Reflection on Identity

Essay by xxveronHigh School, 12th gradeA-, December 2007

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When I think of the word Identity, the primary words that come to mind are body, soul and conscience; not because I know this to be true, but because this is what I have been told throughout my life. However, my interpretation of the meaning of identity has somewhat changed since being asked to write on this subject.

The word that triggered my uncertainty with the term identity was 'Body'. Some people believe that your identity has a lot to do with the body you have been given. If you are deemed "ugly" by people, then you are identified in a negative way. On the flip side, if you are identified as "pretty", then the same populace has created your identity. During class time, I remember when being asked the question "What is identity?" I believed that the word could be described as the mirror of one's physical self.

The physical self is the reaction of the people around you. However, after contemplating the meaning, I began to wonder, how can one person's body image be a part of identity if our bodies are consistently changing? Is a person of the age of four not the same when he or she turns forty? Although their body has changed drastically, they are still the same person. If body is a measurement of identity and the attractiveness is deemed by how others see you, would it be true to say that identical twins have the same identity? I would say not. Surely just because there are two identical bodies does not make them the same person. Consequently, the body is not a concluding factor of how one would interrupt identity.

Another issue that heightened my curiosity was the word soul. Soul is a severely hard word to comprehend or define.