“What defines you” revised essay

Grace Sabatino

English 123

What defines you

What defines you? A simple question that can be answered in so many ways. Identity is the way that you think about yourself and the way that the world thinks about you. Identity in these articles “Toast story” and ”Why Identity is a Lie We Can’t Live Without” i have learned that identity is affected by more than self identity. Your identity can shift or be altered depending on who you are with or what you are doing. Often times, we change how we present ourselves depending on the people that are surrounding us which makes it hard for any one of us to have one single identity that represents us at all times. Being able to define yourself and have a self identity that will not be altered no matter the people you are with or situation you are in, is a very hard thing to come by. It’s hard for people to be comfortable in their own skin so having an identity is rather difficult. It’s important to not let mistakes or hardships be the only thing to define who you are and to always be yourself because your identity is the best thing that you have that represents you.

Carrelli in the Toast story landed a job at a coffee shop called Farley’s that “she managed to keep for three years. And she began assiduously cultivating a network of friends she could count on for help when she knew she was in trouble- a word she uses frequently to refer to her psychotic episodes- while being careful not to over tax any individuals generosity.” The word trouble to her is something that she is able to identify her manic episodes and this is where her shop name came from. She uses this word to identify a part of her. She counted on these friends to help her through all her troubles with her disorder and she was able to use her experience at farley’s to better her knowledge to start her own business. One thing that I found in the article was that different things appear differently to others and everyone has their own identity and then there is an identity that others see you as. In the article with carrelli she is seen as someone that has this powerful and strong business that is flourishing but really she is someone that struggles everyday with a disorder that can distract her from who she really is but she doesn’t let that change her day to day routines. She uses her power of her identity to help others.

One of the things the article ”Why Identity is a Lie We Can’t Live Without” that really stuck out to me was when Kwame said “The key thing I think is to make sure that the teams are held together by more than just hatred and contempt for the other team. There’s always going to be an element of that, but if you lead with the hatred and contempt, as Donald Trump often does, then you’re leading irresponsibly.” I feel that this statement is very spot on about our society today. There has been a lot of hate in the media, different political groups and throughout the entire population. The people that have these different movements I feel speak from being hurt and hatred and instead making a change they have so much anger. Some of these group can make a change and they do but their intentions of doing so isn’t always good. I have been in a situation were I was so angered about an incident that happened that I used that anger to drive me to make a change and the thing that was good about it was I did make a change but I wanted to make that change out of anger and that is leading irresponsibly. Another idea in the conversation was what is identity and this is what we have been talking about in class. Kwame claims that “The short answer is that identities are labels that we use to group each other. When you take one seriously, when you identify with a label, then you think of it as giving you reasons to do things and not to do things.” He constantly references that identities have to with grouping  and these identities can either didive or bring people together . An identity is something that should make you unique, not comparable to others. An identity shows who you really are and not just what you do. He also talks about at the same time how “We’re pretty good at recognizing that there are features of our identities that are salient and help us divide ourselves. That’s one of the reasons why they’re important and even helpful. So you’re a journalist, that’s your professional identity, and it’s crucially important when, say, a cop wants to know who you’re talking to and how you got your information. Your identity as a journalist will be activated in that moment and as a result you’ll want to protect your sources of information.” He is claiming that our identities are important and they divide us from one another but somethings that we identify us are not so important until a certain time in your life. Identities can be shown in certain moments and you want to show who you are.

Identity reflect who you are as a human being and show others who you are but what you feel may not be the same as what they see you as. Identities are used to divide and bring together individuals. We are placed into categories based on how we present ourselves depending on the people that are surrounding us which makes it hard for any one of us to have one single identity that represents us at all times. Anyone should have control of your own identity because an identity is what makes someone unique and there own individual. Just like Carrelli and Kwame described for people to know who you are you need to be indentifiable and reflect who you are.




Work Cited






One Reply to ““What defines you” revised essay”

  1. Your opening strategy seems to be to offer an extended definition of identity. That can be a good strategy, particularly if it leads to a question or issue to be explored. Yours doesn’t quite do that yet, but it could. One way to do so would be to anchor your extended definition more to the Appiah text and draw on his idea that while identities don’t necessarily tell the truth about us as individuals, they’re necessary anyway. That’s the kind of counter-intuitive way of thinking that demands more paragraphs to explain.

    The Carrelli example starts abruptly and as a reader, I’m not sure for what purpose I’m reading about her. I think I needed more context and explicit guidance from you, maybe have it be tied to some aspect of identity that you raised in the into.

    It’s conventional in academic writing to refer to writers by their last name after the first introduction. So, Appiah, not Kwame.

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