Grade 12 Comparative Essay

3668 words 15 pages
A Means of Existence
How do experiences, good or bad, shape the identity of an individual and make them stand apart from others? In the award winning novel A Complicated Kindness, by Miriam Toews and the classic best seller Anne of Green Gables, by L.M Montgomery, the struggle and desire to find personal identity is profound. Through a series of experiences, the main characters in each novel, one a rebellious Mennonite and the other a red headed orphan, are forced to look within themselves and realize one of the most commonly asked question, “who am I?” As both Nomi and Anne grow internally, not only do they find gratification for themselves, but they also allow others to be set free in the same way. From the beginning of the book to the
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Anne, who becomes quite involved in her religion throughout the book, turns her back on everything she has believed in after Matthew dies. Anne does not understand how God could take Matthew and feels as though her religion has defeated her. In A Complicated Kindness and Anne of Green Gables, the main characters give up on their religion due to an inner realization that they have. Nomi’s realization is due to her desire to live rather than her yearning for death and Anne’s realization occurs from the death of Matthew, when she personally feels she has been deceived by God. Therefore, death can be seen as a catalyst for the formation of personal identity. In A Complicated Kindness and Anne of Green Gables, there are specific examples that condone the theme of death through family, life, and religion. As the main characters, Nomi and Anne experience different, yet similar, situations that cause them to acquire personal growth, even in the most tragic situations. Through the loss of family structure, the lives of loved ones, and the dismissal of religion, Nomi and Anne prove to be in control of their lives and aware of their identity. The most negative events can sometimes give us a breath of new life and of new hope. Expectations are what define us in the world and make us who we are. This is proven through religious and social expectations, as well as personal expectations. First, in A Complicated Kindness, Nomi is defined by her religious expectations,


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