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What Views Of Identity Are Shown In Your Core Texts (Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock And 'the Rhapsody On A Windy Night' And Related Texts (The Prestige And To Kill A Mockingbird)

2515 words - 10 pages

The term identity relates to the nature of people, and the relationship between themselves and their behaviour within the realm of their social structure. How individuals view their own identities and respond to their own and identities of those around them contributes to a person's character. Identity basically defines the theory of how one sees him/herself in a social, outside situation. It also relates to the person's comparisons with others and society in general. Identity may be contrasted with the notion of self. Identity is linked to self-image (a person's mental model of him or herself), self-esteem, and individuation. An important part of identity includes gender identity, as this dictates to a significant degree how an individual views him or herself both as a person and in relation to other people. Identity may also refer to the capacity for self-reflection and the awareness of self. Our sense of self/identity is influenced by our surroundings and interactions with societyThe Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot, is a prime example of how one's sense is influenced by surroundings and society. Prufrock relays the thoughts of a sexually frustrated middle-aged man who wants to say something but is afraid to do so, and ultimately does not. The poem follows the narrator Prufrock, and we as the audience, explore his mind and thoughts about life and society. From this, insights into the mind of Prufrock are learnt of, creating empathy and more of his identity and character is observed. As Prufrock seems to be talking to himself (inner monologue), the descriptions given from his perceptions of society and surroundings are seen to have great effect on the protagonist. The theme of identity also stems from whether or not the person's identity is fully recognized by those around them. If they are fully recognized or recognized greatly, positive emotions will be produced. On the reverse side, a small amount of recognition, or a lack of recognition will produce negative emotions like anger and depression. In this case, Prufrock's personality is seen to be in a frustrated and depressed state, showing us that he does not seem to fit in with his society and surroundings.In the poem, Eliot employs literary techniques such as allusions, symbolism, and rhetorical questions to help convey meanings and messages to audiences. The use of allusions helps to create feelings of mysteriousness in Prufrock's character, along with emphasising the idea of his perspective of himself. "Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter, I am no prophet - and here's no great matter"(John the Baptist) presents an idea of Prufrock's obscure meanings to himself, understood by the audience as a form of unconfident and unsure identity. This also links to symbolism, where comparisons are made sublimely to other events, people and places. "And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, And in short, I was afraid"(St Peter at...

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