Examples Of Identity In Gattaca

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Identity is the form in which the innate personality of an individual is revealed leading to perception and interpretation of a fictive self, imperative to human construction and function. When this notion is challenged it can result in a personal struggle leading to a loss of autonomy. The 1997 film noir ‘Gattaca’ explicitly challenges the notion of identity through the exploration of conceptions of identity and its interpretation, creating a provocation of the conflicting notions of identity itself, specifically through the protagonist Vincent. Simply The Oxford Dictionary can define identity as “1. The fact of being whom or what a person or thing is. However, the notion of identity runs deeper than a simple definition, conceptions of identity…show more content…
In the opening of the film, the imagery of the crashing of oversized fingernails and hair follicles suggests the idea of one’s body as the key to identity, accentuating the body as the place of identity. Our everyday detritus, such as fingernail clippings and dead skin, the parts of ourselves we discard, still hold the indexes of our entire identity. From the beginning we see Vincent erasing his ‘identity’, later to make way or his new one. This is first witnessed in rubbing out his height against Anton’s in the early scenes of his childhood, here Vincent is literally depicted as lower in the hierarchy in comparison to his physically taller and ‘valid’ younger…show more content…
Here Vincent challenges the traditional notion of identity set within the film. “The brain gives you that unique consciousness that no one else can ‘hack’ into, ad on top of that a self-consciousness: a continuing experience of your own special identity.”(Greenfield, 2008, p.18). This extract from Susan Greenfield’s text embodies the identity, which Vincent exudes, when undertaking Jerome’s valid identity he is consciously ‘Vincent Freeman’ on the inside, no matter which I.D card he swipes at Gattaca. This notion gives Vincent a unique sense of identity beyond his ‘invalidness’ to society and his life as Jerome, something that nobody can ‘hack’ into or alter, thus directly challenging notions of identity. Relating to this notion is the exploration of the importance of one’s name as a marker of identity. The significance of ‘Vincent’ lies in that although he was denied his fathers name of Anton, the meaning of Vincent is ‘conquering’, an identity, which Vincent eventually lives up too. Additionally his last name of ‘Freeman” means exactly that a free-man, foreshadowing Vincent’s eventual acquisition of personal autonomy, contrasting with the lack of differentiation and autonomy of the ‘valids’. The name Jerome Eugene Morrow is strategically significant in shaping his identity, Jerome closely links to

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