"Identity and belonging" - Expository Essay
Our individual identity is determined by what others think of us. Our identity is comprised of inner qualities and outer representations of self. It consists of innumerable defining characteristics that make up the whole of who we are in any given moment. These fragments of self include our sexuality, gender, and sense of belonging to a particular culture, nation, religion, family, or some other group. Our identity includes our looks, personality, beliefs and fears. Each individual in society assigns themselves a particular role, whether it be as a mother, brother, retiree, performer, sportsman or as a part of their occupation, a doctor or lawyer. Often one’s entire sense of self is consumed by pursuit of fulfilling such a role in society. Our identities are constantly growing, changing, and adapting to our everyday lives. This emphasizes the overriding link that one’s sense of belonging influences, or often dictates, individual identity. One’s assigned role in society may be as part of a family unit, a daughter. Agheare/Alice in Unpolished Gem emphasizes this, as she often struggles under the burden of the role she has self-assigned. Identity can both be influenced by, and influence, the work we do, our education, financial and class status, the car we drive, the home we live in and the clothes we wear. Identity is also determined by perspective. Our self-image can be entirely different to the way we are seen by a colleague, partner, friend, child or parent who all have their own lens of perception through which they view us. One definition of identity is “those images and masks" many of us wear, the persona we project out into the world. We don't have as much choice over our identity as we think we do because a lot of the time things we do or say are impacted by what others think of us. For example, we might like a certain type of music but might often find ourselves mentally saying 'what would so and so like or...
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