10 June 2015
Factors That Makes Us Who We Are Identity plays a vital role in today’s world. It can be defined as who a person is or what differentiates one person from another. A person’s identity is what makes him/her special or unique from others. There are some literature that discusses identity, like ‘A Doll’s House’ written by Henrik Ibsen, where he writes about a woman, Nora, who pretends to be a doll for her husband, Torvald. Also, in ‘The Alchemist’ written by Paulo Coelho, where Paulo discusses about a boy, Santiago, who wish to travel around the world, became shepherd to fulfill his wishes. And in ‘The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake’ written by Aimee Bender, where a girl name Rose is a food psychic, she tells the feelings of a person just by tasting their food. Identity is formed by a variety of factors such as society, family, gender and personal legend.
Starting with Identity formed by society. Society plays most important role in formation of Identity. It helps in building one’s identity as well as ruining it like in ‘A Doll’s House’ written by ‘Henrik Ibsen’ where a woman name, Nora, who pretends to be a doll for her husband, Torvald, forge a signature just so she can save her husband’s life when he was in danger. She does everything that he wants just to make him and the family together and happy. But because of her one mistake, her husband forgets everything she has done for him and for family. He fears about his reputation in society. As he tells Nora ‘I may be falsely suspected of having been a party to your criminal action’ (Ibsen 63) where he acts as a selfish husband and tells Nora that he will be blamed for everything that she had done, rather than protecting her and taking blame on his self, he reacts in a different way just because of the fear of society and his future. Society is also the reason for people believing in things that are not real, Stereotypical ideals play a profound role on societies, a perception towards an individual’s identity. Just like in an article ‘New York Muslim leaders Condemn Paris Terror Attack’ where Imam Moussa Drammeh, says "We are and we will always condemn any act of terrorism in the name of Islam" (1) where he speaks for the right of Islam, society has made very negative image of Islam on the world, a beard man, a woman in hijab are considered as a terrorist just because of some devils who uses the name and get up of Islam and do whatever they wants, who even don’t know the meaning of Islam are considered as Muslims, and society or media shows these peoples as a example of Islam. Identity is formed by society, making false judgement about an individual is so mainstream these days, in book ‘The Alchemist’ written by Paulo Coelho, a boy name Santiago who wishes to travel around the world, became shepherd to fulfill his wishes. Santiago who can read very well became the false judgement of a merchant’s girl whom he met during his journey, ‘I didn’t know shepherds knew how to read’ (Coelho 7) after watching Santiago reading the book the girl make her opinion about him that he cannot read or write, just because he is a shepherd, to her shepherd only knows about his sheep and that’s it. Society has crossed the line when it comes to the pressures placed on women to attain an unattainable level of physical perfection. As John Berger stated personality of woman is divided into two as "observer" and observed"(Berger, 46) where he tells about opinions of society on women, women who are only used as toys, a good display, a body that is only used to make something popular or famous. And due to this environment girls have started dieting from a very young age, so they can be appreciated by the society, if they are fat or ugly then they have no good reasons to live for Identity is formed by society, society judges a person without knowing the actual reasons, such as in A Doll’s House where Krogstad tells Nora ‘My sons are growing up; for their