Sabrina Lyn C.
18 September 2013
You were born to stand out. Identity is the qualities or beliefs that make a particular person or group different from others. It’s a form of self discovery. When we find who we are, we can be happy, we accept ourselves, even though others may not. In the novels, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, and Autobiography of a Face, by Lucy Grealy, the main characters Jacob and Lucy both have identity issues. In Water for Elephants, Jacob has to learn to accept himself as an elder. Additionally, in Autobiography of a face, Lucy grew up with facial cancer and a disfigured face making it hard for her to be accepted in society. Both characters from both novels had to endure challenges to identify who they were as a person. Jacob was an average boy, struggling to survive in the world. When he found his niche in the circus, Jacob couldn’t have been happier. Eventually, due to old age, he was put into a nursing home and was no longer apart of the circus. Being in isolation and seeing that a circus was opening outside the nursing home, he began to remember his time in the circus when he was young and lively. He hated being old, he hated what he became and longed to be young again. Jacob revealed, “I try to brush the hairs flat with my hand and freeze at the sight of my old hand on my old head. I lean close and open my eyes very wide, trying to see beyond the sagging flesh.” –“It’s no good. Even when I look straight into the milky blue eyes, I cannot find myself anymore. When did I stop being me?”(Gruen 122) Jacob has lost himself, when staring into the mirror he doesn’t recognize himself. What he sees isn’t the young lively person he remembers. He can’t escape the body he’s trapped inside and it terrifies him. On the other hand, in the novel Autobiography of a Face, Lucy was diagnosed with Erwin’s Sarcoma, facial bone cancer, which restricted her from feeling...
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