Identity In Marianna Torgovnick's 'My Neighborhood'

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In “On Being White, Female, and Born in Bensonhurst,” Marianna Torgovnick revisits her old neighborhood, remarking on the prejudice and racism that dominated her childhood. After a racially motivated murder in her home town, Torgovnick reflects on her family, the Brooklyn Neighborhood she was raised in, and her effort to escape her provincial “roots”. Torgovnick has spent a lifetime trying to escape the narrow-minded traditions and beliefs of her background. Though seemingly successful in separating herself in appearance, action, belief, and status from her upbringing, she is still holds the ascribed identity of “Bensonhurst” and obvious shame at the culture that she came from. Torgovnick’s identity as an educated successful American contrasts…show more content…
Here, like with Torgovnick identity isn’t something easily evident; like skin color -that divides the country, but long held beliefs. salin convert how?? In “My Neighborhood” Ishmael Reed begins by sharing his father’s evolutionist ethic, that moving up in status meant moving out of a black neighborhood, into an integrated neighborhood and then goes on to describes how his identity as a black man, or as a resident of a black neighborhood, determines how he is perceived in each of the California neighborhoods he lived in. He ends by describing his “predominantly black” Oakland neighborhood, the cultural kaleidoscope of the local businesses, and the residents’ quiet patriotism as “a human neighborhood”. JP The Reed essay demonstrates the evidence unearthed by Robert Putnam’s research and presented in an analysis by Michael Jonas.In Reed’s essay he describes how his racial identity affected his personal identity and impacted his status in various neighborhoods. Reed writes about an incident where he went into a bank to apply for a loan and was told he’d need to wait through a 6-month waiting period to qualify. Later he called the same bank, and gave them the same information, over the phone and was instantly approved. His status as a successful, responsible American was not perceived as lower nor impaired.

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