21 March 2012
The Acknowledgement of Human Identity in Select Essays
“You are not your job; you're not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.” In this excerpt from the book Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, the main character screams this at the group of men standing in front of him while laying down the rules before the first fight of the night. This repetitive and forceful series of statements is directly challenging exactly what the men have always assumed they hold dear and they above all else know: their identities. Identity can be discussed and addressed in many different ways in many diverse media outlets. In the following analyzed and critiqued essays by Bruno Bettelheim, Raymond Carver, and Jorge Luis Borges respectively: the theme of identity is conferred by the phases of establishment, alteration, uncertainty, and realization. The first essay to be analyzed is Bruno Bettelheim’s.
In the essay “The Introduction to the Uses of Enchantment” by Bruno Bettelheim, the writer and psychologist discusses the number of functions that traditional and folk fairy tales can and have served. He says in this work that fairy tales are crucial to children and their development because they encourage the development of the children’s identity. In a direct excerpt from his essay, this is directly addressed. “. . . communicating in a manner which reaches the uneducated mind of the child as well as that of the sophisticated adult . . . fairy tales carry important messages to the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious mind, on whatever level each is functioning at the time. By dealing with universal human problems, particularly those which preoccupy a child’s mind, these stories speak to his budding ego and encourage its development, while at the same time relieving preconscious and unconscious...