This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Can Society Influence One's Identity? Essay

1010 words - 4 pages

Does it come from within which makes us who we are, or is it our environment that molds us? The debate is on. With the comparison of “Story of an Hour,” written by Kate Chopin and “Harrison Bergeron,” by Kurt Vonnegut, the idea of society influencing an individual’s identity is put in to picture through different scenarios. Society has rules to be followed, deviance is frowned upon, and obedience only causes repression for the individual who then loses their individuality. The freedom to be ourselves is an important one, and is one worth standing up for.
In the “Story of an Hour,” the main character, Mrs. Mallard, has lost her identity because of her husband. With the death of Mr. Mallard, Mrs. Mallard exclaims that, “there would be no powerful will bending her in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature”(Chopin 222). Often, people in relationships try to mold the other person to fit to their needs. Through Mrs. Mallard’s eyes, this influence whether “a kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime…” (Chopin 222). If someone is intruding on your freedom, which includes the right to be who you are, conflict can build in the relationship. There are those who can refuse the pressure to change, but some crumble underneath the stress and end up changing who they really are.
During the Victorian Era, the time when this piece was written, it was a patriarchal society. Women were expected to be submissive and obedient towards their husbands. Mrs. Mallard speaks of feeling “…pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul” (Chopin 221). She has grown tired of fighting for her voice, her rights, her identity as a woman, and it left her with no other option, but to change for the sake of her husband. Other descriptions of the males dominance placed over her are included in the description of Mrs. Mallard’s self, “she was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression…” (Chopin 222). Women have not always had equal recognition by society, especially in a male dominated one. Those who did away with the gender bias have paved a path much more fulfilling for us women today.
Expectations placed by society regulate behaviors in public and even instill a sense of guilt for feeling a certain emotion. With the death of her husband, Mrs. Mallard rejoices with freedom and refers to this happiness as a monstrous joy. She knew as a participant of society, one is not to be rejoicing from the passing of a partner and, therefore, refers to her happiness as an evil thing. To save face for society “she knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death…”(Chopin 222). The constraints of society kept Mrs. Mallard from being able to express her happiness and share her freedom and forced her to display an emotion that was not being...

Find Another Essay On Can Society Influence One's Identity?

How the Influence of Others Can Change One's Beliefs

871 words - 4 pages 92655 When an infant is born it is born without knowledge or fear of the world. As they grow they start to develop their own beliefs based on the influence of other people. The same idea can be seen throughout history. The words and actions of other people have caused many great events. Memorable events almost always have a person, or many people that influenced them. People change their beliefs based on the way that other people have

"The Outsiders" and how Alienation from one's family and society can result in the downfall of an individual. in 637 Words

639 words - 3 pages Alienation from one's family and society can result in the downfall of an individual because without the loving support of them, that person may become emotionally unstable. Some people don't realize how important family and friends are. Without them you may not be able to have a good life. When Johnny found out he was an orphan, he lost it. He ran away form home and joined a gang and began to steal. He mugged white people and turned into a

Can Confucius Influence our Lives Today? This essay looks at confucian ideals and compares them to our modern society

871 words - 3 pages Can Confucius Influence Our Lives Today?Viewing Confucius' basic ideas and principles today, it is far easier to dismiss them according to our society rather than embrace them and take on the task of becoming a true gentleman. His beliefs were created based on a time of warring clans, turmoil, confusion, and a collapse of civilization in ancient China; now, we find ourselves in a time of prosperity and strong international relations, yet there

Shaping Identity

824 words - 3 pages , the religious beliefs by the practice of certain faiths, and cultural awareness through family history and traditions. These are what shape the identity of an individual.      In today's world, society creates an impact on human life. More of an impact can be seen among family and peers. They can be found at home, work, and school. At home with family, identity can be created on the difference of having one parent, divorced or separated parents

An Assessment of Diversity and Its Impact on Behavior

1004 words - 4 pages creating one's identity. Actually, it could be said that a person's identity is just a reflection of one's environment. To clarify, a person who has had no social contact with other humans or their conventions would not have a social identity. One can only know what he or she has experienced, whether directly or through thought. Without social interaction, one experience would be non-existent.Ethnicity plays a huge role here because it regulates

