Lost Names Essay

874 WordsDec 17, 20134 Pages
True Identity There comes a point in time in an individual’s life in which their name truly becomes a part of their identity. A name is more than just a title to differentiate people; it is a part of the person. In Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood by Richard E. Kim, names play a major role on the character’s identities. The absence and importance of the names in the story make the story rich with detail and identity through something as simple as the name of a character. Names are a significant factor affecting the story and the characters throughout the novel Lost Names. When the Koreans are forced to change their family names to Japanese ones, their Korean identity is weakened. Going through this traumatizing experience is…show more content…
In the subtitle Scenes from a Korean Boyhood, the author does not state the novel to be his boyhood, but rather suggests a boyhood. Kim chooses to leave this pronoun out in order to prove a more generalized view of humanity. The readers would be forced to make these characters a general idea so that a concluded common idea for them is The people of Korea are having their identity stolen. The rights of the Korean people are not being granted. Their culture is all together being stolen. A similar thing is happening in America today. The National Security Agency, which is a part of the United States federal government, is monitoring many United States citizens’ personal matters. The agency has the power to access any information that they feel necessary including Internet searches, text messages, and phone calls. Can an individual really truly be themselves when their entire life, every move, every purchase, every website they visit, is being monitored? The actions by the NSA invade the privacy of the country’s population. In a similar way to Lost Names, the government has an unfair and unjust authority to control the population. The identities of both societies are being falsely tampered with, and government should never have that power over the population. Works Cited Kim, Richard E. Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood. New York: Praeger, 1970.
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