Identity In Margaret Atwood's Hairball

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In the story Hairball by Margaret Atwood, Kat is living in a fictitious world as she lives life with a fake persona, but in reality she is lost and does not know who she truly is. Firstly, Kat has gone through many personality changes throughout her life; from her childhood as the pure Katherine, to high school Kathy, and blunt university Kath, to finally her present chic image Kat. Her character change suggests that she was constantly looking for who she truly was. However she still does not find her true self as at the end of the story she says, “... [I am] temporarily without a name.”(45) At this scene, Kat gave away her tumor ‘Hairball’ which symbolizes giving away her image as Kat. This indicates readers that she is back at another personality…show more content…
She was not contented with the banal and basic Gerald and it did not match the standards of Kat. She took advantage of Gerald, as he was like “blank paper”(38), and painted him into her image: the sexy and elegant Ger. Though Ger fit the image of Kat, she still was not pleased and she longed for someone else, she thought to herself, “Gerald is what [I’ve] been missing… Not Ger, not the one [I’ve] made in [my] own image.”(41) She yearned for the same Gerald she originally changed into her image. Though Kat tries to cover it up, it reveals that she truly does not like her own identity as she detested Ger’s image, who is exactly a reflection of herself. Kat’s lack of knowledge about who she is as a person altered her interests and affected the relationships around her. Lastly, Kat is lost as a person because she lives her life as what others perceive her to be. Though she tries to be unique and do things out of the norm, Kat desires the attention of others which fuels her unique and vogue persona. Her need for attention is evident when Gerald says, “Kat has a tendency to push things to extreme, to go over the edge, merely from a juvenile desire to shock.”(32) Gerald’s words reveal that Kat only lives to impress others, all while being unique and a trend
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