Theory in a Digital Age: A Project of English 483 Students, Coastal Carolina University


Remember, we have paused our contemporary moment and taken time to examine this e-literature piece in hopes of defining our own identity, outside of a virtual space. In order for me to do so, I must again return to the moment I find myself replaying again and again- and move through it. That day I stood on the curb with my coworker Janie, I was worried that she would revoke her friendship because she would associate my political affiliations with my mother. Or worse, it would raise suspicions and questions about my own political identity I couldn’t answer. There on the street, I wasn’t at all like the doll at the beginning of “Pieces of Herself.” I was full, but there was no meaning behind all of the objects filling me up. Sure, there was an abundance of memories made up of spaces and objects, but all of them were two-dimensional, stuck in a space that couldn’t translate to my physical world. Throughout the election, I made a mistake. I let other people’s opinions and judgements fill me up completely. There was no room left to explore secondary discourses and reexamine primary ones. I had let society define me- as a woman and as a millennial, and all of these preconceived notions were so filling that I became a collaged copy of everyone else. I was as far away from my true self as possible. Even the little girl in the car beside her mother is not completely innocent. I’m not saying that we all need to erase where we came from or who we know in order to become like the doll, but we do need to retrace the ideas and notions that happened when we were our most impressionable. Just like the doll in the text, she is not going to all new places and environments with foreign objects, but taking each familiar space and object and placing it under a microscope and choosing whether or not to let it define her. While on the verge of a new political era, that’s what I believe each one of us will need to do. Examine ourselves at our most empty and most vulnerable, and let ourselves be the guide of the mouse filling our doll- not society. Once we have filled ourselves with objects, people and spaces we have a clear connotation of, we will be able to define ourselves on all levels, whether that be political or personal. With our definitive identity comes understanding and tolerance of others and their fulfillments. Janie was able to welcome me to the lunch table the next day at work, regardless of the bumper sticker with words she cringed at the day before. There is a difference between me as a person and me as a voter. Political identity is a part of what makes us who were are, but it is not the defining factor. We are. We decide, we choose what we reflect onto the world, although at times it seems we are mirroring the world. Juliet Davis allows her readers to get back to the basics in a safe, interactive space, reminding them that identity is a choice, not a label.

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