SIA1750 Self, Identity And Agency

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Table of Contents

You should describe a few elements of your biography clearly and concisely. Focus on the aspects that are in line with the theoretical areas addressed in the essay.

Discuss the form/s of social divisions related to the biography. Drawing on theories and concepts, you will identify and discuss them.

Analyze the impact of social divisions discussed on the person’s life.

Write clearly and organize your work. Make sure to reference and edit correctly.


Under my Skin: Thematic and Biographical Elements

Under My Skin is Doris Lessing’s masterpiece.

It is a book that reveals the details of her childhood in Africa’s thick forest.

This volume has a strong theme on time and memory.

The flashbacks of Doris’ development are triggered by her recollection of the past as she sees it from the point of view of a child (Watkins 2016).

This includes self reflection, adjustment with parents, and societal approach.

The relationship between her and her parents is very similar with the one in Gosses’ father and son.

Doris’s development in an environment that is adjusting can cause problems for her biological family.

Her uncompromising attitude is a reflection of her determination to attain independence.

Despite the fact that her determination is met with rejection from society, her soft and caring nature makes up for it.

Under My Skin is a reflection of this combination.

Writings such as Doris (Rubenstein (2014) show that balance is important to their personality.

Skin is the skin, which is the outer covering of an individual.

Skin protects individuals from outside elements and foreign materials that can prove to be dangerous.

The proposition “under”, which can be viewed as “part for a whole”, and the possessiveness represented by “my”, is the individual as such.

These parts are combined to create the individual.

These parts are two selves which together make up the individual.

Doris tried to invoke her other self by naming the autobiography Under My Skin (Martens (2014)).

Skin can be viewed as an abstract representation of one’s own body.

In light of this, Doris Lessing cannot be considered “my” because it contradicts the notion of individuality.

Doris had the to make adjustments with her parents to live a meaningful life.

However, her compassionate and caring attitude helped to strengthen her relationship with society.

The phrase “under” may also be a reference to the suppression of one of her selves, as Doris had to make efforts to maintain a good relationship with her parents.

Georgescu (2014) says that her poetic approach toward scenic beauty reflects her freedom and liberty in adding value to her own existence.

Time is one other issue that grabs readers’ attention upon mention of Under My Skin.

Doris’ lamentation for her lost childhood can be expressed by reflecting on it.

The other way around, this reflection could be seen as a longing to regain that lost childhood.

This yearning for rebirth is about the desire to let go of all worldly responsibilities.

Doris is not able to develop if she has to shed her responsibilities.

To counter this, Doris may feel the need to let go of her responsibilities and live in a world full of singing grass.

This desire takes her out of her social life.

It is a distortion of what the present connotation of “society” means.

Because the society is comprised of a group that seeks the meaning and purpose of their lives, this is why it has become distorted.

This causes them to feel more stressed and less able to complete basic tasks.

It might also be seen from the other side, Doris’ childish reflection could be viewed as going back down the memory lane in search of the dense forest and grasses which were her companion in childhood.

In this way, society is able to lament the inability to get relief from its worldly responsibilities.

Doris is hindered by her inability to reach the tender age she was when she adjusts with her parents (Rubenstein (2014)).

These thoughts negate the biological relationship between the parents.

This negation is a rejection to the universal rule for creation.

The rejection, on the other side, creates a childhood for adult Doris who ventures into the lanes of Africa and dense forests of Africa.

This gives creation a new meaning.

This creation, however, combines the issue of memory and time for reliving childhood.

The above paragraph brings behavioral theory into the discussion.

Doris’ creation depicting a child exploring the lanes and forests is a reflection of the immature stage.

This shows the infancy stage, where innocence is the most important form of expressing basic desires (Rubenstein (2014)).

In response to inability and inability to handle worldly issues and tensions, there is a tendency to regain the innocence of childhood.

Doris belongs to the group of people who have lost their sense of self-worth and are desperate to find meaning in life.

Here lies the importance of the relation between self and society.

Rationality is an important component of this. It helps to enhance the personality through rational thinking and conscious awareness.

The other side of the coin is that societal influences can also play a role in determining personality.

Doris’ relationship to her parents involves many adjustments.

This adjustment serves as a compulsion to Doris for stabilizing her personal and professional life (Gabaitse, Kumalo, 2014).

She is actually caring and compassionate in her social approach, which gives her the opportunity to seek help in restoring peace in her personal life.

Perhaps her ability to create a self as a child can be seen as an escape from the ridicules and mocking she receives from her parents, siblings, and neighbours.

These impositions cause her to lose self-respect and result in Under My Skin, an attractive autobiography.

Racial connotations make up the word “skin”. These were prevalent in the time period of 1919-1949.

