The Member of the Wedding
No matter how much we try we cannot change who we are. A change is defined as the act or instance of making or becoming different and is very difficult to achieve, however not impossible. Our physical characterisitcs and how others perceive these characteristics and what we post online affect our identity and are generally impossible to change. On the other hand people can change who they are, such acts can be seen with gender changes or plastic surgery and simply altering the way we see ourselves. No matter how much we try we cannot change who we are. How we look and behave to others can affect our identity.
Our physical characteristics come about as a result of DNA which we inherit from our parents and are simply impossible to change. The colour of our skin, the colour of our eyes or our heights can’t be changed permanently and affect our identity because everyone perceives beauty differently. The novel, “The Member of the Wedding” displays this idea perfectly. At one point in the novel, the protagonist- Frankie- makes a remark about her growth, “according to mathematics and unless she could somehow stop herself she would grow to be over nine feet tall. And what would be a lady who is over nine feet high?
She would be a freak. ” At the local fair the previous year, Frankie visited the house of freaks; she describes the features that aid the ‘freaks’ to be seen as ‘freaks’. Frankie says “The Giant was more than eight feet high, with huge loose hands and a hang-jaw face. The Fat Lady sat in a chair, and the fat on her was like loose-powdered dough… next was the squeezed Midget who minced around in little trick evening clothes. The Wild Nigger came from a savage island… The little Pin Head skipped and giggled and sassed around, with a shrunken head no larger than an orange..
The last.. Half-Man Half-Woman, a morphidite and a miracle of science. ” From this information it is clear to see that our outward appearance and how others see these outward appearances affect how we fit into society and therefore who we are as a person, because our outward appearance comes about as a result of DNA no amount of trying could change these. No matter how much we try we cannot change who we are. What we post online affects our identity for our whole lives.
A web article entitled “Job candidates getting tripped up by Facebook” that appeared on nbcnews. om shows that the idea that our online identity affects who we are, is true. The article discusses many people who have found themselves in this situation. One such example includes a talented young psychiatrist applying for a job, was rejected due to the photos that appeared on her Facebook page. Van Allen- the job recruiter- said that “Pictures of her taking off her shirt at parties, not just on one occasion, but on another occasion, then another occasion” made him think twice about his first impressions.
Another example in the article talks about Miss New Jersey (Amy Polumbo), Polumbo was blackmailed with photos that appeared on her Facebook page and nearly had her title taken away from her, Polumbo was allowed to keep her title but her crown was forever tarnished. The article also mentions a group of law students who found that their Facebook photos that had been removed had been posted on an online discussion board without their permission, the students tried to have their pictures removed as they had been rejected when applying for jobs.
In a survey conducted by Ponemon it was concluded that 35% of hiring managers use Google to do a background check on the job applicants and 23% look job candidates up on social networking sites of these checks a third of the job applications are actually rejected. From this article and conjunctive surveys it is clear to see that our online actions affect who we for our whole lives and no matter how hard we try we cannot change this identity that we have given ourselves, everything you post online is online forever.
Although there are some aspects of our identity that we cannot change, surgery can however change these aspects. With modern technology and top of the notch plastic surgeons almost any physical change is possible. In the novel “The Member of the Wedding” Frankie’s house maid Berenice mentions a man that successfully changes his identity because he changes his gender. Berenice says, “He changed his gender and his sex and he turned into a girl. ” It is not clear if this man had sex reassignment surgery however in the modern day this is an option.
The novel also discusses the changes that Frankie makes to herself, although the characteristics that we are born with cannot be changed, Frankie shows us that the clothes we wear and the style of our hair impact on our identity and can be changed. In the novel Frankie is portrayed as a tomboy, she has a crew cut and wears shorts and a t-shirt, however when the wedding comes around Frankie suddenly becomes more of a ‘girly girl’, she buys a dress and wishes that she had long blonde hair and that she didn’t make the decision to cut her hair short.
Today people change their hair colour every other week and fashion styles go in and out. The Member of the Wedding” shows us that some aspects, such as our gender, can be changed through surgery and therefore we can successfully change who we are. Some aspects of our identity can be altered through changing our perceptions of ourselves. Because we often fear the unknown or we fear change, we choose to be cautious and stay with what we know. We stop ourselves from taking on certain challenges, actions, jobs, and relationships and we adapt to unpleasant, bad or unhealthy situations because that’s more comfortable than facing the unknown.
Not one person on this Earth is perfect; everyone has their flaws, by accepting ourselves ‘warts and all’ we can successfully change who we are on the inside and change the way we see ourselves. Frankie displays this idea, by the end of the novel Frankie accepts that she isn’t perfect, that she doesn’t belong in the club house with all the other teenagers and that she doesn’t belong with Janice and Jarvis. Frankie is finally satisfied with her identity and at last feels as if she fits into society with Mary Littlejohn.
Through Frankie we can see that by changing how we see ourselves we can be happy and change who we are on the inside. In conclusion, it is clear that we can sometimes change who we are. Aspects such as our physical characterisitcs, how others perceive these characteristics and what we post online affect our identity and are impossible to change. Our physical characteristics result from the DNA that we inherit from our parents and in the modern day cannot be changed, how people see these characteristics often impacts how we belong in society also.
The things that we post online are online forever and can always ‘pop back up’ when we least expect them too. Although these characteristics of our identity cannot be changed, there are however aspects that we can change. People have successfully changed who they are through gender change surgery or plastic surgery. It is also possible to change who we are inside by accepting ourselves for who we are, Frankie from “The Member of the Wedding” shows this idea perfectly. These circumstances show that it is possible to change who we are as individuals.