The Human Stain By Phillip Roth

1212 Words5 Pages
An identity defines a person’s life on who they are. We do not get to choose our identity; our identity chooses us. Whether one doesn’t get to choose their identity, it is important to be appreciative of ones identity. In the novel The Human Stain by Phillip Roth, identity is displayed through Coleman Silk actions. Coleman Silk a man that made 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. In results of his life decisions, Coleman Silk lost his original identity that would dawn on him forever. It all started when professor Coleman Silk was lecturing in class, and 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). Later on he is accused of making a racist phrase “spooks”, and the chaos leads to Coleman Silk’s resignation. Having to leave his job as a professor and dean of faculty, he lost a chunk of his original identity. Soon after, the stress of Coleman Silk being forced out of the college, Iris his wife dies of a stroke. “Iris – for close to two years, ever since Iris suffered as stroke and died overnight while he was in the midst of battling with the college over a charge of racism brought against him by two students in

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