Finding Ourselves in Literature

Finding Ourselves in Literature
Finding Ourselves in Literature, Credits: Unsplash

A Review of the Best Books for Exploring the Question “Who Am I?”

It’s natural to ask ourselves questions about who we are. Whether we’re talking about our personality traits, career aspirations, relationship status or any other aspect of our lives that makes us unique individuals, it can be helpful and sometimes even necessary – to dig deep into who we are and where we came from. So why not take advantage of literature as a tool for self-exploration? In this blog post, I’ll explore how six different novels can help us discover ourselves through reading them.

The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud

In The Emperor’s Children, three friends in New York City struggle with the question of identity. They find themselves wondering who they are and what makes them who they are. A novel about friendship and how it can change over time. The three friends, Alex, Helen, and Russell find themselves questioning their own identities as they grow older and experience new things in life.

The novel explores how we define ourselves and what makes us unique from one another. It also looks at the influences of our environment on our identities and how those influences can change over time as we grow older and experience new things in life. There are many who am I essay examples on Graduateway that could be inspired by this novel’s deep exploration of the complexities of identity and how it evolves over time. Through the characters of Alex, Helen, and Russell, The Emperor’s Children offers a nuanced and insightful perspective on the role that friendship can play in shaping who we are.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

The novel A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is about four friends who are all trying to find themselves. The main character, Jude St. Francis, was abused as a child and is now a successful lawyer working in New York City. The other three characters are Willem, JB, and Malcolm. Each of them has something they’re trying to escape from or hide from society: Willem has an abusive father, JB has Down syndrome, and Malcolm is gay but hasn’t come out yet.

The book explores the question of identity and how it can be affected by trauma, in this case, childhood abuse, and how that trauma can affect every aspect of your life even years later (or even forever). It also shows how our past affects our present: for example, if you’re abused as a child then your whole life becomes about avoiding anyone who reminds you of that abuse because it makes you feel unsafe again, which means no relationships since there aren’t any people around who won’t hurt you like those abusers did…so on and so forth until eventually everything comes crashing down around us when we least expect it!

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

The novel follows a family as they spend their summer holiday on the remote island of Skye. The main character, Lily Briscoe, struggles to find her place in this world, and it’s not just because she’s an artist who has never found success in her work. Even though she is surrounded by people who love her and want the best for her, Lily still feels like an outsider.

The story takes place during World War I, however, there are no references to any war-related events in this book (although there are hints of them). It may seem strange that such an important historical era isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Lighthouse. However, this allows readers from all eras to relate to the characters’ experiences without feeling alienated by unfamiliar terminology or situations

The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Stranger is a story about a man who kills a stranger. The story follows Meursault, an ordinary Frenchman whose life takes an unexpected turn when he shoots and kills another man on the beach. At first glance, this might not seem like the most compelling subject matter for a novel, but Camus uses this seemingly random event as an opportunity to explore some of the most fundamental questions about identity and individuality.

The book begins with Meursault’s mother announcing her death and his subsequent funeral arrangements, a strange way for any novel to start out! From here we learn about his childhood in Algeria before moving on to adulthood where he becomes acquainted with Marie (who later becomes his girlfriend), gets fired from his job at an office supply factory due to lack of productivity, and starts dating again after breaking up with Marie over differences in their personalities (she wanted children while he didn’t).

While all these events are happening around him it seems like nothing really matters except for himself until one day when he decides randomly during lunchtime that he wants something different from what everyone else has ordered so instead orders coffee without sugar or cream, and then gets into trouble when someone else orders exactly what he did after being told they couldn’t have both together because they were incompatible flavours!

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

If you’re looking for a book that explores the question “Who am I?” The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is an excellent choice.

In this book, Esther Greenwood struggles to find her identity and sense of self-worth as she navigates through life as a woman in 1950s America. She struggles with her sanity as she tries to balance her ambitions with the expectations of others, and eventually succumbs to mental illness. This novel is particularly relevant because it illustrates how society can pressure women into conforming to their behaviour and appearance in order to fit into what society deems acceptable or beautiful. It also shows how difficult it can be for women who do not conform to these standards (like Esther) when they try to find their place in this world where everything has been predetermined by other people before them based on appearances instead of meritocracy or intelligence alone as would happen if everyone were treated equally regardless of gender or race etcetera…

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

In this book, Kate Chopin explores the question “Who am I?” through the story of a woman who leaves her husband and children to live alone in a hotel. As she explores herself and her sexuality, she realizes that she can’t be satisfied with life as it is. She eventually returns home but feels unhappy there as well. This book shows us that sometimes we have to go out into the world and find ourselves before we can truly be happy with our lives, but once we do, we may not want what was given back to us!

This book is a great example of the theme “Who am I?” because it shows us that we all have to find our own answers to the question. It also shows us that sometimes the answer isn’t what we want!

Asking “Who am I?” is one of the most difficult yet important questions we can ask ourselves.

One of the most difficult yet important questions we can ask ourselves is “Who am I?” We are constantly bombarded with questions about our identity, from what we wear to where we go on vacation. It’s easy to get lost in these details, but sometimes it’s necessary for us to step back and look at who we really are. While you may be able to find some answers by thinking about yourself alone, literature can also help explore this question in new ways.

In this article, I discussed some books that will help you explore your own identity, whether you’re still trying to figure out who “I” is or have already come up with an answer but want more insight into how others see themselves.


There is no one right answer to the question “Who am I?” It’s a question that will be answered differently by each person, and there are many different ways of exploring it through literature. If you’re looking for books that will help you explore this question in a meaningful way, we recommend starting with The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud or A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. These novels can be difficult reads but offer something unique: insight into what it means to be human (or not).

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Tirupati Gumpula

Tirupati Gumpula is an Internet geek, avid shopper, Work from Home dad, and founder of Popular technology blogs such as Way to Hunt. & Elite Tricks. Want to promote your brand? Email: [email protected]

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