Identity is the fact of being who or what a individual or thing is. In the novel. Obasan. Naomi has problem calculating out her true individuality. She has two. specific. adult females function theoretical accounts who couldn’t be any more different. she is confused as to her nationality ( Nipponese or Canadian? ) and she was violated. in more ways than one. as a kid. Throughout the book. Naomi embarks on a pursuit ; a pursuit for her individuality.
Throughout the novel. Obasan. Naomi struggles to cognize her true nationality. She is. of class. of Nipponese heritage but she was born in Canada. She faces many inquiries about her nationality due to the fact that her outside image isn’t the same as the manner she is perceived by other Canadians. Naomi looks like she is originally from Japan. though. she is a Canadian. She is a victim of racialist comments from those around her. because they assume she is purely Nipponese. Naomi struggles to understand if she is supposed to be more one or the other ( Nipponese or Canadian ) . Naomi grew up in a Canadian civilization. but was still influenced by Nipponese linguistic communication and traditions. In her household. some members still speak Nipponese. “’Umi no yo. ’ Uncle says as he points at the grass. ‘It is like the sea. ’” ( 1 ) .
Even though Uncle knows how to talk English. he still incorporates every bit much Japanese as possible. It keeps their heritage alive. Though. Stephen. Naomi’s brother. resents the Nipponese heritage. During one of his visits. he even refuses to eat the Nipponese nutrient made by Obasan. This confuses Naomi. She looks up to her brother. but he is dividing himself from his true individuality which makes it difficult for Naomi to cognize hers. Naomi is incognizant of who she is supposed to be. She doesn’t know whether to encompass or resent her Nipponese heritage. even though it sometimes punishes her with racialist comments. Naomi is incognizant of her individuality. due to the confusion of her nationality. within her household.
“Would you like me to state you a narrative? ” ( 62 ) Old Man Gower would inquire when he would take four twelvemonth old Naomi to a topographic point of privateness. Old Man Gower abused and violated Naomi in unmentionable ways. doing her feel helpless and afraid. This was the lone “love” she was of all time subjected to. Obasan did non demo fondness. Naomi “never one time saw” Obasan and Sam “caressing” ( 6 ) . and when Naomi asked Uncle if they were in love. he responded with “’In ruv? What that? ’” ( 6 ) . No 1 showed Naomi fondness. other than the adult male who treated her in the worst possible manner. The touching and caressing done to her by Old Man Gower was the lone love that she had of all time known. She is told to maintain silent about this “love” and she is told that she is supposed to bask it. Her individuality is awry. for she does non cognize the existent significance of love. If she does non cognize the existent significance of love. how can she cognize if she is truly loved by her household? Naomi’s pursuit is a pursuit for individuality. to assist her understand the existent significance of love and fondness.
“How different my two aunts are. One lives in sound. the other in rock. Obasan’s linguistic communication remains belowground. but Aunt Emily. BA. MA. is a word warrior. She’s a reformer. a small old grey Mighty Mouse. a Bachelor of Advanced Activists and General Practitioner of Just Causes. ” ( Kogawa 39 ) . Harmonizing to Naomi. in the fresh Obasan. her aunts. Emily and Obasan. are polar antonyms. Obasan remains soundless about about everything that happens in her life. For starting motors. when the persecution of the Nipponese Canadians begins. Obasan says nil to Naomi. presuming she is better off larning through “whispers. scowls and excessively much gentleness” ( 73 ) . When Obasan’s hubby dies she besides chooses to get by. with silence. “The linguistic communication of her heartache is silence. ” ( 14 ) .
Despite her silence. Obasan has good logical thinking behind her determinations. She chooses to be soundless. at one point. “for the interest of the children” ( 26 ) . Naomi looks up to her aunt Obasan. because even though she is soundless. she has good purposes. Though. Naomi besides looks up to her aunt Emily. who is wholly different from Obasan. Emily is more aggressive and unfastened as to how she is experiencing. particularly when it comes to the yesteryear. When Naomi is grown up. Aunt Emily tells her “You are your history. If you cut any of it off so you’re an amputee. Don’t deny the yesteryear. Remember everything. If you’re bitter. be acrimonious. Shout it out! Scream! Denial is gangrene. ” ( 49 ) . Aunt Emily is promoting Naomi to halt being soundless about her yesteryear. and to allow people cognize of the horrifying things she faced. This is confounding to Naomi. because Obasan tells her different.
Obasan thinks it is better if Naomi forgets and gets over what happened in her yesteryear. opposed to talking up and doing a large trade of something that has already happened. Naomi remembers Obasan stating her this. “Some memories. excessively. might better be forgotten. Didn’t Obasan one time say. ‘It is better to forget’ ? . . . What is past callback is past pain” ( 45 ) . Bing told to be two wholly different sorts of people by two of the function theoretical accounts in her life. do it difficult for Naomi to understand who she is supposed to be. This makes it difficult for Naomi to cognize who she truly is. Should she be soundless or outspoken? She’s being told both. Having two different female parent figures in her life. do it hard to understand her true individuality. Naomi is diffident if she is supposed to be more like Obasan. quiet and collected. or like Emily. outspoken and aggressive. Naomi’s pursuit is a pursuit for individuality.
Her household members and neighbors are all stating her to be person wholly different ; Nipponese. Canadian. Japanese-Canadian. silent. vocal. in love. loved or unloved. Naomi wants to be herself. but is incognizant of who she is. She must cognize who she is in order to make that. Finding her individuality is a large trade. because it will let Naomi to be whoever she wishes to be. Throughout Obasan that is the quest that Naomi embarks on. Naomi Nakane’s pursuit is a pursuit for individuality.