Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction - Chapter 8, Identity, Identification, and the Subject Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 8, Identity, Identification, and the Subject Summary and Analysis

Literary theorists debate about the identify and function of self. Who is the "I" in "I am?" Is the self, or subject, something natural or manufactured by societal demands? Further, there is the question as to whether the subject should be viewed as an individual or in terms of society. The natural individual is a product of the subject's inner core. In the second proposition, the subject is a manufactured product which is determined by one's origins and social attributes. There is consensus that all subjects are subjected to social, sexual and linguistic influences.

Literary works provide models of identity. There is identity by birthright: the King who is raised by shepherds is still a king. Another model presents one's identity as changing due to circumstances: He was born a King...

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This section contains 562 words
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Buy the Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction Study Guide
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