Sunday, August 29, 2010


The identity of Humbert in Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita" is in the hands of the reader. Though he doesn't view himself as a pedophile, the reader sees him as a disgusting carecter who takes advantage of younger girls. He has no control over his identity because of the controversial acts he commits. He, in a way, is stating that one is identified by thier actions and not by who they are as people.
Lolita's identity is also not necessarily in her hands. As she is a child and still growing, she is a much more malleable charecter. Humbert practically treats her as clay, as he bends her to his will. She is therefore not seen in the same light as Humbert. Identity, in this stoy is almost a case of nature v. nurture. By nature Humbert an awful man and therfore is seen in such way. However, Lolita was raised in such a dissagrable fashion, and by nurture she is not an innocent little girl. Her charecters identity is not, however, that of a whore. As she grows up, she does indeed have more power to choose how to be and who she is. Is age a factor in how much control one has over thier identity?

The Odyssey

Identity plays a large role in Homers epic poem The Odyssey. Through out the poem there are many cahnges in identity physically and few changes in indentity emotionaly and mentally. Odysseus has and identity of bravery and often revered as and epic hero. However, how much control did he actually have in aclaiming that identity. Odysseus is often portrayed as a prideful man who finds it hard to humbel himself till later in the story. Is his identity bestowed upon him due to his nobel acts or because he claimed himself to be a "hero"?

Homer also illustrates other aspects of human identity, shaped by individual actions so they may be recognized by the outside world. Home almost presents Odysseus in two ways, first by his internal identity as ruler and king, son of Laertes and father of Telemachos. Secon, Homer presents Odysseus through his journey and how his journey shaped him. neither of these, however, are directly controlled by Odysseus himself. His identity is almost fully controlled by oustside sources i.e Gods, events and birth rights.

What Influence Do We Have on Our Identity?

Life educates our understanding while situations help disover identity. The development of identity is a dynamic process, the interface of internal and external forces. From the day we are born, we are distinguished by the precious gifts we inherit and out innate uniqueness from eberybody else. Through life our values are shaped by our personal experiences and circumsyances, and we mature to find out who we are. Forever the question on my mind was, how is it even possible for me to be an individual in this world. With billions of people, and thousands of the exact same influences (media, societal norms) crushing in around everyone, how could I be sure that I'm the only ME walking around. My individuality is a huge part of my identity. My identity and how I see myself is different from how my friends see me, how my family sees me and not to mention how strangers must see me. So really how much influence do we hold over our own identities?