Search of Identity in Society

Topics: Stereotype, Short story, Essay Pages: 2 (729 words) Published: April 22, 2013
Identity can be generally defined as the personal characteristics and traits which differentiate each individual from the other, however in “The myth of Latin woman: I just met a girl named Maria” by Cofer, Judith Ortiz and “The joy of reading and writing: superman and me” by Alexei Sherman, both authors demonstrate the theme identity in a different manner. Judith Cofer portrays how the society often stereotype individuals into groups without a doubt, in this particular essay, the offensive stereotype of Latino women without any particular reason but merely due to their identity. Alexei Sherman in “The joy of reading and writing: superman and me” also describes how society can have an impact on one’s identity; however Alexei was determined to build himself and challenge the society despite of its expectations. Similarities in this particular comparison overcome the differences; the similarities which are clearly seen between these two short stories are how the society belittles people and stereotype them simply due to their identity. Another common theme between both stories is multiculturalism and how it’s faced. The difference however is how each author dealt with this stereotyping and how they defined their own identity despite of how people interrupted it for them. Expectations can alter the way a person feels about living their life the way they desire. Society determines and expects a role that every individual must perform according to who they are such as: age, gender, race, ethnic etc. In the essay the “The joy of reading and writing: superman and me”, the author talks about his life as an Indian boy and how writing and reading shaped his life to what it is today. Sherman talks about how as an Indian boy living in a reservation in the United States, Indians were expected to fail and be uneducated; but because he was “smart, arrogant and lucky” he broke the mold and became a creative writer. In Cofer’s case there were no mold’s to be broken but...
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