Identity, Public Perception And Self Perception Essay

1084 Words Jul 29th, 2016 5 Pages
A person’s identity can be broken up into two main categories, public perception and self perception. The Antagonist by Lynn Coady elucidates that an individual’s socially-constructed identity can greatly impact their self-identity. In the novel, the main character Gordon “Rank” Rankin Jr. had his identity created for him by his vulgar and patronizing father, as well as the social interactions he encountered throughout his life. Finally, throughout the novel, Rank has been trying to modify his public perception to match his self perception. The Antagonist expresses that unless people learn to resist the roles that others place them in, they will become the antagonist of their own life. To start, After reading Adam’s novel, Rank finds himself being represented as the antagonist with an innate criminality. When answering a book club’s question period about who the title The Antagonist refers to, Coady replies, “That 's Rank 's motivating fear--was he the antagonist in that novel and, by extension (assumes Rank), real life?”. Rank realizes that despite his personal views on every situation - thinking he was in the right- there was always an alternate view on what was happening, deeming him the problem, not the solution. This adds an interesting twist to the actual narrative, as readers have to constantly reconsider if they are reading from the antagonist’s perspective or if Rank is by default the protagonist, due to being the central character.

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