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Part one of final - Essay Example

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Name Instructor English 107/101 24 April 2013 Barfing as Identity Development and Expression in Myles’ “Everyday Barf” To barf is disgusting, but for another writer, it is about being real. In “Everyday Barf,” Eileen Myles depicts some of the reasons that force people to spill their guts…
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Part one of final essay
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Download file to see previous pages Myles argues that to puke is a metaphor of developing and expressing one’s true identity because it is a process of spilling what is inside, which is similarly gross and liberating. To puke is to develop one’s identity because it concerns the process of releasing one’s inner contents. Exploring relationships with other people is integral to developing self-identity. Myles’ troubled relationship with her mother is implicated in her reflections about barfing because her mother affects her fundamental process of becoming. On the one hand, she wants to be near her mother again: “I was feeling a little sad this time since I had been trying to get my mother…to come back with me to P-town” (Myles 75). Her sadness reflects a need for a mother in her life. Myles might be craving for comfort from the original woman of her life because of her failed relationships in the past. She notes that she is with someone, who used to be special, in the boat: “I sat back down with J-, increasingly my ex…” (Myles 75). The word “increasing” suggests that she knows that J is slipping away from her, as if Myles has had the same feeling before. On the other hand, Myles shows hesitation in being with her mother again. She thinks that “maybe [she] didn’t really want that” (Myles 75) and her mother may not have wanted it either. Still, the feeling that she “failed” affects her (Myles 75). The barfing at the boat signifies that something rocked their boat in the past. It was “too stormy,” a symbolism for their stormy relationship (Myles 75). Inside the boat, Myles notices a “fag” with his lover, and when he throws up, she and another woman “were disgusted” (Myles 75). The connection she has with this woman is one of shared revulsion, as if they are disgusted, not only with the look and smell of the puke, but because of the fact that this man is gay. The disgust must be something that Myles felt from her mother, when she realizes that her daughter is gay. Somehow, Myles relates her gender orientation to puking and because of her possibly bad experience with her mother, she resists expressing her gay identity again so openly. When she says that she “[h]aven’t puked for years” (Myles 75), it suggests that she has not been so openly gay for a long time. It is ironic because she goes to rallies to express her political opinions, but she cannot do that for her gender orientation. Myles feels uncomfortable in shouting “O-Reil-ly” outside Fox because she feels it is a racist chant (Myles 74). Race is like gender issues for her, something that she feels the inequality of. O’Reilly makes her nervous because it touches on similar equality concerns. She is a “little bit scared” because she did not want to puke (Myles 75). She knows she is gay, but she is not confident in puking it out. Puking is one way for Myles to publicly blast off her gender to others, but because she needs to develop her confidence in it, she has reservations in puking. To puke is to express that identity to others, including its gross elements, because it is part of the real self. Myles realizes that puking can be sickening, especially in public. She notes that as she and the woman look at one another, they share the same feelings: “We were disgusted. Maybe a little bit scared” (Myles 75). Disgust is related to being scared, wherein they ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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