Free Essay

Our Relationships with Others Define Who We Are

In: Other Topics

Submitted By SalaMeni16
Words 869
Pages 4
‘Our relationships with others help us to define who we are.’

Context 4, Sample B
This sample uses the prompt to show understanding of the text, brings knowledge of various texts to the discussion and shows good control in the writing.

Bruce Dawe suggests in the introduction to his anthology of poetry, that ‘Each of us is both a private person and a public person.’ Despite this simple truth, our personal sense of identity and individuality is under serious threat from two entirely separate, though equally negative entities, alienation and conformity. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye struggles to find a sense of belonging in a world that he feels is increasingly demanding conformity, resulting in his self-imposed isolation and lack of genuine sense of self. As a young person, about to embrace a largely foreign world, it is imperative for myself and other young people to find a balance between our own individuality and the concession we choose to make in regards to our individuality when seeking connections or relationships with others. Everyone must realise that while we are each unique, we are also members of the human species, sharing universal characteristics and experiences. Therefore, the relationships we have with others will inherently help determine much of who we are. Only once we have made these realisations can we begin to gain a coherent understanding of the functioning of society and avoid Holden’s predetermined fate of loneliness.
From birth, we are assigned concrete features of our identity. We cannot control the family or culture we are born into, but the relationships we form with our immediate family, at least initially, will define certain aspects of who we are. Bruce Dawe’s ‘Life- Cycle’ discusses the revered cultural icon that is the Australian Rules football supporter. Every child born into a football-mad household in Victoria is instantly given a focus and a structure to their lives. All over the world, fanatics are inextricably tied by the fortunes of their team. Even those who choose not to belong and rebel against their families have consequently shaped elements of their identity.
Holden Caulfield for instance, does his best to alienate himself from the people closest to himself, even the person he loves most, Phoebe. Despite this, Holden still strives from a sense of belonging and though he feels he has a strong sense of genuine individuality, it is severely restricted by his lack of proper relationships with others. But in most cases, our immediate family will provide protection, nurture and love giving us a stable platform from which we will begin our eternal quest to discover more about our ever-changing identity.
Many people will mask, or even forfeit, their true sense of self, in order to gain acceptance, but this will only lead to the dangerous notion of conformity and ultimately superficial relationships. This is extremely common in school situations. Holden Caulfield’s teacher, Mr Antolini, describes him as ‘falling and falling’, acting out, metaphorically, the fate of James Castle who was driven to suicide by his peers, demonstrating the high cost of not fitting in. Though this is an extreme case, a lack of relationships with peers and teachers at school will almost always result in isolation and perhaps even depression. As John
Donne writes, ‘No man is an island entire of itself’ as we cannot identify who we are alone. Similarly, Bruce Dawe states that we are all ‘part of the shimmering web’ whether we are ‘vast’ or ‘small’, meaning that we must learn from those around us in order for society to function as a whole. Thus, we must identify our individuality through both introspection and from the things we learn from our relationships with others.
It is necessary to adapt our identity to our milieu, but it must not come at the cost of conformity. In the poem, ‘Enter Without So Much as Knocking’ Dawe illustrates the inherent dangers of conforming to the ‘Americanised’ values of a consumerist, capitalist society. As a result of the trepidation of alienation and loneliness, too many people sacrifice too much of their individuality to find belonging. However, it is crucial that we always maintain a connection to our inner core strength of self. The power of the group can be hugely overwhelming, at times resulting in the severe repression of minorities and extreme violence and brutality, as evidenced by Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s USSR. To evade these tragic consequences the solution is simple: retain a sense of self whilst creating the relationships necessary to strengthen it.
A dimension of the private self may need to be sacrificed so that we can build strong connections to those around us, but that does not mean that we can afford to lose sight of who we really are in the process. All of us need to be respectful of the rights of individual, not only for the sake of the individual but for the benefit of society as well. Finally, Bruce Dawe encapsulates all of these ideas by stating that our character is constructed in ‘the stream of the world’ and that while ‘talent is built on solitude’ it cannot be wasted in isolation.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Our Relationship with Others Help Us to Define Who We Are

