SAT范文 – Identity
Prompt: Is identity something people are born with or given, or is it something people create for themselves?
The notion of identity includes elements of a person’s character that are by no means restricted by their nationality, race, religion, family or socio-economic background. The idea of ‘identity’ concerns, by definition, that which makes a person unique. While it is no doubt influenced by the factors mentioned above, it is ultimately the outcome of a person’s engagement with their surrounds, and must therefore be understood as a creation of the person to whom it belongs.
Joseph Conrad was a writer born in Poland who emigrated to France to become a sailor before eventually moving to England. English was his third language, and yet he managed to write some of the most powerful novels of the 19th and 20th centuries. While identity is something of a slippery notion, it cannot be said that at Conrad’s birth in Poland he had already his identity. To do so would reduce him to being ‘just a Pole’. If this is the approach taken, at his death Conrad’s identity could be described as that of ‘a Polish immigrant sailor’. Conrad’s true identity might be described simplistically as an ‘adventurer of the seas and a multilingual chronicler of man’s inherent flaws and struggles’. This was not something he was born with, it was something he created, and that came from his engagement with a broad array of human behaviour.
I come from a farm. My father was a farmer, his father was a farmer, and so was his father. But I don’t particularly like farming; I want to be a lawyer. My identity is not ‘farmer’, it is more something along the lines of ‘writer, reader, student, conversationalist’. This has come about because of my engagement with the world around me. At 5 years old, I was none of the things aforementioned. I wasn’t even like that at 10. Over time, however, I have experienced more and more and this is the person I have developed myself into. Were I to identify as a ‘farmer’, something I was born with, I would be unhappy and it would not feel like my true identity.
Identity is a difficult concept, and people are unlikely to even agree upon a definition for it. However, to say that it something that you are born with or given is to reduce the concept to a label. Identity is something that is what makes a person a person, and must therefore be understood that this can only be created by the person who owns it.