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Struggle with Self-Image - Research Paper Example

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Name Professor Course Date Struggle With Self-image - Conflict of Man vs. Himself as well as Man vs. Society Self image is our self concept, “who we think we are”. It is a collection of traits which we identify in the ego and our exemplary fields such as beautiful, bold, successful, funny, etc…
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Struggle with Self-Image

Download file to see previous pages... There are certain norms in the society that dictate how people should represent themselves and people portray these images instead of a person’s personal image. This paper will discuss the struggles with self image, highlighting the conflicts between man and himself, and man and the society as seen in Walker and Orwell’s essays. The essay, “beauty: when the other dancer is the self”, is about self realization and appreciating one’s own potentials. It’s a detailed account about how the author struggled with her self- image after a childhood accident that left one of her eyes disfigured. Orwell’s essay is about the author’s experience in a British ruled Burma where he was stationed as a young inexperienced soldier. While there he had to kill an elephant that had run rampant, this triggered some ethical conflicts within him (Gausel and Leach 7). In the beginning, when Walker was young she was convinced that beauty came from what the eye meets. At the age of two she is very confident in her beauty and she says “take me daddy, am the prettiest”. The way she describes her dress, she feels that everyone is admiring her beauty. She goes ahead and states that it was not her dress that they admired but it is her spirit that they adore. This shows the self love that Alice for herself which portrays a positive image. Loving yourself portrays positive attributes about you in other people’s eyes. To begin with, self image is all on the mind. Walker’s shallow perception of beauty was short lived. After the accident she could no longer maintain the former definition. She was able to see, but she could not perceive. Little did she know that all it takes is a positive self image; that the loss of her eye does not mean that she lost her beauty. What bothered her was how the society viewed her after the accident judging from their negative glances. According to Bates (3), Walker believed that all they saw was a glob of whitish tissue, a hideous cataract. Body image is part of self image. This includes more than what we look like or how other people view us. It is how we think, perceive or react about our physical attributes. Influence of our family, peers and the society affect our body image and consequently our self image. For instance, Walker had to be taken away to live with her grandparents to avoid ridicules from other children. Her parents did not stop to think if it would affect Alice’s self image (Bates 4). A positive body image contributes to improved psychological adjustments. This is exactly what happened when Walker’s daughter said she saw a world in her eye. In her little mind her mother was beautiful and her eye was unique. This gave Walker a wakeup call and she realized she was the one to blame for the anger she felt for all those years. Orwell on the other hand begins the essay by claiming his perception on the British imperialism. He claims how evil they are yet he is a British soldier himself. This is the first indication of his struggle with self image. Deep inside he didn’t want to gun down the elephant. He said his ultimate decision was to avoid looking bad in front of villagers; that gave him a degree of shame. This clarify the issue that self image is grounded in social relations regulated by moral standards. If self image is inherently social, then improving it results in improved social relations. It is this shame that makes him to be more concerned about how the villagers perceive him (Leary & Ashley 9). He ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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