Identity, Witness, the Elder, to Kill a Mockingbird

"An Individual's Identity is Shaped by Many Factors"
An individual's identity can be defined by how a person recognises their character traits or learns to affiliate themselves with their surroundings leading to a sense of self. Identity is influenced by many factors that result in the shaping of a person's inner qualities and outer representations of themself. The theme of identity is often expressed in novels, films and poems to help convey the physical, cognitive or socio-emotional development of characters. The indigenous poem, "The Elder", by Patsy Jackson similar to Harper Lee's Novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird" and feature film "Witness", directed by Peter Weir, explore the factors which shape an individual's identity. In the three texts poetic, filmic or language techniques have been used to portray how environment and relationships between people can influence an individual's identity. Witness and The Elder demonstrate this through the portrayal of Amish and Indigenous culture. Whereas To Kill a Mockingbird conveys this through distinguishing gender and racial influences in America during the 1930's.
Patsy Jackson's indigenous poem, The Elder, explores the identity of aboriginals and their culture through the eyes of a White Australian. Jackson uses tone when expressing, "I wish I had the knowledge they hold", which portrays the white Australians as envious of the Aboriginal Elders' knowledge. It is shown that the Aboriginal elder is respected as "he knows the knowledge of many tribes/ and knows where the sand goanna hides". The repetition of the word "knows", identifies the elder as a wise, knowledgeable, leader who learned to speak many languages and find food from his surroundings. Also the end of line rhyme between "tribe" and "hide" can be juxtaposed to the line, "I look and all I see is brown dry sand". This tells the reader that the new generation of Aboriginals has been heavily influenced by White Australians and that they no longer hold the...