Essay on The Search For Identity : Literature Of Self Discovery
The Search for Identity: Literature of Self Discovery EN 170 01
Professor Jonathan Blake / Spring2016
15 April 2016
“Magical Thinking” to Keep Our Identity When we lose a significant other we lose a bit of who we are. This is because our identity is shaped by the ones we spend the most time with, our family, friends and loved ones. “Who are we?” becomes incredibly hard to answer when life is viewed through a prism of loss. Visualize spending every day of your life with someone for decades and then suddenly they are gone. How do you go on when life as you know it has changed forever? The sudden loss of Joan Didion’s husband, John Gregory Dunne, altered her life forever. “Magical thinking” in the anthropological sense, means that if a person is extremely hopeful about certain outcomes or engages in the right actions, then an unavoidable outcome can be reversed. The component of “magical thinking” signifies Didion’s experiences due to the trauma associated with the loss of her husband and the critical illness of their daughter. Witness the “magical thinking” Didion does in order to get through her daily life and the struggles with her identity in the memoir The Year of Magical Thinking.
The Year of Magical Thinking is a memoir by Joan Didion in which she tells us about the year following the sudden death of her husband, John, and her attempt to make sense of her grief while also dealing with the life threatening illness of her only child, Quintana Roo.