Three Cups Of Tea Identity

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In the Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, identity plays an important role in the outcome of the novel. One may ask, what is identity? This complicated and unclear concept can have several meanings. According to social scientist Judith Butler, “we tend to put on new personas depending on what our current situation is. It is repeated assumptions of new personas in daily life”. Moreover identity can be seen as ones sense of self. In the novel Relin portrays Greg Mortenson, the novel’s protagonist, at first as a impulsive risk taking individual who attempts to climb the K2 mountain as a catharsis for the death of his sister Christa’s death. Mortenson was very compassionate to climb the K2 however fails to do so and lands…show more content…
At first he never set out to be a humanitarian. He was only a nurse and loving brother to his sister, however now he is a person who decided to help poor villagers build a school for their children. Relin states, “…climbing K2 to place a necklace on its summit suddenly felt beside the point. There was a much more meaningful gesture he could make in honor of his sister’s memory. “I will build a school,” Mortenson said. “I promise.” ”(Relin 33). Here we can see that Mortenson changes from being an ordinary person to a humanitarian advancing his identity. Later on while trying to build the school Mortenson becomes confused and frustrated. He becomes lost as a person not knowing what to do. He had moments where he hadn’t made plans or either being disorganized leading him to become lost. Such as when he comes to realize that he had to build a bridge first to transport materials then could approach building a school after. This resulted from his failure to plan properly. He is then disappointed even further when he comes to know that his girlfriend is leaving him and that his boss is firing him as they were no longer willing to put up with his impulsive, disorganized…show more content…
In the beginning of the novel he has a hard time figuring out the customs of the Pakistani people. He doesn’t quite fit in and as an American he nonchalantly judged their customs and frightened by it. Relin states, “Mortenson looked on nervously. He’d smell paiyu cha ever since arriving in Baltistan, and its aroma, which he described as “stinkier than the most frightening cheese the French ever invented,” had driven him to invent any number of excuses to avoid drinking it” (Relin 22). This quotation suggests Mortenson frightened to accept tea from the Pakistani people as his American descent faced him to be judgmental. However as the novel progresses he began to accept change and to be more non-judgmental with decisions. He is then taught how to pray by many villagers. Relin states, “For years, Mortenson had known, intellectually, that the word "Muslim" means, literally, "to submit." And like many Americans, who worshipped at the temple of rugged individualism, he had found the idea dehumanizing. But for the first time […] he glimpsed the pleasure to be found in submission to a ritualized fellowship of prayer” (Relin 68). This quotation shows how he enjoyed becoming more cultural diverse and accepted its beliefs. Later on Mortenson realized that “no one was looking at him as an outsider”(Relin 69). He felt content to be accepted as one of them. Mortenson soon became a great

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