Identity, By Zora Neale Hurston Essay

1098 Words Oct 9th, 2016 5 Pages
Where does one find identity? Some find their identity in the people they surround themselves with, how they live their life, and others find it in culture and race. In "How it Feels to Be Colored Me" by Zora Neale Hurston, there is a new perspective of identity shown through her experiences. She was born in 1881 and wrote this piece in 1928; although dated, it 's ideas are still prevalent in society. Hurston as an author is greatly influenced by her native community. She walks through her transition from Jacksonville to Eatonville and reflects on how her outlook of the world and of herself change. Hurston addresses the issue of racism and how it plays into identity, specifically the internal and external factors affecting identity such as self, skin color, or culture.
Identity is ultimately how you see yourself, despite outward factors. Throughout this essay, Hurston says that she does "not always feel colored" (Hurston 1111). She means that she is more aware of her color when she is against a "white background" and "when covered by waters...the ebb but reveals me again" (1111). Despite being more aware of the stark contrast of skin color, Hurston recovers from any discomfort and revels in herself. She also says she is a "brown bag of miscellany propped against a company with other bags, white, red and yellow" (1112). Hurston uses metaphors such as these to show just how out of place she is with this racial divide, which appeals to ones sense of logic and…

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