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A Gesture Life recuperation of identity and gesture - Essay Example

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This essay analyzes the theme in “A Gesture Life,” by Chang-Rae-Lee that relates to the recuperation of identity and gesture by a ‘sick’ individual. An old man by name Doc Hata, a famous personality in a tight-knit community, is obsessed with guarding his secrets against the people around him…
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A Gesture Life recuperation of identity and gesture
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"A Gesture Life recuperation of identity and gesture"

Download file to see previous pages In effect, this story relates to re-inventing of an imagined identity. The context is trans-national and the issue relates to immigration. Hata tries to rebuild and revitalize the identity of his choice, to meet the situational challenge that he is confronting. He meets the challenges at the psychological and secular levels for the intended identity change. He faces them from the three-cornered identity test, Korean, Japanese and then transplanted to America. He wants to hide one identity at the cost of the other, to rebuild the third and the process is to live through the conflicted identities. He wishes to carry on with the available discipline, when perfect discipline is denied to him in life and over which he has no control. He thinks himself to be an exile while being a citizen of America. The story depicts how a character makes a valiant effort to move towards a perfect understanding of identity from disjointed existence, constantly making revisions about various facets of the personality. Any non-native American can relate to the theme of living one's life as a mere "gesture" as opposed to living it fully and more meaningfully, as depicted in the life of Hata in the novel. He lives his life with the twin facades, one as the doctor and second as the Japanese individual. He has made the imperfect moral choices on both the counts. In the end, his willingness to let the past surface and impact the present is what redeems him and allows him to re-establish emotional connections. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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