first semester exam

First semester exam - Period 3 Thematic Journey First Semester The Path to Self-Discovery I'm sitting in my counselor's office overwhelmed by the

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Period 3 January 17, 2006 Thematic Journey First Semester The Path to Self-Discovery I’m sitting in my counselor’s office, overwhelmed by the question she’s just posed. “Who are you?” she asked. “Give me a few words to describe yourself, things that make you unique.” I look at my feet, desperately attempting to condense sixteen years of experience into a few words that can simultaneously capture my personality and impress college admissions officers. The task is impossible- anything I say will sound too trite or too egotistical, but I have to respond. I finally mumble a few generalities, describing myself as “nice,” “genuine,” and “funny.” Sensing my uncertainty, my counselor informs me that most people don’t know how to answer when she first asks. I continue my day, but the question persists. It’s something I’ve never truly considered, but now, because I’ll soon be forced to make some large decisions about my life, it’s something I have to confront. Although my identity is something no one can tell me, I’m not alone in the struggle to discover my identity- at some point, everyone must figure out how they relate to the universe. By understanding others’ journeys, I can better understand how to define myself. During this past semester in English, I’ve read three books whose main characters have explored the question of identity. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and The Awakening by Kate Chopin each explored the idea of identity, specifically in relation to society and surrounding characters. In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is forced to forever wear the letter “A” to remind her, and the townspeople, of her sin of adultery. The question that I struggled with throughout the novel was why Hester stayed in the
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town to be continually reminded of her shame. I put myself in her position and I couldn’t understand why she didn’t simply start her life over in a new place, or why she wore the scarlet letter everywhere, even when no one could see her. As the novel progresses, Hester redeems herself in the public’s eyes by doing good deeds and the public generally
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This note was uploaded on 08/20/2008 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Bielajew during the Fall '07 term at University of Michigan.

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First semester exam - Period 3 Thematic Journey First Semester The Path to Self-Discovery I'm sitting in my counselor's office overwhelmed by the

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