Big Question Essay
Everyone has an identity. People are identified by their name and other characteristics. Sometimes people identify others as something they are not. People could act a different way to make others think they have a certain trait, or personality, when really they don’t and they’re just acting like they do.
This happens a lot in life when people want to have a certain reputation, even though that’s not their true self. It could also occur when people just think they know someone, but they really do not. That would be when they identify someone as who they really are not. For example, people thought Hester from The Scarlett Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was the worst thing that ever lived. To them, she was a huge sinner and a criminal. She was not at all a normal person who just made a bad choice, but she was a monster, according to the people in that town. But really, deep inside, she was just a broken lady, who regretted what she did and seriously would not do anything else that bad. She might have sinned and did something deeply regrettable, but that didn’t mean she was going to try and kill someone. Hester was not the only one to deal with being thought of as something different than what she really was.(Hawthorne 54) Arthur Dimmesdale also had to deal with that. Everyone thought Dimmesdale was a perfect person and would never have committed any sin. He was supposed to be one of the greatest people in that town. But it turned out that he was the father of pearl. So everyone was extremely surprised find out that he was Hester’s partner in crime. They were so surprised because they had totally thought Dimmesdale would have been the last one to do that. (Hawthorne 242)
The same sort of thing that happened to Dimmesdale, in The Scarlet letter, happened in The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, with John Proctor. People thought he was innocent, but apparently he was working for the devil. He had pretended to be pretty much the average puritan guy who was trying to help solve the case. Of the mysterious devil stuff going on. Then he ended up confessing that he was working for the devil.(Miller) John Proctor and Dimmesdale were actually a lot alike. For both of them, people thought they were innocent, but then they both confessed and told everyone how they sinned. They revealed their true identities.
There was a ton of false identifications in The Crucible. There were lots of people who were thought to have been working for the devil, even though they were not. Even though they were innocent, they were identified as horrible criminals. Abigail had lied to everyone and acted to make the court believe the citizens were witches, when they were not. By doing that, she was also making everyone believe that she was totally innocent and just a victim of all the “witches”. What was actually happening was she was trying to get certain people identified as witches so they would be killed, since she didn’t like them. She tried to get Elizabeth Proctor killed, so she could marry John Proctor.(Miller)
Another example of identifying someone wrongly is in the Maze Runner, by James Dashner. People think Thomas is a bad person and that he shouldn’t be there just because he apparently worked for the people that put them in the Maze. They thought he was horrible, when really he was a good person and would be the one to get them out of there and would never just let a friend die. (Dashner)
Identifying people wrongly would be extremely hard to avoid. Nobody can know who people truly are inside. They only know how the people act. I mean, no one can read minds, so they don’t really know what’s actually going on in someone’s head.
Some people might say that people are always identified as who they really are, and there’s never a time when people are identified as something different then the truth. They might say that people always make decisions based on who they really are. Well, that’s not really true. What about people that pretend to be someone who they aren’t? They are not their true self. They’re acting, being someone else. If someone is wearing like a police uniform, does that mean they’re really a police? Maybe they borrowed the uniform to trick someone or something. Then they would be identified as a police, even though they weren’t really a police. So people for sure can be identified as someone who they really are not.
Hawthorne, Nath. The Scarlet Letter. New York: New American Library, 1850. Print.
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York City: Viking Press, 1953. Print.
Dashner, James. The Maze Runner. N.p.: Delacorte Press, 2009. Print.