The Group to Which We Belong to Provides Us with Our Identity

Topics: Amish, Peter Weir, Self Pages: 3 (1200 words) Published: June 20, 2011
All individuals at times in life can find themselves in association with different groups, whether the group being of common interests, same spoken language, same ethnicity or same shared values. Family is the first group to which majority of people ever belong, the culture and values our family instill in us determine our characteristics initially and as we mature through time, other factors such as our peers, circle of friends and work colleagues also contribute to deciding our characters. Groups shape our identity significantly and the fact that we belong to a certain group sometimes defines who we are, although our own identity may need to be compromised in order for us to belong. Our sense of self is usually shaped and influenced by communities we are part of, however, our individuality is constantly altered and adjusted by the world beyond us as we come to interact with people whose perception and values we are unfamiliar with and encounter new experiences in life.

In Witness, the director Peter Weir, in great detail, depicted the contrast between the Amish community and the "English" and demonstrated how great the impact the groups we belong to can cast on our sense of identity. The female protagonist Rachel Lapp, despite her electrifying passion for city policeman John Book, ultimately forgoes the love affair due to her conformity to rules and expectations of her society. However, Rachel has undergone a shift in her sense of self: she has changed from a typical quiet, obedient woman to someone who is not afraid to publicly display her affection for John and confront Eli when he had doubts about her behaviors. Although eventually being a part of the Amish group has led Rachel to make the sacrifice as both John and her realise the serious consequences Rachel will face if the "uncharitable thoughts" about their relationship continued by the rest of the community. The director, through illustrating the love story, presents a poignant example where...
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