Identity Essay

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  • Topic: Sociology, Muriel's Wedding, Self
  • Pages : 3 (1232 words )
  • Download(s) : 592
  • Published : May 16, 2008
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"Identity can only be realised through discovery of self and not imposed on the individual by society" Discuss this statement with close reference to the film "Muriel's Wedding" and two other texts of your own choosing.

While identity is often imposed on individuals by societal expectations, a sense of real identity can only be realised when individuals are true to themselves and can only be achieved through introspection. This non-essentialist/ essentialist view on identity is clearly demonstrated in P.J Hogan’s film “Muriel’s wedding”, Rosemary Dobson’s poem “Cock Crow” and the dust jacket of Nicolle Rosen’s biographical novel “Mrs Freud”.

Society plays a significant role in the formation of identity of individual characters in “Muriel’s Wedding”. However, identity imposed on the individual is not a true reflection of self. This concept is clearly illustrated through the character of Muriel Heslop. From the opening credits of “Muriel’s Wedding” the central issue of feminine identity and the powerful expectation of society that success is defined by marriage is realised in the establishing shot of pink cursive font and a bouquet flying through a confetti peppered sky. Instantly the symbolism of the coloured font conveys to us that the film will be exploring feminine identity, which has been caught up as a stereotypical rite of passage. The camera with an undershot follows the flying bouquet with the sound effect of a bomb falling to remind us that this is a competitive world as each girl hopes to legitimise herself in a still patriarchal society, by catching the bouquet and becoming the next bride. The scene then cuts to a close up of grasping hands and screaming faces, once again emphasising the competition to be the first down the aisle. Muriel who catches the bouquet with an expression of absolute delight is also caught in the societal pressure to achieve identity through a husband. This concept of socially imposed identity is revealed in another...
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