“Son,” Andrew Solomon, NHR 369-90.
You may choose the second reading from the following:
“An Elephant Crackup?” Charles Siebert, NHR 351-67.
“The Power of Context: Bernie Goetz and the Rise and Fall of New York City Crime,” Malcolm Gladwell, NHR 148-164.
“Homo Religiosus,” Karen Armstrong, NHR 1-23.
In “Son,” Andrew Solomon argues that there are two kinds of identities that humans possess: a) “vertical” ones, like those that connect us to the members of our families; and b) “horizontal” identities that humans “acquire…from a peer group” (Solomon 370). Though much of our class discussion has focused thus far this semester on aspects of human consciousness, to some extent, issues of identity have presented in all of those conversations.
You must use Solomon AND one  of the first three  authors we read, i.e. Siebert, Gladwell or Armstrong, to construct an essay that responds to the following question:
To what extent do human beings construct their identities?
» What is an identity? Is it stable? Does it change?
» What aspects of identities are out of people’s own control?
» How much of your “self” have you authored? How much are other entities responsible?
» On what grounds can one describe the self as an illusion?
» To what extent is the self a reactive entity? To what extent is it a creative one?
FIVE FULL PAGES
Required: Your essays must a) be stapled; b) be double-spaced; c) have one-inch margins; d) be written in 12-point Times New Roman font; e) have page numbers