The Adaptive Identity

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The concern about identity is a major existential question. People recognize different objects by their sense, and thus consider their appearance, sound, or smell as their identities. In many cases, even though the physical traits of an object have changed, people still know the object. Therefore, these physical definitions of objects are not their identities. The connections of these characteristics, and furthermore of them and their inner self, define the uniqueness of an individual. Since the massive universe constantly moves toward entropy, the only consistency is “change”: caterpillars transform to butterflies, the ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan, and I have become unacquainted with my mother language but more comfortable with English. Thus, I am concerned about my rising ignorance of my own culture and of my true being in the world. But in the poem “Identity” by A. R. Ammons, I find relief: identity holds its center within but proceeds to randomness on the exterior to adjust and adapt. The spider and the spider web serve as extended metaphors that represent human beings and their identity. A spider makes web from its body and creates a place for itself in the world. Because the spider silk is formed in its body, it is a portrayal of the inner part of an individual; with the silk, spiders weave webs that “identify a species” (2). Mostly, they weave a special center (on which they rest), and leave a relatively large circular space around the beautiful

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