Finding Identity In Othello And The Joy Luck

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Finding one’s identity is a necessary part of life. Before one can know where he/she belongs, one must know who he/she is. Though this sounds simple, finding one’s identity is not an easy task. In many cases, someone may have an obstacle blocking him/her from truly finding his/her identity. But, in the end, everyone hopefully has figured out who they really are. On their journeys to find their identities, Emilia from Othello by William Shakespeare and June from The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan both discover their true selves by overcoming and standing up to the obstacles holding them back. Emilia and June are both held back by something in their lives. Emilia is held back by Iago because he constantly puts her down. Iago tells her that she talks too much and that she needs to be quiet, saying, “in faith,” she speaks “too much” (2.1.104). He also blatantly abuses her when he says Emilia “[is] a foolish wife” (3.3.304). When Iago says destructive things like these to Emilia, she does not have a chance to form her own identity. She is always reminded of what Iago thinks of her and therefore internalizes those ideas. June is held back by her many failed attempts to be a prodigy. Her mother spends endless amounts of time training June to “be a Chinese Shirley Temple” (Tan 132), to…show more content…
Emilia begins to question the behavior of men (but not yet Iago) when she stands up to Othello. When Othello starts to rudely interrogate Emilia about Desdemona’s fidelity to him, Emilia defends Desdemona saying, “she is honest… If you think other, remove your thought” (4.2.12-14). She finds her voice and realizes that she should use it to stand up for justice. She also knows that someone has “devised [the] slander” (4.2.133) against Desdemona, but fails to realize it was Iago. Therefore, she has also fails to recognize the abuse in her own marriage and has still not found her own

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