Good morning ladies and Gentlemen. Do our surroundings and the people in our lives shape our identity? I will explore how this quotation is reflected in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, the film ‘Witness’, by Peter Weir, and the film ‘The Lion King’ by Roger Allers.
The meaning of identity is not easily defined. Identity generally refers to the stable defining characteristics of a person that makes them an individual.
I will explore a number of parallel themes evident in all three texts; the influence of courage, violence, discrimination, religion and the revolutionary nature of the protagonists whose identity is shaped by these themes.
Harper Lee explores the theme of identity in the novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ mainly through the protagonist Scout Finch, a stubborn tomboy, who struggles to comprehend the social strata in the discriminatory, devoutly religious town of Maycomb through a journey of self-discovery. Her father’s teachings and major events that occur in her life, allow Scout to explore the issues of racism, courage and integrity and her realisation that justice does not always prevail. The surroundings and the people in her life result in Scout losing her innocence and cause her to mature and understand how society works and to become a moral crusader.
Scout develops a moral conscience through her exposure to events such as racial discrimination. Her father, Atticus Finch, instils in his children, a strong sense of integrity and fairness. This is evident through the quotation,
‘I drew a bead on him, remembered what Atticus had said, then dropped my fists and walked away…. It was the first time I ever walked away from a fight. Somehow, if I fought Cecil I would let Atticus down.’
The members of the Maycomb society act disapprovingly even abusively towards Scout in relation to their moral stance on race relations, they also show gender inequality