Identity In 'The Woman Who Had Two Navels'

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In The Woman Who Had Two Navels, Nick Joaquin develops certain parallelisms in Connie Escobar’s and Dr. Monson’s characteristics, alluding their relationship to an underlying theme in the novel: the idea of reconnecting to an identity. This essay will discuss how both characters initially deviate from the attainment of their identities because of their escape from reality and how they find their way back through their meeting in Chapter V. The main definition of an identity in the novel is stated by Connie: I must know what I am and how can I know that if I don’t know what I came from? When I was little, I thought I knew [Manolo Vidal]. … But then I grew up and began to notice what people were saying, what the newspapers were saying. Now I don’t know which is my real father—the one in the old newspapers or the one in the new ones. But I do know I must find him. (Joaquin 257) Connie states that she…show more content…
She constantly seeks reassurance and acceptance of her two navels. Yet she understands how most people find this idea unnatural and repulsive, attempting to arrange for an operation to get one of her navels removed, but stops, realizing that living in her illusion provided her with more “safety and happiness” than what living in reality did. She initially resolves to permanently live in her illusions: in the context of escaping reality and the troubles that come with it, Connie continues to evade the problems that chase her (her mother Concha and her husband Macho). It is worth noting though, that Connie succeeds in escaping her problems, as in the time span of the novel, Connie never physically meets Concha or Macho, the two major sources of her problems. This then corroborates Connie’s idea of escaping reality as an effective solution (at face value) to dealing with her
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