...Context Prompt: Our relationships with others help us to define who we are. Our identity is what we perceive ourselves to be as well as how others view us. One’s identity is therefore an essential element in defining themselves. For that reason, it is especially important that we are comfortable with our identity. As individuals, people have unique characteristics and personalities as well as belonging to groups that influence such factors as their lives go on. Although great emphasis is put on creating ones identity alone, a number of factors such as ones appearance, society, environment, religion and race can shape our identities thus help us to define who we are. It is also believed that our genetic makeup has a large role in determining who we are. Our identity can be considerably shaped by our appearance. Physical appearance is the first, and often most important, and most lasting impression others get of us. Society will create different assumptions about others based on simple factors such as ones fashion and ones physical qualities. As a result, many will adjust their identities to be accepted by society. For example, people tailoring their personal appearance to fit what they want others to see them as. An individual who dresses very formally is likely to want others to view them as high class or wealthy. Although, factors such as height and skin colour cannot be so easily altered and depends on ones genetics. The effects of appearance on our identity can......

Words: 707 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Test is primarily about the relationships being transacted, about the people involved in these transactions rather than the ceremonial giving and receiving of things (Carrier 1995: 19). Write an essay evaluating the role of alienable and inalienable goods in underscoring the importance of exchange transactions. In order for us to take an in depth look at the idea of gift giving and the relationships involved in such a ceremonial transaction we must first look at the people that are involved in the transaction. Not only must we look that the people but we must also focus on the affiliation between people and the actual object itself. Carrier himself states in his essay; “Gifts and Commodities” that “Clearly there is much more in our relationship to objects than sheer utility” (Carrier, 1995. 1), and thus proving to us that there we have a much more intimate relationship with material objects than we first imagined. This bond is deep enough that we even need material objects to define who we are sometimes, for example if a punk rocker claims to be a punk rocker he must dress according to the social image of a punk rocker and from there we can assume that person’s identity and personality as a punk rocker. Carrier says himself that “The corollary is that objects signify status identity and so constitute a claim to status-group membership on the part of those who have them” (Carrier, 1995. 2). Another major concept that is involved with both the relationship between humans and......

Words: 751 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Social Psychology

...Social Psychology Definition PSY 400 - Social Psychology Social Psychology Definition When people go to parties with friends to socialize and have a good time do you think they ever take the time to think about the interactions that are happening with each other? When a husband and wife are has had an argument over where to travel for vacation, are they thinking about how they are influencing one another? Social psychology is about the interactions and influences that people have on each other and how they impact who one another. When a judgment is made against another, where does that thought come from? Why do people feel the way they do about one another and where does that learned behavior and attitude come from? In this paper we will show the difference between the different disciplines of psychology, show the types of research used and how social psychology affects us as individuals and where our perceptions stem from. To define social psychology is to define humans as individuals. How we behave and interact with one another makes up the bulk of who we are. There are several big ideas in social psychology one being our need to “construct our social reality” (Myers, 2010). People have this need to justify their behavior because it makes it seem more palatable for some reason. If a person receives an item that they are suspicious is stolen and choose to keep it anyway, they will feel the need to justify their behavior to anyone they come into contact......

Words: 901 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Consentual Relationship Agreements

...Consensual Relationship Agreements BUS 520 April 3, 2012 Abstract This report will examine the issue of consensual relationship agreements (CRA), also known as love contracts, within the workplace. It will define what a CRA is, and argue for the use of CRAs in the workplace and argue against the use of CRAs in the workplace. It will also address the ethical principles involved in the use of CRAs and offer another option to CRAs that would address workplace romances. Consensual Relationship Agreements or CRAs are known to some people as love contracts. Lawyers may define it as a liability of intimacy, and a U.S Military member will be familiar with the term PDA or Public Display of Affection. Regardless of which sector a person is employed, they may be subject to a company's policy on dating or consensually becoming involved in romantic relationships with other employees in their workplace. We can best define CRA's as a document, presented by human resources, and signed voluntarily by both employees, acknowledging a "consensual" relationship. This contract is to specifically state in writing, that a romantic relationship will not interfere with job performance, and reiterates the principles of the company's harassment policy. The agreement will require arbitration rather than a harassment grievance if for any reason the relationship ends, which protects the employer of any liability of any claim being presented at a later......

