How my understanding of "Searching for Identity" has been shaped by Tim Winton's short stories 'Abbreviation' and 'Damaged Goods', and by the novel 'Maestro' by Peter Goldsworthy.

Topics: Peter Goldsworthy, Miles Franklin Award, Anna Goldsworthy Pages: 4 (1374 words) Published: October 17, 2009
Identity is whatever makes one definable and recognizable, in terms of possessing a set of qualities or characteristics, that distinguishes one from others. One’s identity is unique and ever-changing, interpreted dissimilarly from different points of view and influenced subconsciously by a number of exterior factors rather than consciously by oneself. Teachers and fellow students, it is this which makes the concept of “Searching for Identity” so captivating and enthralling.

Tim Winton explores the ideas within the concept of “Searching for Identity” extensively within his collection of short stories, ‘The Turning’. Two of these said short stories have shaped my understanding of the concept of “Searching for Identity” are ‘Abbreviation’ and ‘Damaged Goods’. Both of these stories revolve around Vic Lang, an Australian male, and his journeys through love, life and identity.

Another story which has shaped my understanding of “Searching for Identity” is ‘Maestro’ by Peter Goldsworthy. Goldsworthy takes on the persona of a young boy by the name of Paul Crabbe, who is taught piano by his teacher (or maestro) Eduard Keller. Although Paul initially does not appreciate his teacher, by the end of the novel he grows to value him dearly. ‘Maestro’ is an excellent exploration of the experiences necessary for personal growth and the attainment of self-knowledge through discovery.

‘Abbreviation’ by Tim Winton has shaped my understanding of the concept of “Searching for Identity" through its focus on Vic’s first sexual encounters. In this story, Vic is a young boy whose perception of the world is completely altered by his experiences with an older girl, Melanie. Through these experiences, he takes heed to the more risqué world around him as he notices things he never seemed to have noticed before. For example, he notices one of his uncle’s testicles constantly peeking out of his shorts and he is awakened by the sounds of his aunty and uncle making love at night. Vic...
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