Meena Alexander conveys her broken identity through a complex description of her constant pursuit of answers and perpetual dissatisfaction of herself.
Through her own eyes, Alexander cannot see herself with happiness. She begins her essay with a brief description of her present life, surrounded by the â€œdelicate teas,â€ â€œsharply flavored asparagus,â€ and â€œheapings of scallions and mint.â€ But all these splendors merely â€œglinted back oddly in my face.â€ As she sees herself, her two eyes are crooked and her face disfigured because she cannot find her own image corresponding to this lifestyle. She has lived in too many countries and has absorbed too many cultures to make one her own. As a result of this lack of identity, Alexander cannot acknowledge herself as a specific human being that is set apart from others. â€œ Multiple being locked into the journeys of one bodyâ€ prevent her from pulling all the pieces of her life together and setting them straight so that she may finally be able to define who she is.
Being locked â€œ within the boundaries of India,â€ she can only search within herself to find her true identity. Alexander overwhelms herself with complicated questions and contradicting desires. She first asks herself, â€œ What would it mean for one such as I to pick up a mirror and try to see her face in it?â€ Then later she ponders of how it might mean to look straight and how many different gazes that would need. She continuously overflows the essay with contemplations such as having to do with the â€œcrookedness of fleshâ€ and all the â€œfragments of a broken geography.â€ â€œ The more I thought about it, the less sense any of it seemed to make.â€ This demonstrates the idea that the more she explored her identity, the more questions arose.
She is never able to come to a complete understanding of who she is.