Defining Identity

Topics: Hispanic and Latino Americans, Sociology, Race Pages: 1 (376 words) Published: May 5, 2006
Although there are many differences between cultures it is almost a constant truth that every individual struggles with developing one's identity. It is a struggle because one can spend their whole life creating an identity for themselves and have it taken away by another's point of view. A person's identity is largely defined by what another person perceives it to be, but perceptions are often flooded with stereotypes and pre-conceived notions which make it difficult for people of different ethnic, racial, or economic class to identify with one another. So many individuals are blinded by ignorance and subconscious teachings such that one's identity is very rarely defined accurately nor held at the same level of respect that the beholder holds it to. This proves that there is a unique bond between members of the same ethnicity, class, or even gender that is not easily separated.

An excellent film created by James L. Brooks beautifully captures the importance of identity and how ethnicity and class play a major role in developing identity. Brooks' use of the characters and their personalities was brilliant. He approached each character with a purpose in mind. Deborah Clasky did not understand anything different from herself and yet she was content with that; the old saying "Ignorance is Bliss" describes her personality perfectly. Brooks used her to depict American culture in its simplest form. Flor highly valued her identity as a Latina woman and did not want to be something she wasn't. Flor is an example of Hispanic culture in its simplest form. The knowledge that is needed to overcome ignorance is represented by John Clasky with his rational demeanor and his ability to overcome obstacles and, finally, the most important piece of the puzzle that Brooks is putting together is Flor's daughter. Christina symbolizes the want to assimilate into the fabulous upper class American Culture.

Brooks managed to create an accurate simulation of the...
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