been better if her parents "packed [her] off to home" so that they would not be stuck with "hybrids of children" (Dangarembga 106 ). This causes her to chooses to rebel to try to find a sense of belonging and identity without avail or a way to console herself. In a similar way, Marji feels trapped and divided by her individuality and the expectation of women to wear the veil, "I really did not know what to think of the veil. D... ... middle of paper ... ...is the only way they can by rebelling and going on a journey of self discovery. However, this journey is very different for both of them and ends with unlike results. While Marji is sent to Austria to be able to express her individuality and freedom, Nyasha is stuck in her nervous conditions of bulimia and her fate is unknown since she is not able to separate herself into one distinct culture. Through these two characters, it can be seen that ,through rebellion and self expression, the journey for finding their identities and self discovery can be accomplished. They also show that finding one's identity and individualism does not come easily especially when an individual has to challenge the society they live in. Works Cited Dangarembga, Tsitsi. Nervous Conditions. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 1996. Print. Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis. New York, NY: Pantheon
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