The Contemporary Self
The self is an individual person as the object of his or her own reflective consciousness in which, a range of behaviors are influenced by culture, attitudes, emotions, values, ethics, authority, persuasion and/or genetics. In A Short Quiz Walker Percy guides the reader through a variety of questions, that when attempting to answer those, makes the readers become deeply consumed in a search for a true inner self. Percy does not give a definite answer to the questions he asks; instead he leaves the door open for the option of the reader to explore them itself. The main opinion he gives about the nature of the readers own being is that the identity of the self is vague and mysterious. At the end he presents a series of selves and allows the reader to identify itself from them. According to Percy’s definition of self, contemporary U.S. culture can be identified as three: role-taking, diverted, and scientific and artistic; this can be proved by a series of events and examples that have happened throughout the years.
According to Percy the role-taking self can be identified as “taking roles and modeling its own role from the roles of others” (15). In many cases this can be seen when children desire to be like their parents. For example, Ex-President George W. Bush aspired achieving his father’s, former President George H. W. Bush, accomplishments. If what he aspired was to become a president he clearly accomplished it for he did not only become a president but he did so for two terms. During tough times, as was the 9-11, he lead his country as his father did during his term as president proving that he followed in the footsteps of a great leader. On a deeper level, however, we see role-taking when the student becomes the teacher. During the early 300 BC Greek philosopher Plato studied the wise teachings of his mater Socrates with hope of acquiring the knowledge provided. He proved more than capable of doing so because Plato not only learned...
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