Charlotte Charke's Identity

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If I were to describe the life of Charlotte Charke in one word, my word of choice would be “odd.” Her autobiography, A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Charlotte Charke, describes in great detail the abundance of situations where Charke acted in ways that greatly varied from the perceived norm, which I believe played a massive role in the formation of her identity. Her personal narrative perfectly depicts how identity is constructed through a combination of factors that were outside of her control, as well as the things she could control within her life, or in other words, the situations were agency was involved, and the ones where it was forbidden. Initially, one of the first situations where we see Charlotte Charke being impacted by something outside of her control is her acceptance by others. From the day she was born, she was seen as an outcast and a burden by her siblings. “I believe I came not only an unexpected, but an unwelcome guest into the family… so that I was rather regarded as an impertinent intruder” (Charke 11). This immediate disapproval from those closest to her may have had a major impact on her self-image and confidence later in her life. For example, in the letter to herself at the beginning of the story, she says that she has never seen herself as a friend, and speaks of herself in a very…show more content…
Although one’s name might seem menial in the grand scheme of things, it is a crucial part of one’s identity. By choosing to take her first husband’s last name, she was choosing to be her own person, without the obvious connection to her family that followed her wherever she went. Choosing which name she wanted to go by gave her the power to define her relationships, both with her parents and her second husband. By separating herself from the Cibber name, she was allowing herself to make her career, as well as her identity, her own, without the overbearing influence of her
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