Summary Of Mark My Words By Leslie Jamison

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Whether it be a dragon, tribal marking, Asian character, or a simple phrase, thousands of people get tattoos daily. Tattoos play a significant role in self-expression and identity since ancient times. Tattoos can be recreational, cultural, symbolic, or just stylistic. For some people, it is an expression of identity and personal beliefs. This is exactly the case for Leslie Jamison. She tells the story of her tattoo in “Mark My Words. Maybe.” The Latin phrase “homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto” is on Jamison’s forearm. In English, this translates to “I am human: nothing human is alien to me.” This is a quote about understanding and accepting humanity (Jamison 458). Throughout her story, she elaborates her personal reasons for getting the …show more content…

Tattoos are “declarations of selfhood” that make people unique and special (Jamison 459). It is odd to think that ink on an arm could be so meaningful to someone; however, to Jamison, it is her identity. Her new identity is one of independence, strength, and wisdom. Her tattoo means much more than a quote on her arm or something that makes her stand out amongst others physically. The difference between when she entered and left that tattoo parlor doesn’t involve the new ink on her arm. Instead, the idea and the concept behind the tattoo drives Jamison to find a new identity to build and develop without her former significant other. Her new identity feeds off of the idea inscribed on her arm. After, Jamison accidently runs into her former boyfriend and the meaning of the tattoo shifts. It goes from feeling like freedom to feeling like a shackle (Jamison 460). Being in the presence of a part of her old identity brings it back out once again. This demonstrates that identity can change based on emotions. The tattoo separates Jamison from the past and welcomes the future. Before, Jamison’s identity was marked by her reliance and connection to her boyfriend. After the tattoo, her identity shifted to that of independence and the search for a better partner. To Jamison, this view is an important part of her identity that is worth permanently marking on her body. In Jamison’s case, the emptiness at …show more content…

Maybe” helps me to better understand the significance of identity through her commitment to her tattoo. Tattoos are used for a variety of reasons, whether it be for looks or for a deeper meaning. To Jamison, her tattoo was a symbol and reminder of her identity. The short phrase of “I am human: nothing human is alien to me” is much more meaningful than it seems (Jamison 458). Jamison has been through tough times, which is only human. Because of this, she is now ready to face anything that comes her way in the future. The tattoo is the embodiment of Jamison’s new identity. In order to get over her tough break up and move on to independence and freedom, she must create a new identity. It is so important to her that she gets this tattoo on her arm so that it lasts the rest of her life. It will serve as a constant reminder to stay true to her new identity and not look back on the past. All of the criticisms and hard times Jamison was given for her tattoo did not hinder her. Identity is so important to her that she learns to embrace the strangers and people who approached her about it. It only strengthened her cause, despite negative attention. The tattoo serves its purpose as a reminder of the importance of identity. Jamison’s tattoo empowers her to maintain her identity of strength, independence, and the capability to overcome human adversity for the rest of her

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