Identity In Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory

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Every child has someone that they idolize and cherish. Whether it be a relative or just a friendly adult, these childhood heroes can shape a person’s sense of identity. An excellent portrayal of this concept can be found in Truman Capote’s fictional short story, “A Christmas Memory.” In this short story, “Buddy,” the main character, has his sense of identity shaped by his childhood hero, which is his cousin whom he spends most of his time with. Buddy’s childhood hero shaped his sense of identity through the annual tradition and spending time together with her. To begin with, Buddy’s sense of identity is shaped through the tradition of baking fruitcakes every year at the beginning of winter with his cousin. Both save up their meager savings…show more content…
Since Buddy and his friend have spent all their money on the fruitcakes, they have seldom funds to spend on each other for Christmas. His friend builds him a kite and he does the same, even though it was the same present they gave to each other last year. Buddy is surprisingly not disappointed, in fact, he states that “all of which is fine by me. For we are champion kite fliers,” (Capote 6). His friend has already shaped his sense of identity into somebody who is not greedy and likes to see the better side of things. Previously, she accomplishes this by previously telling him “what gets [her] goat is not being able to give somebody something [she] want[s] them to have,” (Capote 5). In other words, Buddy develops sympathy and learns that gifts are really about the thought that counts because one’s financial situation plays a big role on what can and cannot be granted to him. To conclude, Buddy’s friend has also shaped his sense of identity into a sympathetic person who appreciates what he has. Given these points, it can be concluded that Buddy’s childhood hero has shaped his sense of identity by making Christmas gifts for each other and the annual baking of fruitcakes with him. Doing these activities with his cousin turned Buddy into a sympathetic, optimistic, thankful, and giving person. After all, childhood heroes play a huge role in how people grow up and become who they
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