Identity In Ernest Buckler's The Locket

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Throughout literature the constant theme of identity has been explored, with Northrop Frye even suggesting “the story of the loss and regaining of identity is, I think, the framework for all literature.” For characters, true identity isn’t always apparent, it needs to be searched for. Sometimes the inner struggle for identity stems from ones need for belonging. Whether one finds their sense of identity within friends, family, or in a physical “home”. It’s not always a place that defines identity. For example, The Locket by Ernest Buckler explores the ideas of where one may find true identity. In this short story the protagonist’s sense of identity comes from the emotional belonging to the idea of a home rather than the actual belonging to a physical building. Through the analysis of David and the grandmother, as well as the importance of…show more content…
Buckler uses the character of David to show the different ideas the family has on the meaning of “home” to reinforce the guilt and confusion he feels. First, looking at David and the conflicts he has within himself the reader can see he feels lost within his own “home” and it’s evident he has no sense of identity. David has no emotional belonging to anywhere and runs away in hopes somewhere beyond the farm can give him the sense of “home” he has been looking for. He feels guilty because he cannot call the farm his “home” because to David “home was not where you were born, that it was some place you had to find.” This proving “home” to David was never the farm itself because it never gave him the sense of identity he longed for. He knows there’s more for him outside the farm and despite what his family believes he’s compelled by every whistle of a train to go beyond what he knows to find belonging. But, the family’s opposing views of what “home” truly is only pushes David further into a state of confusion over his identity. Thus, the relationship between David and his family
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