Sincere Selfhood In John Steinbeck's In Cold Blood

938 Words 4 Pages
Sincere Selfhood It is fair to say that in today’s day and age our identity is often defined by rather shallow attributes such as name, age, or appearance. A common example would be the basic information, like height, weight, and home address that is required on a driver’s license. With that said, one could make the argument that these everyday societal formalities and public perceptions, which are mostly out of our control, do make up our full identity. However, identity is not something given or a means by which people are automatically entitled, instead true identity is earned through one’s actions and character in scenarios of hardship and uncertainty. While growing up, most kids and teenagers place their time and efforts in a sport …show more content…
Family and social status can have influence in a person’s identity, but can never truly make up the entirety of it. People who are raised in poor conditions are capable of turning their lives around and accomplishing great feats. Abraham Lincoln, arguably the greatest President of the United States, grew up in a household stricken with poverty, yet he was able to overcome what he was born with, form his own identity, and leave an illustrious legacy. In addition, these sentiments also go both ways as people raised in more adequate households are equally as capable of creating a negative identity for themselves. This occurs in the novel In Cold Blood through the character of Dick Hickock. Hickock’s family was by no means wealthy, but they were able to make a living and give Dick a fairly good upbringing. As teenager Dick was “an outstanding athlete”, and “a pretty good student, too” (Capote 166). If he was simply given or born into his identity, then Dick Hickock would have gone on to lead a average, healthy life as a working class citizen, but instead his actions of crime caused a transformation into what would eventually become his true identity, a brutal and cold blooded murderer. Even characteristics as intimate as family background do not truly define one’s

Related Documents