Words: 1064 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

My Philosophy

...those who know me I am Graya – so called because my friend Donnie was reminded by me of her crazy grandmother in South Africa, who when annoyed at the monkeys and baboons that climbed into her fruit trees to eat the fruit, would shoot fireworks into the trees and at the next instant there would be stone cold dead monkeys who died of shock, lying on the ground and she would be whooping in victory. I am also Carla - a 17 year old experiencing life through dark brown eyes. No matter how exceptional, amazing and unique I’d like to think I am, who I am is really a reflection of many other things put together. Numerous parts of different jigsaw puzzles pieced together to form a new picture. Vital pieces of whose absence would have made another person, not the one I am. I always say I’m different. Never quite what people expect on a first impression. Friends have categorized me as a pessimist, a naturalistic thinker, a boring, little, nerdy person until we became friends and they realized I had a few screws loose in my head and then found themselves laughing at my jokes and mostly moronic and offending ideas. I believe our experiences in life whether good or bad are what help define who we are. We cannot experience what we are until we encounter what we are not. It is through what we are not that we can be defined. The theory of relativity sustains my beliefs as to know ourselves is not to overcome all earthly passions but to understand them and understand what defines who we are.......

Words: 835 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

The Self Paper

...Week #2 – The Self Paper How does one define the concept of self and encompass all of the different elements that exist within us? People define themselves with thoughts of their individual personality, such as humorous, thoughtful, etc. The concept of self does have an impact on a person’s self esteem and how they present themselves. This author will define all of these within this paper. Concept of Self Who am I? This is the question of the century. People do some individual soul searching to help answer this question and yet it is ever evolving. “The self concept is how we think about and evaluate ourselves. To be aware of oneself is to have a concept of oneself. Baumeister (1999) provides the following self concept definition: "the individual's belief about himself or herself, including the person's attributes and who and what the self is". (McLeod, 2008) These can consist of personality traits, monetary possessions, education, history and physical characteristics. Individual development of Self-Concept A person develops their own individual self’s to fit who they want to be as much, as who they are. Often times, we base our own individual opinions of ourselves based on the perception of others. Take for example, how one might describe their own individual self on a dating site. They would pick the best attributes of themselves, such as good cook, high powered lawyer, and they use this is defining who they are as a person. This is what the......

Words: 1113 - Pages: 5

Free Essay


...Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA’) © 2006, 2007 Batavia XBRL BV all rights reserved Postal box 258, 2800 AG, Gouda Phone +31 182 686 816 • Telefax +31 182 686 206 The contents of this publication are protected by Dutch copyright law and international treaties. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication or any portion of it is strictly prohibited. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and the author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of information contained in this book or from the use of programs and source code that may accompany it. In no event shall the publisher and the authors be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by this book. Version Revision Authors : : : 1 1 Jos van der Heiden Index 1 __________________________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION __________________________________________________________________ 1 ________________________________ 1 2 2 4 5 EXPECT ________________________________________________________________ _________________________________ 1.1 WHAT TO EXPECT _________________________________________________________________ XBRL________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ 1.2 INTRODUCING XBRL_______________________________________________________________ 1.2.1......

