Identity is what we are all seeking. What if you found out the journey to search for you identity is much closer than you think? The novel Native Speaker, by Change-Rae Lee, involves the search for an identity that seems hopeless to find. With much trouble, confusion and difficulty, one is able to finally find their long lost identity. Who knows, one’s desire to forget a memory may be the answer to finding what you have forgotten.
Henry, the narrator of Native Speaker has trouble searching for his identity. He is given a list of what his wife, Lelia, thinks of him. The list is spiteful and cruel, but Henry is not angry about it. Henry is most likely not angry about it because the assessment of him is correct and we’re en route to his journey of seeking his identity.
“How worn and weak. He was forever there to let me know every disadvantage I would have to overcome…I had my mother’s thin blood…My self-conception was that I was frail…” (Lee 135). Despite the fact that Henry and his Father’s surface differences, his father is the single and most significant influences in his life. Thus, leads us to believe that Henry’s identity is actually a legacy of his father. Throughout the novel, we will see similarities that will lead to the conclusion that Henry’s identity is actually of his father. We are told of when Henry was young, he had many arguments with his father and he criticizes that he was too stoic and did not show enough emotion, much similar to Lelia’s situation with Henry. Lelia and Henry would also have many arguments where Lelia would judge Henry the way Henry judges his father. In one of the events, Lelia had an affair while she was in Europe and Henry takes it in a calm manner. Father showed no signs of grief when his mother died.
Henry works as a spy to exploit other people for money, similarly, his father hired those who were weak with the English command and exploited them to earn money. They are both well educated people that are capable...