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John Pollack

In The Wife of His Youth Mr. Ryder is confronted with multiple issues regarding his personal identity. As a man of “mixed blood� he is caught between the white world and the colored world and must try to find his place among the two. Along the same lines, he also struggles to determine his social place in the world. Ultimately, he debates whether his past defines who he will be for the rest of his life or whether he is free to walk away from his past in an effort to carve out a new place and a new future for himself. These are just three of the many questions of identity the story raises. What role does the search for the self play in this story and how could it relate to other stories from this class? What could Chesnutt be trying to communicate about identity (in all forms) through this story?