Cambio de Armas

1 January 2017

The theme in which is constantly shown throughout the novel is the concept of self identity. Identity is a state of mind in which one identifies his or her character traits in addition to one’s idea of being. Identity indicates one’s mental, emotional and physical image of which they depict themselves to be. It also refers to the construction of individual and society’s characteristics by which we are symbolized and recognized as to who we are. The concept of self identity is used in many books and novels in order to tie the reader to the story.

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This is done in a way that the write creates a character with a loss of self identity that will then allow the reader to relate to. The theme of identity is often expressed in books/novels or basically any other piece of literature so that the reader can intrigue themselves and relate to the characters and their emotions. The novel Cambio de armas has many types of concepts that helped Laura with her battle in determining her identity. The first concept is the Divided Identity in which she is unable to combine the notion of who she is now along with who she was as described by her Martina, the man and her surroundings.

Her divided identity is blocking her from connecting her past and her present. Due to this blocking, she is unable to put a label on some of the items that surround her. She is also unable to give the man a singular name even though he comes in and comforts her at times. By being unable to label herself as one (Laura), she seems unable to label him as well. Sometimes, it is useful in trying to help readers understand that a person’s state of mind is full of arduous thoughts about who they are and what they want to be. People can try to modify their identity as much as they want but that can never change.

The theme of identity is a very strenuous topic to understand. By understanding the theme of identity, one is able to analyze the complexity of Laura’s situation. Being unable to identify herself, she creates a world in her mind that she is unable to do certain things because she is lost. Self-identity is still a perplexing subject to analyze. It is the belief in this existence of one’s self, the assumption of all our experiences of consciousness. We all embrace this identity that we feel is ours alone. I speak of my experiences as experienced by me.

I would seem to be talking nonsense, if I referred to myself in the plural or spoke of how the multiplicity of ‘me’s’ experienced an event. Although most will submit to the existence of levels of consciousness, we categorize those people who exhibit distinct personalities as non-ordinary. All popular theories of self-identity set about the task of proving a singular self. I will attempt to analyze the currently held theories of self-identity, and consider cases where the singular self-identity of normal individuals is called into question.

Psychologists seeking to clarify this discussion have researched phenomena concerning the nature of self-identity, and it’s relation with consciousness. The second concept is the Random Identities. This ties in with the first concept of divided identity because she is unable to give one single identity to the man. The author states on page one of the novel: “Next is the man: the one, he, the nameless man who she can call by which ever name that comes to mind; they all function the same, and they all fit him.

And when he comes in the house he answers even if she calls him Hugo, Sebastian, Ignacio, Alfredo or whatever else. ” She refers to him in her mind as the ‘nameless one’. In the first couple pages, he seems to be a loving subject. He comes and comforts her and commands that Martina gives Laura everything she wants. As the story progresses however, the reader is able to see a different side to their relationship. Laura feels unsafe as well as confuse with Rogue. Their relationship does not consist of communication and honesty.

It is as though Rogue is overbearing in addition to keeping a big secret. At certain times in the novel, she feels as if he is exploiting her to ‘One’ and ‘Two’ outside of the door. It is included in the notes that were given with the novel that Laura might suffer from Stockholm syndrome. The Stockholm syndrome took its name after an incident that occurred in Stockholm, Sweden. This incident occurred when bank employees were held hostage in a vault for a period of time. After which, they did not feel any hate against their offenders but rather they felt gratitude.

Research addressing the suffering of victims has revealed how women dealt with situations that are similar by denying treats and being emotionally withdrew. Their actions merely became a form of psychological survival. In some cases, there is minimal anger towards the victimizer. Other cases consist of positive feeling towards the offender. The feelings that are positive include sympathizing with the victimizer, having admiration for them and even having feelings for their victimizer. Laura and Rogue have a form of relationship throughout the novel that clearly confirmed how she suffered from such a syndrome.

The third concept is False Identity in which she feels as though she is not a Laura. Although she knows that the person Laura that the man and Martina refer to is her, she is distant from it. Martina and Rogue act like they understand her because no matter the torture that she went through, she is still the same person to them on the outside; therefore they still see her as the Laura before. Laura however, cannot recall everything that happened before as a result she does not associate the old her with the new her. It as if her physical self is detached from her psychological self.

She is experiencing her identity from an out of body sense. An out-of-body experience is explained by few as a sense of being disconnected from one’s body, and if associated with other factors like a sense that the world is not real. This with the combination of failure to recall significant personal information, or the content of a meaningful conversation forgotten are signs the psychological disorder that Laura suffered from. There was an incident in which she recalled some sort of memory which she associated with the plant.

This occurrence then lead to her asking or more so demanding something that is out of the ordinary to ask for. Although briefly, the plant was a simple of connection the life she had before the ordeal that she went through that allowed her to feel some sort of link with her identity. It must have been a significant link because it caused a bit of an alarm in Rogue, “… bring her a little plant if that will make her happy, but make sure it isn’t any kind of plant she would have in the country. ” It provides the reader a glimpse into Laura’s life before the incident.

It made the reader seem as though she is not allowed to have any feelings or sense of her past. These feelings linger on into the novel when she is forced to perform sexual acts although she is uncomfortable. Rogue demands that Laura make love to him in the living area where he had opened a little peephole at the door. Laura feels as though she is being exposed to the ‘one and two’ that stood watch outside the door. He seems to force her do acts that she is confused off and he also imprisons her. She knows that she is not allowed outside the walls because there are locks.

It is hard for her to develop her sense of who she is because she is only limited to one environment. She is limited to only two people, and the colleagues that interviewed her. The process of identity formation is located in the core of an individual, and also in the core of one’s surroundings and interactions. This process is ever changing and developing. Laura’s identity has been stripped away because of this, events that were disturbing to her are contain into her unconscious self. She is unable to be a whole person anymore because she has lost her sense of Identity.

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