Identity Speech

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Identity. How does our identity arise? Is it something biologically inherited or is it a product of socialisation? Identity is usually defined as the characteristics of how a person presents themselves in society. However in Mudrooroo’s Wild Cat Falling, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S Eliot, and Going Home written by Archie Weller suggests that there is something from within that will always remain as our core identity. The persona in the three texts, are passive victims of socialisation and adopt a “mask” that conceal their identity. These texts challenge the cliché of identity being a product of socialisation and suggests that there has always been a core identity waiting to be revealed. This has therefore shaped my understanding of identity.

In the three focus texts, it is evident that the personas are victims of socialisation, that is they are moulded by their experiences in society and as a result of this, a mask of identity is created. “Hope is an illusion for square. I don’t fall for it… don’t care anymore. I go through the actions of life like in a dream. Actor and audience.” In this quote the narrator in Wild Cat Falling is in a state of confusion relating to his identity. He feels society has mistreated him and as a result he reflects that, “lifetime is a boredom of sameness… same people, same talk…” The socialisation that has formed the narrator has forced him to have a pessimistic out life. This leads to socially destructive behaviours and due to this “mask” he has been given, he is convinced that he needs to live up to this reputation.

Similarly, the persona in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock prepares a “face to meet the faces that you meet” his identity is a “mask”, made completely be society’s expectations. “ My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin, my necktie rich and modest.” The repetition of the pronoun ‘my’ is ironic since his dress seeks to conceal rather than reveal who he is, therefore it’s not really...
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