Analysis Of Tatum's Essay: The Complexity Of Identity

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In her essay “The Complexity of Identity,” Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum author and former officers at the university Mount Holyoke states that we are often shaped by our family, our friends, our mentors, and people who are around us. “ The large part on who the world around me says I am.” What Tatum is saying is that whatever the world is doing or what ever the world looks like we try to be them and they affect how we look upon ourselves. Tatum also states that whatever these people say is what can really affect you and how we look at ourselves. Tatum states “ Who do my parents say I am? What message is reflected back to me in the faces and voices of my teachers, my neighbors, store clerks?” What tatum is saying is that how we project ourselves and our personal image the people around us start to get a picture of who we are, if we project ourselves as someone who is not right the begin to think we as a person are bad. …show more content…

For example in S.E. Hinton novel The Outsiders, Ponyboy is constantly changing because he has to adapted to other things and other people. In The Outsiders we see that Ponyboy is always trying to act tougher and stronger than his brother because he wants a good image to reflect back on him so his brothers think better of him. We realize that ponyboy doesn't like the way he looks, somthing that has a major effect on this is a movie that has Paul Newman in it, Ponyboy feels that Paul Newman looks better and is better then him. This has an effect on Ponyboy when S.E. Hinton says “ I was wishing I looked like Paul Newman- he looks tough and I don't.” (1) What S.E. Hinton is trying to tell us is that Ponyboy feels that he is not tough and after watching Paul Newman he wants to be like Paul Newman because he is tough. A few pages later

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