Invisible Man Identity Analysis

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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…show more content…
Marcia in his book Life transitions and stress in the context of psychosocial development (2010) identified four common ways in which adolescents deal with the challenge of identity formation. Those who experience, confront, and resolve the identity crisis are referred to as "identity-achieved." Others, termed "identity-foreclosed," make commitments (often conventional ones, identical or similar to those of their parents) without questioning them or investigating alternatives. Those who are in "identity- diffused state shrink from making defining choices about their future and remain arrested, unable to make whole- hearted commitments to careers, values, or another person. In contrast, those in the ‘moratorium’ group, while unable to make such commitments, struggle to find their identity through experiencing unresolved crisis. Firstly state of diffusion was related to adolescents only later it was discovered that it can occur at any stage of life (Marica…show more content…
The second, rooted in social constructionist theory, takes the view that identity is formed by a predominantly political choice of certain characteristics. In so doing, it questions the idea that identity is a natural given, characterized by fixed, supposedly objective criteria. Both approaches need to be understood in their respective political and historical contexts, characterized by debate on issues of class, race and ethnicity. While they have been criticized, they continue to exert an influence on approaches to the conceptualization of identity today. These different explorations of 'identity ' demonstrate how difficult a concept it is to pin down. Since identity is a virtual thing, it is impossible to define it
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