Thursday, September 10, 2015

"Language and Literature as 'Equipment for Living'" Response

In Tilly Warnock's essay, she explores the influences of unquestioned and usually unnoticed aspects of our identities that were handed to us at an early age, sometimes since birth. Our "directions" are something that usually, we don't have the privilege or opportunity to choose for ourselves. Our "life, time, history, race, class, gender," and names had all been chosen for us, simply by our births (Warnock 41). When these children grow up and write about themselves, they must completely reconsider the idea of "I" and "me," as they both were constructed by others and one's interactions with these social constructions. Therefore, excluding life from one's writing limits how much one can grow with her words. Life-writing should be limitless. It should involve as much revision as one needs or desires to unbound the possibilities for the meaning in the writer's life. A writer's life should mean whatever she wants it to mean, and limiting that at all will surely restrict her growing process.

For me, Warnock's most provocative idea was using her own life story to exemplify the molding factors of social constructions and the endless implications they created for her in her early adolescence. Acknowledging the unchosen circumstances of one's identity will allow her to more knowingly explore herself in her writing. I would like to further delve into the idea of chosen and unchosen identity, and how writing can aid in the deconstruction and reconstruction of who we are. 

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