Personal Identity

Topics: Culture, Sociology, Humanities Pages: 2 (659 words) Published: October 30, 2005
The personal identity of one's life can be represented in several different ways. The two essays that compare in personal identities are Wanderers By Choice and Chameleons and Codas by Eva Hoffman and Patricia Conrad. Personal identity determines whom and where one belongs in today's society. One's identity can be described with an adjective or a noun, which in the two essays are chameleons, deaf, a nomad and an exile. The identity one can have can be classified as a noun. In Chameleons and Codas, Patricia Conrad can be recognized as a Chameleon. Patricia is able to change her identity from either being deaf or able hearing. "I had the ability to hear, so how can I understand the deaf experience? Yet I was never truly "hearing" either; a piece of my heart remained staunchly "deaf." So I became a chameleon changing my color as I shifted from one world to another." (Conrad, 225) In the essay Wanderers by Choice Eva classifies those who are constantly at a journey, as nomads. Nomads and chameleons are both very similar as there is no place from which one can be excluded from. "Among nomads, exile loses its charge because there is no place from which one can be expelled." (Hoffman, 310) Being a chameleon enables one to switch from one identity to another so that they can find a place in society they can fit under. Being like a chameleon is very much like being a nomad by traveling from place to place to seek a society they can be accepted to. Being unable to talk and listen to the ones around you is very similar to being exile. Those who can talk are included into the society around them as a result of the similarities they have in common. Being deaf is classified as being a handicap in today's society. "My father, too, was saddled with disabled and handicapped stereotypes. "Can your daddy drive?" A stranger asked, incredulous, as dad and I strode toward our car one day." (Conrad, 226) An exile is one who does not fit in a certain society. Being exile means to feel...
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