Changing identity

Topics: Pham Thi Hoai, Change, English-language films Pages: 3 (1011 words) Published: March 20, 2014
Everyone in this room has an identity. But it’s not something that we were born with. Throughout our lives our identities have changed and developed as we experienced new things. Writer Parker J Palmer sees identity as when our past experiences of people and places come together to form who we are at this moment. From this we can draw that identity is a product of our external environment and is strongly influenced by the people & places we are constantly exposed to. This concept of identity is explored in the elegiac poem ‘The Death of the Bird’ by A.D Hope and ‘The Window’- a short story by Pham Thi Hoai. Our identities are always subject to change as it is strongly linked to our ever- changing surroundings. This concept of identity is reinforced in The Death of the Bird by A.D Hope through the shift in the mood of the poem. The poet’s diction as he depicts the migrating journey of the bird as it travels through the ‘warm passage to the cooling station’ and is ‘sure and safely guided by ‘love’ emphasises the bird’s strong emotional ties to the place where it belongs creating safe and comfortable mood. However, as the poem progresses the bird gets ‘uncertain of her place’ and is portrayed as a ‘vanishing speck in those inane dominions creating the strong visual imagery of a tiny, delicate bird juxtaposed to the harsh condition of its unfamiliar environment emphasising the bird’s vulnerability. The contrast created by this dramatic shift in mood exemplifies how identity is a result of the place you connect to but is susceptible to change once that connection is lost. Similarly in The Window, the unstable nature of identity is evident through the narrator’s changing self-identity. Much like the Bird, the narrator in The Window has a strong connection to the place where she belongs. She is always looking out her ‘magic ever-changing window, rotating like a Rubik cube’. Through the comparison of her environment to a Rubik cube- a puzzle that can only be solved...
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