[Supervisor’s How they Formed their Identity Identity formation is that phenomenon that results to an individual by serving one with a distinct personality. There can be couple of factors which might lead into identity formation of an individual. This may include environment or the notions that one prefers to follow. In order to understand such phenomenon, two of the essays are to be evaluated that will be serving in extracting the motivational elements for these individuals to form their identities.
Firstly, an essay written by Oscar Casares ‘Crossing the Border without Losing Your Past’ is to be examined. The essayist Casares starts its journey by presenting his father’s views of identity, though. he said, ‘To him, ancestry is what determines your identity’. This shows that since he was a child, his parents started to encode him about his identity, which was related back to his ancestry. Although, author was born in United States yet his father was a Mexican. Additionally, by describing the population of his home town, Brownsville, he sates, ‘almost everyone I know is Mexicano: neighbors, teachers, principals, dropouts, doctors, lawyers, drug dealers, priests’. Therefore, this cultural environment made him to feel himself a Mexican. The thing that made him closer to his Mexican identity was the annual four day celebration of Mexican heritage, under the name of Charro Days (Casares).
The experiences described above are the author’s childhood experiences. however, when he grows up and leaves his town his exposure towards his identity formation expands with significant extent. As he starts exploring the world, he seemed to believe that in United States immigrants and minorities have always been exploited by the media, as they know well how to stereotype an ethnic group. While experiencing through the events of his life, author acquired realization that the stereotypic image created in the minds of Americans describes the Mexicans as criminals, involved in dirty and lustful activities. As Casares was called as Mexican-American by natives. nevertheless, after realizing that being a Mexican is dealt as an abuse in America, no matter how honest and innocent one is. Thus, author later appeared believing like his father that he was a proud Mexican (Casares).
Moreover, the other essay ‘American Dreamer’ written by Bharati Mukherjee shows the other side of identity formation. The essayist, from the start of the essay appears claiming to be a naturalized American. The actual birth place of the writer is Calcutta, India, where she experienced all the true essence of his culture. Before and after moving to Iowa, she always felt herself as an Indian, due the deep penetration of Indian culture in her blood. However, while during her academic years at University of Iowa, she entered in a love relationship with a Canada based American, though. she got married with him (Mukherjee). The essayist is also found describing the identity formation in India in a way that, ‘A Hindu Indian’s last name announced his or her forefathers’ caste and place of origin’. Unlike Casares, Mukherjee is not much influenced from the core of her culture. She spent her ten years in Canada with her husband and children, where she felt lonely and seemed quite nostalgic in terms of his memories with America. As the time blurred her memories with India, though. she claimed herself as a naturalized American. At the end, she again appeared to be claiming, ‘I am a naturalized US citizen and I take my American citizenship very seriously’. By her stances, it can be analyzed that her orthodox Indian family would not have accepted her, as she got married out of their family. therefore, she made her individual identity by adjusting into American culture (Mukherjee).
The analysis has demonstrated that the identity formation of an individual is greatly influenced by the environmental one experience in the present time, along with the influence of one’s own perceptions towards the society.
Casares, Oscar. “Crossing the Border without losing Your Past.” New York Times Company 2003: 115-117.
Mukherjee, Bharati. “American Dreamer.” Mother Jones (1997): 119-124.