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Negotiating Identity

             People often use writing to negotiate their identity within institutions or cultures. There are many reasons why a person may choose to do so. It may be because they don't like what or who they are or it may because they want to experience something else for a change. This is shown in a few different ways in Daphne Scholinski's The Last Time I Wore A Dress. .
             The Last Time I Wore A Dress: A Memoir is about a young girl, Daphne, who lived in mental institutions from the time she was fifteen to her eighteenth birthday, when the insurance ran out, for being an inappropriate female. In the book, Scholinski recalls the years she was institutionalized. She uses different forms of writing when appropriate. She uses italics when she is recalling events from the past, her childhood. She also often includes the doctor's notes in her memoir. When she does, she often changes her font to one very similar to one I am using now. She changes the fonts to emphasize different things. I think that she uses this font for the doctor's notes because it looks like the font of a typewriter, and it looks pretty professional, one that a doctor may use. She uses italics when she is thinking about her past. She changed fonts to distinguish between the three: her past, the present, and the doctor's notes. .
             Another way that negotiating identity is shown in the book is through the patients always trying to see what other disorders they can fool the nurses and doctors into thinking they have, by negotiating their identities. Daisy would lie to the doctors about her past just to get them to concentrate on anything other than her gender disorder. She would make up stories about her huge drug and alcohol addiction and stealing. The doctors never saw through her lies. Also, the patients would often pretend to be anorexic, addicts, or just plain crazy. An example of this is shown on pages 22 and 23.

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