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Ap English Language Synthesis Essay

1086 words - 5 pages

Mike Sanders
12-7-09
AP English Language Synthesis Essay

Identity is a precarious feature of the human persona. It is made by the user to be the perceived appropriate exterior to complement one’s interior. According to James Baldwin, “…it is best that the garment be loose, a little like the robes of the desert, through which ones nakedness can always be felt, and sometimes, discerned”. A wiser perception could never by synthesized. The three ladies from Dorris’s A Yellow Raft In Blue Water all experience struggling conflicts with their own identities. Young Rayona is a prime example of the teenage struggle to craft her identity; she must define her wants and needs, while also ...view middle of the document...

She even relates her life to the lives of others, like when she finds the letter that expresses a life that she wants to live. “This scrap of paper in my hand makes me feel poor in a way like I just heard of rich. Jealous. What kind of a person would throw it away?” It is not until Rayona accepts that the world’s view of herself is not as important as her own, that she begins to develop an identity more suitable to her needs. The teenage identity is the perfect example of a “loosely fit” identity. Rayona is constantly feeling the vulnerability of having her emotions being exposed, and therefore has a more interactive identity.
The story of Christine is that of self-conscious thoughts coupled with an ill spent youth. Christine was extremely popular and was pampered with a generous amount of attention. It isn’t until Dayton rejects her that she begins to feel vulnerable and unfit. This event stays with her for an extenuated period of time. She lives with this uncertainty of herself, and it shows. She becomes a tad jaded, and begins to carry herself as if the world owes her something. Christine changed her identity to cover up the damage that Dayton caused her. Instead of focusing on what was most important to her happiness, she focused all of her time and energy in covering up what she thought the world would reject her for (I saw my greatest hits, the K-Tel Christine Taylor album, offered on a late show commercial: two or three bittersweet C&W cuts of Lee, a rhythm-and-blues section starring Elgin, a war dance song for Aunt Ida, and some rock and roll for my teenage adventures. Rayona was all ballads.). This creates an identity in which the individual lacks any sense of comfort with appearance they carry. The only counter to her feelings is Rayona, who she views as the sunshine of her life. “Rayona gave me something to be, made me like other women with children. I was nobody’s regular daughter, nobody’s sister, usually nobody’s wife, but I was her mother full time.” Christine is a prime example of the inevitable danger of wearing one’s identity...

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