Examples Of Identity In Mississippi Trial

1479 Words6 Pages
There are many external and internal factors that shape and form our identity, which is knowing who we are or who someone else is. In the book, Mississippi Trial, 1955, the main character Hiram Hillburn goes through many ups and downs in order to determine who he actually is. Achieving this takes time and many changes in people’s characteristics. Intertwining this to the book, identities are formed and shaped by parents, personal experiences (good or bad), and independent decisions. Hiram exemplifies these changes throughout the book by guidance from certain adults such as his father, making very salient decisions, and past incidents.Hiram goes through an exploration through this book about race, relations, and dishonesty. A murder of an innocuous…show more content…
Past experiences shape nature and disposition.When someone goes through a dramatic event, they change for the better or worse. The novel Mississippi Trial, 1955, concerns Hiram’s experience with witnessing the murder of an African American and figuring out how to respond to it. It soon becomes clear that Hiram’s past experiences with his father have affected his viewpoint on life. For example, Hiram states, “It made me sick, and all I wanted to do was get out of there, out of Mississippi, and back home where things and people weren’t so crazy.” (Crowe 192) This shows significant character development for him, which contributes to identity. Hiram’s experience in witnessing a failed justice system for African Americans also caused a change in his personality. In the beginning of the book, he loved Greenwood, his grandfather’s home, and thought it was incredible. In the beginning, he states, “It was the best place on Earth” and that he, “loved [his] grandparents.” (Crowe 3) This demonstrates that there is a change in Hiram’s thought process and that this will change his personality and self-identification. Clearly, the murder of Emmett Till affected how Hiram viewed himself and others. Before, Hiram could be described as a young boy who had a blind, immense love for his grandfather and the South. However, his experience with Emmett Till and observing a murder that his grandfather was part of reformed Hiram, who came to…show more content…
In the process of making decisions, they discover things about themselves they never knew before. Hiram made many important decisions in this book that revealed characteristics about him that were unknown in the beginning of the book. His decision to testify against the opposing side showed that Hiram wasn’t racist like his grandfather, but someone who believed justice should be for those who deserved it. After reflecting upon matters, Hiram declared that “I was gonna do what was right” ( Crowe 154), which gives an idea of his identity. Almost always, the decisions show who people are and help identify themselves. Morally wrong decisions cast a negative light, whereas good decisions cast us in a positive one. Moreover, Hiram states that “the trial of his killers might be the start of things, might be a small step to making a life for Negroes in the South ..better”(Crowe 154). With this statement, Hiram can be identified as an egalitarian and unbiased person. What point is trying to be crossed is that people make decisions in life that help them mold into they person are
Get Access