Passing Compare And Contrast Essay

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Identity is the fact of being who you are or what a person is. Everyone has an identity, but does identity shape you as a person? Many people can think it doesn't but in the short stories Passing by Langston Hughes and Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst, it is exemplified that identity does shape who you are. We see two characters Jack in Passing and Doodle in Scarlet Ibis face Identity difficulties and how these challenges build who they are as an individual. Accordingly, the first example that demonstrates how identity shapes who you are is written in Passing. Societal norms in the 1920s were an enormous thing considering racism was the main topic of conversion. The main character Jack has to “pass” as a white person in order to create a future …show more content…

Jack describes that “No matter how smart that boy’d get to be, they wouldn't hire him for a clerk in the office, not if they knew it”(Hughes 2). This proves how even if you were the smartest or strongest kid in town if the color of your skin was a little darker than what society thought was acceptable, you would not be given the same opportunities. During the 1900’s black people were enslaved and not expected to reach an actual job, let alone a job that pays a quarter of the same amount as a white person. The reader knows that Jack had to do what was needed in order to have a sliver of hope in his future but it gives the impression that he is not proud of his color and culture and he is ready to throw everything away including his family. Jack also expresses to his mother that he “...felt like a dog passing you downtown last night and not speaking to you” (Hughes 1). Jack states that he …show more content…

Many people need to hide their true identity from their families for fear of judgment and rejection. This statement is exemplified in Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst. The main character, Doodle is born with many genetic conditions that restrict him from doing numerous activities a normal kid his age can accomplish. In the story, Doodle's family's opinions about his life affected his self-esteem which eventually shapes his identity. Doodle’s Brother unravels “It was bad enough having an invalid Brother but having one who was possible no all there was unbearable, so I began to make plans to kill him by smothering him with a pillow” (Hurts 1). Consequently, brother expresses that having a challenged sibling creates an unquenchable hatred in wanting to kill him. Although Doodle doesn’t realize it, Brother is ashamed of Doodle and wants him out of the family. This sets the mood for the rest of the story which is depression and disappointing. Brother could not just sit there and let Doodle embarrass him and the rest of the family, so he started to make plans to teach Doodle basic skills that he was not expected to be able to learn. They both took on challenges that Doodle had a 0% chance of being able to do. Brother describes “Once I had succeeded in teaching Doodle to walk. I began to believe in my own infallibility…He too now believed in my infallibility so we set the deadline for these accomplishments”(Hurst 3). Now that Brother

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