Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Modern cultural, literary and linguistic perspectives

Gábor Wertheimer: 'I treasure what I have suffered for.'≠ Identity-building Through Having Been Victimized


This paper examines certain aspects of the process and results of identity-building in a special context: through the experience of becoming victims. The two heroines in focus share in some ways a similar revelation that they have become who they are through suffering, and their past and their ordeal became so meaningful for them that these are the terms by which they basically define themselves. For Hester Prynne the letter A, initially a source of humiliation, in a long process makes her proud, becomes part of her, of what or who she is. Malamud's heroine, Isabella del Dongo identifies herself through what the Nazis did to her, and simply cannot marry someone who is not willing to accept his own Jewish identity. Having been victimized is seen as a major force in constructing one's identity.

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ISSN 1786-7967

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