Words: 17995 - Pages: 72

Premium Essay

Professional Ethics and Values

...Professional Values and Ethics S. Michelle Gudger, Donna Verstraete, Jared Snow, Todd White GEN-200 August 29, 2011 Jeni Smith Professional Values and Ethics The dictionary defines ethics as: the study of standards of conduct and moral judgment; moral philosophy ("Define ethics," 2011). Philosophers who think about ethics usually try to live by an ethical code, while the people who set up a code of ethics often study and think while they are doing so ("Define ethics," 2011). According to this definition, ethics can be one of two things: it can be a code that you follow and live by, or it can be something that you study and think about. Of course in our daily life it has a chance of being both. Ethics is not an easy word to define. Almost everyone wants to live an ethical life, but knowing what that means is not as simple as it sounds. Being that life is not that simple sometimes people come across what writers would call “ethical dilemma”. When a situation comes up and two ideas might seem ethical, it might be hard to choose which answer is correct. Some “ethical dilemmas” may have little consequences: for example, is it right to tell a lie when someone asks “does this dress make my butt look to big or was my steak to tough? The dilemma is what to do, lie or risk hurting the persons feeling? There is no easy answer to these questions because it depends on your definition of ethics! In sociology, the definition for values is believed to help ease the conflict between...

Words: 1078 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Customer Service

...identify various customers, assess their requirements and satisfaction levels. A/C: 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 4. Understand how to develop and manage service level agreements. A/C: 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 5. Understand the importance of customer relationship management. A/C: 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.4 A/C1.1 Our aim is to provide our clients with optimum, wholesome and well-integrated solutions to suit their requirements. In keeping with this principle, we go beyond by providing certain value-additions to our customers such as: transparency, cost-efficiency, a sense of belonging and many more which go a long way in assuring our customers’ needs. By building a solid structure that will meet our customer requirements, perceptions, and expectations to commitment to the concept of our customer-defined quality. It is critical for us to let our customers know that we are their partners in trying to achieve whatever goals they have established for themselves as a business entity. The provision of our FM services is that of an interactive process in that from the moment our customer makes a request for service or asks for assistance in solving a work problem, our customer is involved in service delivery. [pic] Image from Google...

Words: 5781 - Pages: 24

Premium Essay

Worldview Essay

...One: A worldview can be described as a summation of all our teachings, experiences and beliefs in this life and how this perception molds and defines our character for the role we play in this world. According to Gutierrez and Weider, it is a response to our heart or inner being; our intellect, emotion and will. It is the total framework that we bring to decision making. (59) A worldview can define our religious beliefs for example, which can ultimately decide how we practice our life. In Christianity for example, telling the truth is a commandment given by God that we are to uphold. This transcends every facet of our life, and what we practice. Whether at work, with friends, family or in our marriages the truth is an integral part that maintains these relationships and is encompassed and dictated by our worldview. Part Two: 1. The Question of Origin: Psalm 139 13:16 best answers “How did life begin?” Or “How did mankind come into existence?” This is again noted by Job in Job 8:10. These scriptures for the Christian worldview clearly describe how and when life began. God is our very creator and the one who breathed life into us in the secret place. 2. The Question of Identity: “What does it mean to be human?” or “Are humans more important than animals?” From the Christian worldview, God is eternal and we are a special creation of God. (67) Ps 8:5 reinforces that belief, stating that we were made above the animals and a little below......

Words: 813 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...I: How Does Personality Define Who We Are Spencer Mason MGMT591 Dr. Joe Neptune 1/18/2015 Introduction A question most people have wondered at one point in their life, “why are we the way we are?” Personality defines who we are. It defines every part of our lives, choosing friends, where we work and who we have relationships with. Most of the factors which shape someone’s personality are a result of his/her heredity and the environment in which he/she was exposed to. (Essays, 2013). A LSI (Life Style Inventory) self-description questionnaire was presented, allowing the raw material to be analyzed and examine our way of thinking and how it influences behavior. Our results are broken up into twelve styles that reflect on our personality. But what affect does our personality play into our lives. Do these styles have an impact on our management style? Do they define who we are or how we think? Did we develop our personal style from relationships, school, or curricular activites? Let's discuss what shapes our personalities and why we act the way we do. Looking over the results from the Life Style Inventory (LSI) test, there was a consistency noted within my specific scores. My two highest scores came for the passive/defensive style. My primary style was avoidance, with a score of 98%, and my backup style was dependent, with a score of 94%. It is apparent that these two styles are a strong description of who I am as a leader. ......

Words: 2093 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Raymond Williams Argues That ‘Culture Is One of the Two or Three Most Complicated Words in the English Language’ (1983: 87), Discuss Why Williams Argues This and Some of the Different Ways in Which Culture Has Been Defined.

