In the keywords essay “Identity,” by Karen Coats, the definition of identity is explored and how it makes a person. An example of where identity can be seen and related to is in virginity as it often seems to be a determinant for a girls innocence in identity.
The movie Room is about a girl, Joy, who got abducted at the age of 17 and was held captive in a shed for 7 years following. Joy conceived her son, Jack, while in captivity after being raped continuously by her perpetrator, “Old Nick”. Joy’s body identity consists primarily of her rape and molestation by Old Nick. Towards the end of the movie, Jack escapes out of “Room” and Joy is found by the police thankfully. As Joy and Jack begin to learn to live a life after such a traumatic experience, things become difficult. Although her mother is accepting of her tragic experiences and Jack… Joy’s father is not. There is a particular scene in the movie where Joy asks her father if there is any problem and why he hasn’t spoken one word to Jack. Joy’s father is not even able to look at Jack because he believes that his daughter was stripped of her innocence and her resulting son does not depict what he ideally would want as a normal coming grandson. He sees his daughter as “ruined,” which caused a lot of tension. To have someone paint you as “ruined” and lacking purity would cause emotional toll on just about anyone. Unfortunately in a situation like this and in many sexual assaults, sexual identity can be unwilling and forceful. After 7 years of what seemed like an eternity of pain and sadness, Joy wanted to come back with Jack and be accepted to try and move forward in her life. Her dad’s attitude towards her experiences can be understandable, but given the circumstances, Joy knew that regardless, she got a son whom she loved dearly and decided to make the best of what she could. Her virginity and identity was taken from her and she was not given any choice regarding it. This identity strongly depicted how she felt and how her family felt about her. The movie Room looks broadly into how virginity (in cases of sexual assault and molestation) can be linked with identity and ultimately defining how others feel about you and how you feel about yourself. Although Joy underwent tragic experiences in her life, she is not one that has been ruined or to let her experience describe her. She is one that is brave and to move forward in life.