Identity And Personal Identity

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What is identity? Often, people confuse identity with personality. While personality describes your personal qualities such as being shy or outgoing, identity involves a combination of various aspects. Culture, language, family, friends, and society are a few of the aspects that helps shape a person's identity. For a person to feel identified, they must share similarities or differences with others. Sharing personality traits is effortless, but identity requires an active engagement. Identity also involves a combination of how you see yourself and how others see you. How others see you is influenced by economic, social, and physical constraints. These constraints cause a tension between how much control you have in constructing your own identity…show more content…
“A Lesson Before Dying”, “Fences”, “This is What It Means To Say Phoenix, Arizona”, and “Everyday Use” are all works of literature where there is a tension between how the characters see themselves and how others see them. In “A Lesson Before Dying”, Grant’s self-view collides with how he is seen by others in his community. Grant has gone to a University and is now a teacher in the quarter where he grew up and is constantly being admired for it. Most of the admiration comes from Miss Emma in hopes that Grant can transform Jefferson into a man before he is executed. Miss Emma states, “I want the teacher visit my boy. I want the teacher make him know he’s not a hog, he’s a man” (pg. 20-21). Continually referring to Grant as “the teacher”, Miss…show more content…
Troy thinks of himself as a protective father who is shaping his son into a responsible man, but Cory has a completely different opinion about him. Cory is presented with the opportunity to play college football on a scholarship but is utterly shut down by Troy. This situation has created a conflict between Cory and Troy. The tension continues to grow to the point where Cory wants nothing to do with his father. Cory reveals to his mother, “The whole time I was growing in this house...Papa was like a shadow that followed me everywhere. It weighed on you and sunk into you like flesh...Trying to crawl in. Everywhere I looked Troy Maxson was staring back at me. I’ve got to find of way to get rid of the shadow” (2.5.155). Evidently, Cory does not admire his father’s ways of being and wants to be the exact opposite of him. Troy’s concern for shaping Cory into a man overrules his paternal emotions resulting in him being stricter and less affectionate. Troy states, “It’s my job. It’s my responsibility! You live in my house...sleep you behind on my bedclothes...fill your belly up with my food...cause you my son. My flesh and blood. Not cause I like you! Cause it’s my duty to take care of you. I ain’t got to like you. (1.3.230). In Cory’s eyes, Troy is a bitter man who does not love him or supports his dreams, he is simply there only to provide economically for him. Being able

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