Professor Matt Tortora
September 29, 2010
Dreams from My Father
There are many barriers one must overcome, and to accomplish this, one must find their distinctiveness and take a key role in the community. Throughout the novel, Dreams from my Father by our current president Barrack Obama, Barrack demonstrates the true meaning of being an individual. He is highly active in his community, despite the fact that he is part of the black community. The economic, social, and historical developments are links that allow one to form and sustain their identity. These factors helped Barack become the President of the United States of America, even though he faced many hardships. Another aspect that helps one define and locate oneself is the community that they are involved in. One must decide if they should follow their community, religion, family, etc. or find their own way to take instead. An individual must find a sense of community and begin to find formation and sustain it. By assuming active or important responsibility in a community, a person can affix influence on many positive attributes and have a large impact on ones identity. There are many conflicts that individuals deal with on a day-to-day basis. By finding the factors that will allow one to overcome these barriers they will become more successful in the community and transform as an individual.
Barack Obama is the key role model in addressing how one can find their identity and form it to the person they want to become. The economic, social and historical developments had a huge impact on Barrack’s life. In the novel, Barrack states “ I was trying to raise myself to be a black man in America, and beyond the given of my appearance, no one around me seemed to know exactly what that meant” (76). This shows how Barrack’s identity is forming because he is showing what he wants in life and is trying to attain that goal. This relates to my life because I am attending a University in a totally different community than what I am used to. I am from an incredibly culturally diverse community that is a lot more urban than Quinnipiac. Now I have to be able to fit into a whole different setting, and relate to people with different backgrounds, lifestyles, and personalities. As I spend more time here, I can see myself becoming an asset to the Quinnipiac community by learning, becoming involved, and basically finding my role in society. By Barrack forming his identity, he still sustains his positive characteristics, like his racial background and heritage. Although I am trying to find myself and improve my identity, I will never forget my heritage, and where I come from. Where I come from will always be with me no matter where in the world I am. Throughout ones life they must be able to be cautious of their surroundings. By doing so they will be able to form a solid identity that can lead them down the right path in life. Barrack did exactly that. “I have to be vigilant, for my own survival.”(90) He is able to critique his life therefore he obtains great success over his years. His life was not a fairy tale, he had hardship that he had to overcome, but by sticking with his optimistic views on life he was able to form and sustain an identity, and overcome his barriers. In my life I have to be able to be responsible for my activities. I have high expectations and I must be able to perform at my best in school and everything I do. If I am not careful and accountable for my actions and my life, the positive things that I have going for me can get taken away from me. I have many barriers I have to overcome, like school with my grades, progress in my public relations major, and just in my community overall. I know in time I can conquer these barriers like Obama. People around the world all have different personalities and identities that they pursue. “I stopped trying to steady myself, and I knew for the first time that I was utterly alone.”(91) When...
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