In what ways is identity formed and constructed in the texts you have studied? Comment on techniques for different text types.
Identity can be created by many different techniques in various text types such as novels, poetry, and film. Identity is a set of characteristics that defines a person, and can include physical appearance and personality. Identity is usually built up throughout a person’s lifetime, based on their actions and experiences. However, because how others think of a person is based on the person’s identity, they may create a false identity to fit in socially. A person can be confused about who they are, especially in adolescence, especially because of their parents, culture, or relationships. Texts often deal with characters who are confused about identity, who have created it, lost it, and even some from which their identity was stolen from them.
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The film, Shine, deals with a character with a peculiar identity. It is a true story about David Helfgott, a brilliant child prodigy who ultimately becomes mentally ill as an adult. The film shows how he became who he was as an adult. In the film, his father dominates him, and tries to control every aspect of David’s life. This dominance by his father is shown throughout the film by filming the father with low angle shots to make him look larger, and shooting David at high angles to make him look diminished. Other techniques used in the film were when David was playing the Rachmanioff, and the camera kept moving around him and the piano, showing his concentration and all his emotions were expressed through the music.
In the novel, Shadowlands, C.S "Jack" Lewis has an identity of an esteemed author, professor and theologian, immensely respected by all around him. After his mother’s death when he was 9 years old, he had built a wall around himself that separated him with others, preventing personal relationships. But then, he falls in love with a woman, and undergoes a profound identity change. He realizes that even though he had given countless lectures and wrote several books on faith and love, he actually had no idea what he was talking about because he never experienced love, and the pain that resulted from it.
Identity change is also shown in the April 28, 2001 edition of Leunig, a newspaper cartoon. In it, a wealthy and powerful man progressively goes down materially, while he rises spiritually.
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