Personality Psychology and Kenny

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Instructor Draft of K/TM Comparison/Contrast Essay
Maurice Kenny and Mary TallMountain led very similar lives, and both become writers. However, the way they became who they are today, took place on two very different parts of that path to become a writer. In Maurice Kenny’s “Waiting at the Edge: Words Towards a Life” and Mary TallMountain’s “You Can Go Home Again,” both authors illustrate their paths and at times they were inspired. Maurice Kenny’s past shows that he has a wandering personality, while Mary TallMountain is more driven toward her goals. These wandering and driven personalities are all expressed in both authors’ childhoods, their relationship with their fathers, and in their writing itself.

In Kenny’s childhood, he had no true identity of what he was doing. When he was young, his father changed careers quite often. This change of careers caused Kenny and his family to move frequently: “All this summer traveling, shifting-about, farming us to various family members, helped develop my wanderlust…” (Kenny 44). Kenny mentions his traveling and shifting because it reflects his personality of wandering. His childhood movement from place to place, for example from one family member to another, as he states, is what made him have the strong desire to wander rather than have no direct path for life.

Mary TallMountain, unlike Kenny, grew up with motivation to drive her to her goals in life. After her mother passed away, TallMountain was adopted by Anglos, and the village did not approve. In an attempt for some sense of agreement, the council of the village said, “‘Girl go Outside with white doctor’” (TallMountain 5). The idea that the council never uses TallMountain’s name directly and calls her “girl” displays the sense that she is just like any other girl and should blend in. However, the council is saying what they want TallMountain to do. She is to go outside, or isolated from others, and be with a white doctor, someone who has a high social...
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