Articles on Identity and Intercultural Communication

632 words - 3 pages Articles on Identity and Intercultural Communication.Regina E. Spellers: "Happy to be Nappy! Embracing an Afrocentric Aesthetic for Beauty."Noting that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the author goes in to state her aim as to ask "how one takes an Afrocentric world view and moves from valuing mainstream standards of beauty to embracing a concept of beauty that evolves from one's personal ideology." (Page 52). The author goes on to

the roles of languages in culture

1048 words - 4 pages that is constructed when an individual categorize themselves a group, in addition to social context and ethnically accustomed communicative structures in a particular society (Jung and Lee,2004). Language serves as a tool that embraces one's identity and operates as a mean of uniting a cultural community that share the same collective identity.In the process of identity formation, language functions as a tool that holds the cultural identity that

Society's Membership

1208 words - 5 pages . The False Self is the response of one's self to the stereotypes that the environment creates. An environment can be defined as the surroundings or conditions in which a person lives. Society encompasses the conditions that surrounds a person, from family and friends to social media and cultural beliefs. Consequently, it affects the identity of a person and influences him or her to fit a certain standard. Hiding one's True Self or protecting it

Ethnic Identity and African Americans

870 words - 3 pages with their ethnicity at an earlier age than their majority counterparts (Smith, 1991). Parents can help to speed up the early stages of ethnic identity development by taking an active approach to ethnic socialization. Ethnic socialization, according to Steinberg(1996), refers to the process through which parents teach their children about their ethnicity and about the certain experiences they may have with the broader society. Ethnic socialization

Constructing Identity, Building the Mystery

2341 words - 9 pages broader scope of society and literature, the desire for even more knowledge arises, coming to the surface of the mind and propelling an individual to move forward in their quest for truth, identity, and self-expression.After this initial awareness comes to light, one can begin to build upon the notions of self that already exist; the recognition of the self in the context of others evokes the feeling that there is an inaccessibility in the nature of

Nature V Nuture

1248 words - 5 pages roles that nature and nurture play in the development of personality a more truthful and realistic conclusion will be obtained. Spawning intense investigation and experimentation, and attracting many psychologists and scientists alike, is what is often times referred to as the "Nature versus Nurture" debate. When a reference is made to "Nature" it can be defined as one's "inborn biological endowment". When a reference is made to nurture it is

Similar Essays

Construction Of One's Self Identity In Today's Society

2031 words - 8 pages influence. Thus, we can only draw from the cultural repertoire available to us.Evidently the contemporary media permeates everything that we encounter in our everyday existence. The messages we receive are diverse, diffuse and contradictory. It is through the television, magazines, news papers and the internet that, at its disposal, society has a great deal of resources available to them. Through the theoretical frameworks concerning identity

How Does Class Influence Identity In Contemporary Society?

766 words - 3 pages Introduction:Part (b) In order to answer this question we must compare the influence of class in contemporary society against that of earlier times. The earliest time we can do this is from the point when the concept of class first emerged (Marx and Weber). We must also understand what 'class' is.Social class is a very significant as it can provide us with a sense of belonging. It is however a highly disputed concept within social science. The

How Does Class Influence Identity In Contemporary Society?

812 words - 3 pages belonged to and there was an inequality in the distribution of incomes. Social class can provide us with a sense of belonging; it can tell us who 'we' are and who 'they' are, and how to relate to the world around us. (Woodward,2004, p.96)It has been said by sociologists that class does not play an important role in shaping identity. Some sociologists have gone as far as to say that 'class is dead' (Pakulski and Waters, 1996) Manufacturing and

Influence Of Society In Meena Kandasamy’s Social And Poetic Identity Reflected In Her Poetry

2646 words - 11 pages process of coming to terms with her identity: her “womanness, Tamilness and low/outcasteness” that she wears with pride (Sarangi, par. 1). Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak suggests, “I construct my definition as a woman not in terms of a woman’s putative essence but in terms of words currently in use. ‘Man’ is such a word in common usage. Not a word, but the word” (Lodge and Wood 495). And one can note surprisingly that Meena Kandasamy changed her given