Adam Phillips Essay A World Elswhere

Adam Phillips Essay A World Elswhere - Connor Rasmussen...

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Connor Rasmussen English 101 Kenneth Marggraff 2/11/08 Language, identity, and escaping from oneself are all major topics of Houdini’s Box , an essay written by Adam Phillips. In this particular essay he tells a story of a 5 year old girl who was sexually abused. He also tells the life story of Houdini and how he tried to change certain things about his life in order to distinguish himself and kind of escape from his own being, creating a new identity for himself. His story speaks a lot of what makes up an identity and how we use certain tools such as language and behavior to discreetly show the world who we are. Whether it is lying to parent to get away with something and not taking responsibility, or playing hide and seek without hiding because you want to be found; both of these examples can show somebody’s identity without intentionally saying “Hey! Look at me, here I am.” Adam Phillips starts off his essay called Houdini’s Box with an anecdote about one time a 5 year old girl walked into his office. She wanted to play hide and seek with Mr. Phillips. When it was her turn to hide however “she stands in the middle of the room, closes her eyes, and says, “Start looking.” (Phillips, 487) Mr. Phillips determined that this girl was not trying to be found physically but perhaps emotionally, if not mentally. She was sexually abused and did not know how to tell anybody and this was her way of trying to have someone figure out her secret so that she could be helped, because she was so
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young she did not have the language so tell Mr. Phillips what had happened. I tend to agree with what Phillips is saying in this portion of his essay about language and your identity. We as people use language to communicate everything. What we want to eat, how we are feeling, what we are doing; but what happens when we are so young that we aren’t able to make these words out and describe how we really feel. Babies do it all the time, they cry when they need something, the pull on the leg of your pants so that you can
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Marggraff during the Spring '08 term at Quinnipiac.

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Adam Phillips Essay A World Elswhere - Connor Rasmussen...

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