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Passions in Poetry

Identity

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brian madden
Member Elite
since 05-06-2000
Posts 4532
ireland


0 posted 07-19-2000 05:27 PM       View Profile for brian madden   Email brian madden   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for brian madden

This is something I have been pondering for awhile
about identity, the saying "no man is an island"
comes to mind, we can not helped but be shaped by what we encounter in the sea of life, we are eroded or have wrecks or treasure land on our shores ( apologises for the tacky metaphors.)  but how much control do we have over this ourselves. Are we fully in control of how we are defined as a person or are we simply moulded by the people around us.

What factors most contribute to a person's identity or personality? Who are the most influencial people to shape us? Is it possible to destroy personality?

It is something that has interested me for a long time and even more so since reading two books "Dice man" by Luke Rhinehart and "American Psycho" by Bret Easton Ellis. I refer to the second book, the main character Patrick Bateman lives in a sterile world of surface, there is a piecein the book where he claims that there is only an indication of himself a trace, a hollow shell, because he has no humanity no real personality he feels free to indulge in psychopathic behaviour


Main question is, sorry I have a tendency to ramble, is it possible to have full control over the development of ourselves, our identity how much of it is decided by outside factors such as other people, family traits, our environment? Can we reverse and alter our personalities, is there a central core that decides our attitudes our personality that can not be changed?  





the plot of our life sweats in the dark like a face the mystery of childbirth, of childhood itself grave visitations
what is it that calls to us?" patti smith


[This message has been edited by brian madden (edited 07-19-2000).]
Lost Dreamer
Member Elite
since 06-20-99
Posts 2589
Normal, Illinois


1 posted 07-20-2000 12:46 PM       View Profile for Lost Dreamer   Email Lost Dreamer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lost Dreamer

Gosh Brian, these are some deep questions, maybe not so much to others but I look to it as having to dive into myself and see where the answers lie if they even do at all.
   all right I know to start with it is sometimes hard for me to recognize who I am completely. I've found it important lately to do my best to find out though, cause it seems I am lost without a conscious knowledge of what makes me tick. I used the word tick purposely cause at times I am a time bomb ready to explode, and God watch out when it happens. I am trying to come to grips with that also but it takes getting to know oneself and that which causes reactions to happen.
   I think once one gets to know the person they are inside the control of who they are, and how they want to change is totally possible. There are lots of elements that shape us into who we are and how we function, and everyone in this whole universe is different. I know once I figure out the why's of certain parts of my persona I will be able to control how I play into and react to situations as they happen.
   Right now I have not found all the answers so I have not gained all the control I need, but I know as I keep searching within and come to greet myself with acceptance, then I can begin to have the control I need to become the person I desire to be.
   I will end here for now, I'm sure I will be back to add more as I dive deeper for the answer's, this was just off the top of my head for now. You may regret making me think Brian...LOL See ya for now.
  
Trevor
Senior Member
since 08-12-99
Posts 744
Canada


2 posted 07-21-2000 10:49 AM       View Profile for Trevor   Email Trevor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Trevor

This is how easy it is to influence someone,

1. look at your hand


....damn it stop looking at your hand and go on to number 2.


2. did you look at your hand because I told you to? Or did you not look at your hand because I said to look? Which one do you think I really wanted you to do? Either way you did or did not do something because of what you read and what I wrote.


Now if influencing someone is this easy how can anyone think they are strong enough to solely shape themselves....we can pick the books we want to read but we can't choose the words within them.


"This is something I have been pondering for awhile about identity, the saying "no man is an island" comes to mind"

Whoever said that "no man is an island" obviously did not see my uncle Joe back-floating in the lake    ba-dum-bump!....a little Las Vegas snare roll  

Thanks for the interesting topic,

Trevor
brian madden
Member Elite
since 05-06-2000
Posts 4532
ireland


3 posted 07-22-2000 09:27 AM       View Profile for brian madden   Email brian madden   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for brian madden

As usual I will probably make no sense what so ever. My thoughts on the matter are that the most influential people in your life are first your parents and then your peers. Your parents are responsible for
Your primary development, your sense of morals and how you interact with your peers. However that is not say that you can not go against their teachings but it will result in inner conflict.

Your peers in some sense are even more influential than your parents. Your parents have moulded and nurtured you and in most cases you can rely on their love for you. Your peers are different they are under no obligation to like or respect you. They have a different set of morals than you. It is your relationship with them that will enforce or harm what your parents have instilled. Interaction with your peers ( we are talking a young age here) will determine your reaction to groups and how you will communicate with people in the future. A person who is bullied will find crowds to be threatening, will lack confidence, and feel worthless. I am not saying that such things can not be reversed, they can to some extent, but at a young age everything leaves a lasting impression on a child and becomes part of their identity.  A more developed child will understand about been bullied and be able to deal with it more readily. I mention this as it is part of our core identity, which for the most part will remain constant.

I don't believe that our core identity can be changed therefore Luke Rhirehart's experiment, as "a dice man" is a failure.  Even though he allowed his life to be ruled by the role of a dice he made a list of choices that in most cases complied with his core identity. I think our core identity can evolve grow with maturity and experience. By our teens we have established our main traits and it is through our teens that these traits become refined and we come to terms with our identity breaking away from our parents. By our twenties our core identity is firmly set.
We will always be affected by other people, and even you choose to live like Salinger you still have yourself to contend with. In my above points I am referring to the average person. Of course every one develops at their own pace.
Look forward to other people's thoughts on the matter.


why must we pray
screaming? why must not death be redefined? we shut our eyes we stretch out our arms and whirl on a pane of glass-patti smith
 
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