Jonathan Franzen “Purity”: Identity

In light of Tuesday’s discussion regarding identity and Dike’s struggle to recognize himself as both American and Nigerian, I drew a comparison with Pip. One of the reason’s for Dike’s depression and identity crisis was that Aunty Uju refuses to acknowledge and bring up the fact that Dike was Nigerian by birth and failed to encourage him to be proud of his nationality. In comparison, Pip’s mother refuses to tell her who her Father is and even to explain to Pip what her real name is leaving no room for Pip to draw a full picture of her identity. The confusing thoughts that both Dike and Pip share create destructive self-criticism and further questioning of who they are if pieces of themselves are still unknown. With so many connective platforms and ways to reach people in the 21st century it is hard to imagine not having a wide web of acquaintances let alone knowing all of your family members directly or indirectly.

 

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