These connotations suggest that Doris calls upon the child within to help her visit the dense forests and memory lanes in a new way.

Doris does not allow the influences to touch her skin because of this newness.

In this direction, rationality is a reflection of Doris’ maturity and desire to enhance her identity (Shamshiri (2014)).

This is countered by the creation that combines the matured and immature behavior. This can be considered a distortion of one’s self.

This distortion supports the notion of part for the entire.

The part is the child, while the whole is Doris the adult.

When Doris’ adjustments to the memory are considered, it makes it more difficult to remember what happened in childhood.

This is why it is important to concentrate and make the most of the time you have.

Although time is the present, it can also be referred to as the recollection. This reflects the individual’s attempts to change the past.

This can be viewed as a desire to rectify past mistakes.

This can be combined with the desire to recreate the beauty that aided their development (Clark 2017).

Doris is no different. She wants to escape into Africa’s dense forests in order to relive her childhood.

Doris finds herself in her childhood phase by going into the past.

Negating the present can be seen as going beyond society’s originality.

In certain situations, negation may be necessary to achieve affirmation. That is the ultimate goal of each individual and their sole focus.

Doris’ skin is more caring, innocent and soft when it comes to creating a child clone.

This connotation represents Doris’ desire to feel her childhood as she is facing a world full of changes.

Critical Reflection of Doris’ Desires

The story of people who long for their childhood is about the struggle they go through to find meaning in their lives (Arnold & Meskimon 2015).

Doris, in light of this connotation, becomes an ordinary person who just wants to be with herself.

This perception takes away Doris’s status as a writer. However, this does not diminish her poetic abilities.

Doris can explore the topic and become one of the common people to show the individual’s development within the context of societal influence in a professional manner by digging deep.

In response, she suppresses her poetic skills by becoming one of “the common people”.

Critics might consider this suppression to be against the poetic norms. However these desires are normal for making people understand her approach towards the given roles and responsibilities.

This is the rightness of the expression, “Life’s a stage and we’re the actors”.

In this situation, the will to fulfill the given roles and responsibilities is strong despite being unwilling (Rubenstein (2014)).

The psychologists have provided people with the tools to escape the worldly responsibilities via intoxication and imagination.

These two methods offer poets the opportunity to experience practical life.

Intoxication leads them to another world where only happiness is possible.

However, they can also be transported to the world of depression by intoxication. This is a plea for help.

Kumar, 2013, states that imagination has the ability to put an individual in any circumstance.

Doris’ creation and adoption of a child is a reverse osmosis.

The reason is that adults feel compelled to consider their old age according to the stages.

Doris’s case is different from the norm because she longs to relive her childhood.

Doris cannot be accused of violating societal norms when faced with such circumstances.

Doris wants to embrace the idea of rebirth to be able to live her life again.

While this may seem like a psychological desire, the behavior tendencies that go along with it make it obvious and natural for anyone who wants to live a meaningful life.

The discussion of adjustment also brings up the topic of old-age.

The projection of a negligent and careless attitude toward her elderly parents and their needs can be referred to as adjustment with her parents.

This hinders her intellectual growth (Kumar 2013).

However, adjustment could also refer to differing opinions between grown-up children.

In this case, the complexity of maintaining balance in life is made more complicated by societal influences.

Doris’s situation is one where it is natural to think of her lost childhood. She wants a free mind for her poetic creations.

Refer to

Psychology Press.

Second World Life Writing: Doris Lessing’s “Under My Skin”

Journal of Southern African Studies, 42(1). 137-148.

Conclusion His, Theirs, and Theirs.

Literary Half-Lives (pp.

Palgrave Macmillan US.

The Truth Criteria in Autobiography: Doris Lessing & Telling the truth.

Sites of Personal & Cultural Memories in Doris Lessing’s Writings of Africa.

CG Jung’s Memories Dreams Reflections as a Source of Doris Lessing’s Briefing For A Descent into Hell.

Journal of Jungian Scholarly Studies. 11(1).

The Interior Zone.

Literary Half-Lives (pp.

Palgrave Macmillan US.

Introduction Where the Story Starts.

Literary Half-Lives (pp.

Palgrave Macmillan US.

Singing beyond the grave: Nokuthela Lindsay Dube returns to memory.

International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications. 724.

Rationalism regarding Autobiography.

Philosophy and Literature

Making Oneself at home: A dialogue on women, culture, belonging and denizenship.

Third Text, 29(4-5), 256-265.

Of Parent and Child.

Literary Half-Lives, pp.

Palgrave Macmillan US.

(2013).An Exploration Of Feminine Psyche Within The Doris Lessing Canon.

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