On the Rainy River

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The relationship you have with others often has a direct effect on the basis of your very own personal identity. In the essay "On The Rainy River," the author Tim O'Brien tells about his experiences and how his relationship with a single person had effected his life so dramatically. It is hard for anyone to rely fully on their own personal experiences when there are so many other people out there with different experiences of their own. Sometimes it take the experiences and knowledge of others to help you learn and build from them to help form your own personal identity. In the essay, O'Brien speaks about his experiences with a man by the name of Elroy Berdahl, the owner of the fishing lodge that O'Brien stays at while on how journey to find himself. The experiences O'Brien has while there helps him to open his mind and realize what his true personal identity was. It gives you a sense than our own personal identities are built on the relationships we have with others. There are many influence out there such as our family and friends. Sometimes even groups of people such as others of our nationality and religion have a space in building our personal identities.

In the essay O'Brien is faced with a conflict, a moral dilemma. He had to decide whether he was either going to go to the war and fight or was he going to run away and avoid the draft. The relationship he had with Berdahl was not of friends or even regular acquaintances. Rather they were perfect strangers. That goes to show you that anyone can be a major influence on your life. Berdahl helped to open O'Brien's heart. He realized who he was and where he had come from, his past and what he has been through. How all the events of the past helped him to become the person he was right now. How his past helped form his personal identity.

The formation of our own personal identities often begin at birth. As you grow up your parents are a major influence on you. They teach you many things and help to shape...
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