Ralph Ellison's Contemporary Postcolonial Theory Of Identity

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Ralph Ellison in his book Invisible Man (1952) defines Identity as: “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” (Ellison: 17) A literary text is a vital medium for exploring queries on identity and belonging. S.P. Swain in his Random Thoughts on Identity suggests that three factors determine one’s identity. The first factor is childhood impressions and aspirations. The rebelliousness in each individual is the second factor and the zeitgeist (faith) is the third factor (Swain 3). Stuart Hall in . Cultural Identity and Diaspora Contemporary Postcolonial Theory: A Reader (1996) remarks that People correlate their identity with places, things, values, beliefs and make an effort to establish their identity. Identity (is) a production, which is never complete, always in process, and always constituted within, not outside, representation (Hall 110). A psychological interpretation of identity relates to self- image (i.e. three dimensional representation of psychological portrayal of himself or herself), self esteem, and individuality. Gender identity is classified as an important part of identity in psychology, as this dictates to a significant degree of how an individual views himself or herself both as a person and in relation to other people, ideas and nature. In cognitive psychology, the term ‘identity’ refers to the capacity for self-reflection and the awareness of self. Components of identity include a sense of personal continuity and of uniqueness from other people. In
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