Self-Acceptance v. Social Acceptance

Identity: Self-Acceptance v. Social Acceptance
Several characters in the US films we have seen this semester struggle with self-acceptance: e.g. Peola and
Sarah Jane in the two versions of Imitation of Life, Chiron/Little/Black in Moonlight, Nina in The Black Swan–
even Charlie Kane, in Citizen Kane. At the same time, US culture has a number of beliefs about what our
identities are or should be. Have you heard these sayings?

You Are What You Do
I Am What I Am (Popeye the Sailor Man!)
Be Your Best Self
Stay True to Your Roots
Fake It Till You Make It
Be All That You Can Be
Notice how these sayings conflict? You may also think of other statements about identity commonly heard in
the US, or a statement about identity from another culture that you are part of. What should we do when our
culture seems not to leave space for us, as is the case when a movie character struggles to find their place in
the world? Choose one or two of the sayings (also called “truisms) above, or a related one that you have
heard. Apply it to the situation of one of these characters and test how it would work. What would be the
consequences for the character of adopting such a belief to guide them? What would be the consequences for
the society or culture they are part of?
Please see the grading rubric at the end and make sure you hit all the bases required. Imagine as your
audience a reader who is unfamiliar with the film you are discussing (not me, in other words!). Supply to your
reader any plot or character information they might need in order to stay interested in what you have to say.
The essay should also be 3 word-processed pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman font, 12 point.
Option Two
What About When Crime Does Pay?

Sample Solution