Foster English 1B
December 8, 2010
The True Identity
Culture and identity go hand in hand. Everyone has their own identity, but where does that come from? The main contributor to someone’s identity is the culture they grew up in. Cultures vary in many different ways. Chinese is a very factual, to the point, respect your elders and family culture, while American culture is more carpe diem, freedom of speech, bigger is better mentality. So as you could imagine someone in China will grow up with a much different identity that someone in America. Someone’s true identity comes out when you’re placed in a situation that tests your culture’s view of right or wrong. Whether you go with the flow or choose to disobey is how you know one’s true identity.
Take into account the story “Sonny’s Blues.” The narrator of the story, Sonny’s brother, thinks from the time Sonny’s a boy that the path Sonny has chosen is the wrong one. THis is because Sonny decides he wants to be a musician and gets into drugs, not the correct view of the culture deems correct. However, through his music Sonny shows his brother how he becomes happy and finally Sonny's brother understands why he went through what he did. They grew up in the same housing project and culture but why did they turn out so differently? Sonny went down the path that he felt would make him happy, the music. His brother chose to go along with society and join the army, get a career, and then start a family. I feel that Sonny has found his identity long before his brother has. He knows exactly what makes him happy and he goes after that in his own way, breaking free of society and becomes his own man, with his own identity. The narrator goes through the motions and while his brother maybe going down a separate path Sonny’s alive and has found himself. His true identity comes out when he’s on stage. In America we preach the pursuit of happiness meaning to go for what you want, allowing your true...