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Importance of Identity: The Value of Human Being

“As Though a Metaphor Was Tangible”: Baldwin’s Identities article by Aliyah I. Abdur-Rahman (2015) examines the concept of identity in James Baldwin’s “Giovanni’s Room” (1956) and “Going to Meet the Man” (1965). Abdur-Rahman argues that Baldwin politicizes identification by showing that it is not internally coherent. In addition, the article proposes that race and sexuality are interdependent concepts of identity and social organization. These concepts determine the aspects of involving in Western modernity and the structure of the United States’ economic, juridical, and sociopolitical disparities.

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Abdur-Rahman, through analysis of “Giovanni’s Room” (1956), demonstrates how social positioning and desire shape the identity of a person and their social relations. Here, identity is conditioned by socio-political and economic context, particularly with racial, gendered, and sexual hierarchies in an advanced capitalist economy. In her analysis of “Going to Meet the Man” (1965), Abdur-Rahman points out that white identity was made by exclusion of black people and ignorance of their rights. She shows that identity is also a result of constitutive loss. Moreover, by contrasting and comparing white and black identities, she illustrates that identities are shaped in inter-relation to each other. Abdur-Rahman reminds people that identity is socially constructed and calls to value every human being despite their social label.

Work Cited

Abdur-Rahman, Aliyyah I. ““As Though a Metaphor Were Tangible”: Baldwin’s Identities.” The Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin. Ed. Michele Elam. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2015. 164-79. Print. Cambridge Companions to Literature.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, December 5). Importance of Identity: The Value of Human Being. https://studycorgi.com/importance-of-identity-the-value-of-human-being/

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StudyCorgi. "Importance of Identity: The Value of Human Being." December 5, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/importance-of-identity-the-value-of-human-being/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Importance of Identity: The Value of Human Being." December 5, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/importance-of-identity-the-value-of-human-being/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Importance of Identity: The Value of Human Being'. 5 December.

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