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The Yin and Yang of Identity Essay

Project id 1000895
Subject area Arts Entertainment
Document type Essay
Words 2484
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According to Chinese philosophy, yin and yang is a doctrine that describes two seemingly opposing forces operating together to make a great complimentary harmony. This concept creates a strain during Ruth Ozeki's documentary, Halving the Bones. Ozeki, for absence of one, forges an identity for himself, combining her contrasting backgrounds -- namely, her half-Japanese and half-American wallpapers - with the help of her documentary, Halving the Bones. Her disillusionment starts with her very own name and traces throughout her relatives' lives, eventually end with her approval of both opposing heritages. Ozeki's confusion with her contradictory identities is elevated upon debut; she says obvious disdain due to her title and remains antagonistic towards her mother for choosing the title at the first place, for "there is not a person in Japan who can say [her name " Ozeki further insists that if a Japanese person were to announce "Ruth," it would be pronounced as "Rusu," which means "not at home." Already, a sense of individuality is realized with Ruth's name developing a feeling of estrangement. Furthering Ozeki's personal alienation, Ozeki informs the viewers that she's "half," and "at America, people think [she is ] Japanese, and in Japan they think [she's ] American. Where ever [she is], [she's always distinct." From the very start of the movie, the audience is exposed to Ozeki's disconnected self-awareness. She is pulled between the two cultures, both tremendously different in ideologies and habits. When she does travel to either country, she feels a persistent isolation. Yet more, the feeling of alienation has been shown, highlighting Ozeki's fragmented identity. Ozeki's inability to fi...

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