The Human Stain By Phillip Roth

1154 Words5 Pages
Losing your Identity
A person identity defines who they are. Unfortunately we do not get to choose our identity; yet our identity chooses us. Even though we do not get to choose our identity, one needs to be appreciative of their identity. In the novel The Human Stain by Phillip Roth, Coleman Silk’s actions show that he is losing his identity. Coleman Silk is a man that made irrational decisions in his life, such as making a racial comment while teaching, lying about his race, and having an affair. In all, he was trying to find a new identity in search for power. As results of his life decisions, Coleman Silk lost his original identity that would dwell on him forever. It all started when professor Coleman Silk was lecturing in class; and he called two absent students "spooks". “As there were still two names that failed to elicit a response by the fifth week into the semester, Coleman, in the sixth week, opened the session by asking, “ Does anyone know these people? Do they exist or are they spooks?”(Roth 6). Resulting in Coleman getting verbally attacked by the board, for making a racist phrase “spooks”. In the end the “spooks” racists phrase precedes to Coleman Silk’s resignation. Having to leave his job as a professor and Dean of the faculty, he lost a chunk of his original identity. After the dilemma with the college, Iris his wife dies of a stroke. “Iris – for close to two years, ever since Iris suffered a stroke and died overnight while he was in the midst of

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