Friday, April 27, 2007

And a round of applause...

...for (in my opinion) the best book cover of the semester: Born to Rock. I love this cover (sigh). And -- tada! -- I figured out how to add an image all by myself!
Anyway. I enjoyed the story, too, and saw its relation to identity in multiple ways. First, and perhaps most obviously, Leo Caraway is trying to understand himself through trying to get to know his dad, King Maggot, formerly Marion McMurphy. In the beginning, he talks about "the McMurphy in me" (as a side note, I find that an interesting reference, since it made me constantly think of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) that rises up and causes problems. He sort of separates himself from these urges to do anything hurtful or distructive, even when he overcomes these urges, such as by remaining fairly calm with his avoidant mother when he wants to yell. Towards the end, he comes not only to accept these urges as his own, rather than blaming them on his birth father, he also accepts the turn off events that show his father is really Bernie, the sleazy manager. Instead of wondering if he's doomed to be like his father, Leo has already managed to accept himself pretty well, and even determines not to bring this up with his mother, a very kind act even allowing for her somewhat irrational puzzle method of avoiding uncomfortable subjects.

Another issue of identity is one that I thought of after reading "Identity Matters," in which Sarah McCarthey and Elizabeth Moje discuss their reluctance to mention certain identities, such as motherhood, in certain settings. I was reminded of the hard time a lot of people gave Leo for being part of the Young Republicans, which admittedly he was partly interested in because of a cute girl, but as he also says in the book, it was a cause he really believed in. Furthermore, some of his friends had an idea of what that identity meant, though their ideas were often different from Leo's own understanding of it. That happens a lot to both teens and adults who, as a result, become reluctant to disclose some identities for fear others will misunderstand.
Works Cited:
McCarthey, Sarah J. and Elizabeth Birr Moje. "Identity Matters." Reading Research Quarterly. 37.2 (2002): 228-238.
Korman, Gordan. Born to Rock. New York: Hyperion, 2006.

1 comment:

Linda Braun said...

I think that LEO thinks he knows himself but finds that maybe he isn't so certain in his identity as he expects.

I'm reminded of the teen that comes off as being very sure of himself but is a bit of a mess inside. Leo wasn't a mess inside, but he did have issues to figure out.