AP English 11
AP English Writing Prompt
Anxiety Stems from Uprooting
In the excerpt from Meena Alexander’s autobiography, Fault Lines, she describes her constant uprooting of her life as the cause of her fractured self. Her constant uprooting caused her ego anxiety which has triggered a division of self and has unconsciously forced her ego use self-defense mechanisms such as projection, repression, and regression.
Alexander has constantly been moving around the world ever since she was a child and each time she has moved her ego gains stress and one way the ego subconsciously handles high levels of stress is through a defensive mechanism known as projection. Projection is when “inner feelings are thrown or projected outside.” She projects her insecurities of living in a new place onto herself, this is known as self-projection, and it is when the ego fails to project ones stresses onto another person, this form of projection causes more stress. This constant addition of stress has caused the ego to unintentionally split into different personalities because there was too much stress for one personality to handle. This self-projection has caused her to lose a sense of self and fragmented her identity into different personalities. Her loss of self has caused her to question herself, “What would it mean for one such as I to pick up a mirror and try to see her face in it?” Her change in subject and person displays how she is unable to decide who is the real Meena Alexander and who is the alter. This is why she sees “her two eyes crooked, and her face disfigured,” in any reflection, it’s because there are too many personalities for her to see so her ego unknowingly distorts her self-image. This self-projection is a never ending ruthless cycle that constantly adds more stress and more fracturing of her image.
Meena Alexander’s fragmentation isn’t only caused by self-projection but also her past desires that she wishes to...
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