Literary Devices and Identity

Topics: Han Chinese, Ethnic group, Shame Pages: 3 (946 words) Published: February 23, 2014
Writing is an exquisite art form. Through the use of subtle metaphors, complex dynamic characters, and flowing imagery; an author is able to communicate their ideas with unique individuality. Each writer’s style is particular to their personal identity. Lila Abu-Lughod is an anthropology professor at New York University. Her piece titled Thinking about Identity, shares her theory on what five factors comprise an individuals identity. She believes they are ethnicity, nationalism, mode of living, gender/family, and religion. An authors writing style is based on their identity, therefore it's based on those five factors. Authors Amy Tan and Mary Gruenewald exemplify this. They both have entirely different identities which are often conveyed by their writing in pieces Fish Cheeks and Evacuation Orders. Abu Lughod's identity theory is inadvertently evidenced by the work of Tan and Gruenewald, especially through their use of literary devices. It can be argued that Abu-Lughod's views are merely opinion; however, they are supported by factual evidence. One of her main points was that people tend to stereotype based on one aspect of a person’s identity. For example, Middle Eastern people are often labeled as Muslim even though there is more to their identities then religion, and many of them are not Muslim. Abu-Lughod believes that people define themselves with many aspects and that there are five factors that play into ones personal and individual identity. Also, your identity is not predetermined or unchangeable, and it is constantly being influenced by “local and global history and politics”. This theory of people being set apart from each other by their own five factors is constantly evidenced. Especially through works like “Fish Cheeks” and Looking like the Enemy, due to them both being memoirs. How an author portrays themselves in writing things such as memoirs or biographies often depicts aspects of their identities and which of the five factors is most...
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