Self VS Identity
A Project by: Ramna Mir
I am the self
I am me!
I the Mind, I the Soul
I am the Power
The Universe; I behold
• pron. nom. I, poss. my mine, obj. me; pron. I is the nominative
singular pronoun used by a speaker or writer in referring to
himself or herself.
• n.2. (used to denote the narrator of a literary work written in the
first person singular.)
• I refers to the self.
Jung : ‘becoming a single, homogeneous being, and in
so far as “individuality” embraces our innermost, last,
and incomparable uniqueness, it also implies
becoming one’s own self’ therefore it is ‘coming to
selfhood’ or ‘self-realization’ (7: 171).
‘The process by which a person becomes a
psychological “in-dividual,” that is, a separate,
indivisible unity or “whole”’ (9: 275).
Individuation as Mattoon interprets is ‘strengthening,
differentiating, and assimilating—integrating—into
consciousness the various nonego parts of the
psyche: the shadow, the persona, the nondominant
attitude and functions and the animus/anima’ (181).
Individuation is a ‘process rather than a state’
(Mattoon 180) which takes place gradually.
the ‘self’(175) which is the ‘totality’ (175)
including conscious and unconscious which do
not oppose but ‘complement’ (7: 175) each
The self, which is the ‘innermost nucleus of the
psyche’ (Franz 208) according to Jung is
‘superordinate to the conscious ego’ (175).
Theories of Self and Identity
George H. Mead
• George H. Mead, an early 20th century pragmatist behaviorist, who
comes to the issues of identity and consciousness of self out of the
intellectual area of social psychology.
• In order to be aware of oneself or in order to be self-conscious one
must be able to regard oneself as an ‘object’; that is, there must be the
ability to see oneself the way another might.
• Following from Mead, one’s perception of self is primarily a
construction of society, and that perception emerges in the context of
“social experience.” Mead maintains that it is “impossible for one to
conceive of a self-arising outside of social experience”
• It then follows that because “self” is created not only by the subject
but also by an observer or “other,” it is not fixed.
• Bakhtin states: Our ideological development is an intense struggle
within us for hegemony among various available verbal and ideological
points of view, approaches, directions and values. The semantic
structure of an internally persuasive discourse is not finite, it is open; in
each of the new contexts that dialogize it, this discourse is able to
reveal even newer ways to mean.
• Bakhtin’s concept of the dialogic argues that while the word and
“self” change and progress, they move to multiple points of definition.
Because of the self’s dependence on dialogue with the “other,” it is
always in a state of potential flux, always responding to the inherent
nature of the “multiplicity inhuman perception” (Holquist 22).It is this
multiplicity—this flux—that enables individuals to engage in the
“internally persuasive discourse” that provides the space for the
development of new meaning and self-perception.
• As an important aspect of individual identity formation that
influences the protagonists’ perception of their own selves,
the novel presents gender as a marker of difference. Female
identity differs from male identity.
• The females like Ellen, Christabel and Maud are shown as
independent woman turning over the clichéd image of a
suppressed woman. Whereas men are shown to be taken over
by female power for instance Ash is driven crazy in love for
Christabel and wants to know of their child but she replies
saying “ you’ve made a murderous out of me”, she lies to him
and keeps the secret of their daughter away from him.
• Likewise, Roland has these lose ends to his personality; he is
dependent on Maud to complete his research on Ash n
Christabel, he simply can’t handle it on his own and needs her
intellectual help and guidance.
Bailey & LaMotte- Independent
• In Possession, green is the signature color of female identity. Maud
Bailey is initially described in "green and white length, a long pine-
green tunic over a pine-green skirt" and "long shining green shoes"
(44). She drives an "immaculately glossy green Beetle" (44). Her
beautiful long blond hair is coifed in "a green scarf" (283) pinned with a
jet-black mermaid brooch.
• In studying Christabel’s hair, Ash notes that its "sleek silver-gold
seemed to have in it a tinge, a hint of greenness, not the copper-green
of decay, but the pale sap- green of vegetable life, streaked into the
hair like the silvery bark of young trees, or green shadows in green
tresses of young hay. And her eyes were green, glass-green, malachite
green, the cloudy green of seawater perturbed and carrying a weight of
sand" and even in Ash’s "imagination he always touched" her cheeks
"with green too" (302).
• What can be determined is that the two women are linked together in
appearance by the color green as ascertained by several narrators. As
green associates the two women with one another, it also associates
them both with feminine Nature
Eye and I have a complex relation
Forming the joined sides of a magnet
If separated thus nothing
Eye and I like rain drop and river
The self always connected to the other
A quest of knowing
A brawl of asserting,
Eye and I have a complex relation