Self-Identity And Social Identity

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William Shakespeare once said, "To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." Dating back to Elizabethan Literature, self-identity has always been deemed as essential. Fast forward to modern times, the authors of more contemporary works have taken the same concept of identity but have revealed the way actions taken can influence an individual's understanding of themselves. For example, in John Howard Griffin's memoir, Black Like Me and Wes Moore's memoir, The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates were both authors encounter lifestyles of similar individuals. Through both comparable lifestyles, Griffin and Moore display the way work can affect the personal and social identities of…show more content…
As Moore introduces the actions taken in his life and the other Moore's life, he comes to the discover that "destinies can be determined by a single stumble down the wrong path, or a tentative step down the right" (Moore 8). Through his connotative diction, Moore uncovers the greatest distinction between himself and Moore. Being that Moore took that "tentative step" down a path of success, as contrasted with the other Moore who took the "stumble down" a path of destruction, Moore points out that the actions taken to guide him down the right path allowed for him to generate awareness of who he is within society, while the other Moore consequently did not have the necessary actions taken and therefore was not able to change the predisposed perception of his social identity. As a result, Moore conveys to his audience that actions taken play a role in the way analogous individuals will gain a sense of identity from a social perspective. Moreover, Griffin also manifests the influence work has on an individual's social identity. As Griffin reflects on his life as an African-American, he admits, "Having recognized the depths of my own prejudices when I first saw my black face in the mirror, I was grateful to discover... old wounds were healed and all emotional prejudice was gone" (Griffin 121). Griffin's reflective tone allows for him to elucidate the shift his actions created on his identity within the social group he was placed into. Being that Griffin wanted to remain himself; aside from superficial characteristics, he expresses to his audience that work can result in an individual's identity within a social group to be altered despite still possessing the same

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