Identity and Belonging Essay

1111 Words5 Pages

‘Knowing where you belong is essential to our sense of identity’

The quest for personal discovery is a journey which every individual must undergo. The development of a sense of self is one of the greatest achievements one can derive from life. Identity is made up of a constellation of characteristics, none more essential than the sense of belonging we feel with others. Humans by nature are social creatures and as such, we all have an instinctual desire for acceptance and community. This is part of the human condition. However, belonging is also dependent on our own sense of identity. Where we belong will often be determined by who we are which is why what we truly search for is a delicate equilibrium between
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Frankie attempts to change her identity by changing her name, in the hope that it will allow her to better connect with the people she wishes to be with. The ideas expressed in this novel show that an individual must form an identity before following their innate compulsion to belong.
This novel coincides with Abraham Maslows hierarchy of needs, which maintains that the sense of security and self-esteem associated with belonging is essential in the pursuit of ‘self actualisation’. Maslows theory suggests that ‘belonging’ is far more important than individuality. This theory demonstrates that we must satisfy various ‘meta-needs’ including discovering where we belong, on the long search for our identity. The Amish community in the film Witness, directed by Peter Weir, is seen to prioritise belonging over individuality. All the Amish people dress ‘plain’ which symbolises their high regard for affinity. Rachel is threatened to be shunned from the Amish society if she continues to be involved with an “English” man. It is not conventional for an Amish woman to have feelings for a man form the city, or at least to act on them, and it would result in her becoming an outcast in the community. This is not supported by the rest of the Amish people in the film and Rachel is forced to choose between belonging and individuality. In this film it seems knowing where you belong is crucial in knowing who you are. John Book is the
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