Explore how the choices individuals make can shape their identity. Identity is form of cloak of which is able to be donned. It is clothing of which is how society manifests you and is trimmed, shaped and altered by experiences and interactions of your physical ,emotional and mental environments. Ultimately it is the way individuals perceive their experiences and surroundings which trims and shapes your cloak to either your or society’s fitting.
This can be seen through the two texts of Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, of where Holden’s choices to venture out into the world and attempt to mould his identity in order to be accepted in his surroundings alters his complicated and intricate identity into one of which is used to try and fit in however, as a result of Holden’s choices, societies reaction to Holden’s attempts of which alters his identity yet again.
Within Chobosky’s the Perks of being a wallflower, we witness Charlie’s attempt to fit into his surroundings through the act of altering his identity and the response his surroundings incur upon of which like Holden alters his identity due to his interaction with his surroundings. Within Salinger’s the Catcher in the Rye, we witness Holden attempt to fulfil his inextinguishable desire to fit in with in surroundings, of which serves as a catalyst of the various and numerous remoulding’s of his identity and the hostile response he receives from society of which he recoils into a more desperate position after each attempt.
Throughout The Catcher in the Rye we see Holden go out into the adult world in order to search for a form of belonging after being rejected from his peers within his numerous past schools, most recently Pency Prep and he family of whom he is ashamed to face. In order to deal with the rejections of his identity, Holden is driven into the adult world of where he attempts to fit in through numerous alterations and remoulding’s of his identity.
This is seen through Holden’s naive attempts to acquire the identity of a form of ‘womanizer’ of which he first initiates in his meeting with Mrs Morrow of where he is initially uncertain of the attainment of the particular identity due to his evident confusion as he ‘just like them (women)’ and his later criticism of how ‘they’re always leaving their godamed bags in the aisle’.
However due to his desperation to find his identity he carries on with the identity with his constant ‘horsing around’ and ‘shooting the old crap’ with Mrs Morrow, talking as if he is experienced ‘womanizer’ in order to atone with his identity, however he doesn’t realise that Mrs Morrow is genuinely only interested about her son and not concerned about Holden. As a result Mrs Morrow rejects Holden’s flirtation of ‘C’mon, join me why don’t you? ” of which as a consequence results in the silence between the pair for the rest of the trip.
Moreover Holden attempts to adopt the identity through his attempt to seduce Sunny who works as a prostitute, however Holden who is still a child and possess a degree of innocence does not comprehend the way the adult world operates, particular within intimate relationships which are far from the conservative innocent ideal of Holden. Initially Holden abides by his innocent ideals of sexuality through the courteous act of offering to hang up Sunny’s dress and asking about her day.
However when Sunny abide by the adult’s world of the ideals of sexuality, Holden becomes extremely uncomfortable with his new identity as it violates his ethics of sexuality and excuse to not have sexual contact with Sunny’s adult world sexuality that he ‘had an operation very recently’ and asking her to ‘cut it out’ in reference to her sexual advances. As a result hostility emerges with none of the two parties being satisfies and Holden’s thought to not ‘thank her or anything, [as he was] glad he didn’t).
Ultimately throughout the novel of Holden’s desire to attain an identity of which he is comfortable with and is accepted by his environment we witness Holden’s choice to shape his identity into one of a ‘womanizer’, however due to the conflict which arises of Holden’s and the adult world’s perception of the characteristics of a womanizer Holden feels constantly let down and rejected by the adult world of where he has now come for refugee of which sadly results in Holden’s increasing desperateness of a form of identity of which he accepted by, of which reaches a point of where he is driven mad in mental and emotional disarray.
Within Chobosky’s Perks of Being a Wallflower we witness Charlie’s choice to divert from his current identity of being secluded and an outcast member of society through his decision to enter the ‘popular’ group in his environment.
Initially Charlie is confused as states that ‘I’m happy and sad’ suggesting that he is satisfied with his current identity to some degree of being an outcast member of society; which can be evidence through his confession of ‘only [having] one friend in elementary school and the directors decision to portray to be set apart from other members of his school, with him sitting alone at the back of the class room, walking alone in the hallway and not initiating any conversation with thers as seen through the scene of where instead of answering his English teacher’s questions he write down the answer into his exercise book even though the answer is correct. However Charlie does come to make the choice to embrace a new identity of which possess a large friendship and social web and with encouragement from his sister’s boyfriend that ‘freshman year is tough, but you really find yourself’ Charlie was determined to create a new identity which will fulfil his needs.
He does this through first becoming friends with Patrick a person of whom he appeals towards to and after a successful relationship with Patrick is incepted into his friendship group after attending one of their parties. However Charlie experiences the use of illicit substance of which he was not expecting, despite this Charlie succeeded in creating a new identity of which he is accepted by his environment and ultimately it was he choice to alter from his secluded form to find himself within a new position within the hearth of his new found friendship group.
All in consideration, it is evidently manifested as to how character’s choices can place a heavy and influential impact upon their identities, however the way the character’s environment reacts and responds which really determines the character’s acceptance of their identity.
Courtney from Study Moose
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