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"Essay on Research for Identity"
Essay on Research for Identity
Melissa T. Littlefield
The search for personal identity is a fundamental behavior for people who live in a society no mater how hard it is. The self-realization is generally composed of many aspects such as culture, gender and age. In "Naming Myself" by Barara Kingsolver, this theme is central to the topic; in the short story "The Chrysanthemums" by John Steinbeck, the protagonist tries to find a sense beyond her true self likwise. Also, Al Purdy of "The Iron Road", which is not preoccupied with this concept, eventually liberates and reaches his self-realization.

The poem "Naming Myself" reveals that the awareness of one's racial identity is important for people. In the poem, the narrator is an one-quarter Chevokee. Her "restless" grandfather fled from his comfortable life to marry her grandmother--a Chevokee woman. He probably feels his life is boring and is curious about Chevokee culture. Although he is forgiven for stealing a horse by his family, he losses his family name because of his marriage. He makes up the name which the narrator guards. Once the narrator could change her name, but she did not do it and keeps it firmly because she is worried about losing his "soul" ?Cher identity and also becomes " restless" just like her grandfather. Obviously she is wise; otherwise she may be suffering between two cultures.

In contrast, Elsia in the short story "The Chrysanthemums" is not so lucky. She is eager to find her own self beyond his female's role, so she fails. In this story, Elsia is a mid-aged who has a neat house and a lovely husband. She also is good at gardening. She grows some flourishing chrysanthemums that represent her beauty and his value. When the tinker asks for her flowers, she gives him a pot of chrysanthemum spouts with great joy and even makes...

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