...Raymond Williams argues that ‘Culture is one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language’ (1983: 87). With reference to at least one of the key readings other than the extracts from Williams that you’ve studied in weeks 1-5, discuss (1) why Williams argues this and (2) some of the different ways in which culture has been defined. Culture is one of the most difficult words to define as there are so many modern and traditional meanings that come across as being the ‘true’ definition. Williams said that it is because ‘it is now used in important concepts in intellectual disciplines and systems of thought’, however a more modern way of putting this is that it is part of spiritual development and a way of life. Arnold describes culture as a ‘study of perfection’, which, if you look at the dictionary definition of culture, applies to it; ‘Noun: The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively’, referring to high culture. High culture, as Leavis put it is ‘the use of such language’, meaning the appreciation of finer living. Finer living means people who visit the theatre, art galleries, drink fine wines; are socially higher than the majority of society who most of the time cannot afford to live like that, they would swap the theatre for a cinema, the art gallery for ‘Madame Tussards’ and the wine bar for a nightclub. Such definition of the word culture makes it seem like a class division; something that Shakespeare......

Words: 813 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Mgt/245 Perception and Decision Making

...Assignment: Perception and Decision Making MGT/245 People’s perceptions help define their viewpoints. Perception comes to people through their senses. Perception means “the act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.” ( From a different perspective, perception means organizing, understanding, receiving, and selecting information that can sometimes result in a disagreement. People that view things from their own perspective has the highest potential of things leading to a disagreement, because different viewpoints has a lot of different perspectives on how stuff should be accomplished. It is pretty much inevitable, within an organization, that the employees will not always be content and agree with their views of behavior, job tasks, working conditions, benefits, and pay rates. The aspects of perception has to do with how certain tasks and information is selected, understood, and organized. These are all the decision making faculties and they drastically differ from one to another. With the current research beginning, it has begun to support the theory called “active perception”. Within this theory, a dynamic relationship exists between the perceptions of the senses, the surrounding environment, and the brain. Academics have really supported the theory called “passive perception”. The “passive perception” theory has a view of perception where a stimulus is in the environment that is processed by......

Words: 1124 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

How Did Robert Nozick Designed To Challenge Hedonism?

...Nozick designed a thought experiment that contained an experience machine that could give you any experience you desired. (Nozick, 42) This experience machine was designed to challenge hedonism. By plugging into the machine you are given the chance to program your experiences through life for the next two years. Then you must endure ten minutes of distress to reprogram the machine and then jump back in for the next two years. This cycle continues for the rest of your life. However, by plugging into the experience machine you lose more than you gain. You lose who you are, your purpose in life and your experiences lack value since they are not fueled by any internal desire. I disagree with plugging in and believe that Nozick is able to prove hedonism to be false, demonstrating that a life of pure pleasure is not enough....

Words: 771 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Religious Traditions Paper

...describe the relationships in different areas of religion. Traditions go as far back as the life time of that particular religion. Religious traditions can also define the way churches, holidays, and special religious events are interpreted. Also I will discuss the relationships with the divine, sacred times, sacred space, and the relationship with each other. Religious Traditions Relationship With The Devine Religion normally is based on what environment or upbringing that one has grew up in. In some cases it could be a good upbringing and in some cases it can be a bad upbringing that could trigger a person’s belief in life. The world around us creates questions that often make us wonder about our existence. For example: What is the meaning of life? Or Does God really exists? Most of what we do on a day to day bases has a lot to do with our beliefs in what we feel the world around us should be. Everyone everywhere believes in something God or no God. Those who were birthed in the divine use most of their time worshiping and praying for further understanding and truth to divine supremacy. Various religions refer to their “most high” by name in different ways. Some of those names are The Divine, The Holy Spirit, Holy Mother, and the one that most of all is used is God (just to name a few). In the world of religion some religious people believe in one God and there are some who believe in multiple God’s. Almost all religions believe that developing a close relationship......

Words: 1118 - Pages: 5