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Critical Response - Self Esteem

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Essay title: Critical Response - Self Esteem

Critical Response- Self Esteem

Nathan McCall’s Makes Me Wanna Holler points to the issue of self esteem. Self esteem issues arise throughout the novel and repeatedly suggest that McCall battled serious self esteem matters. He doesn’t seem to realize the extent of the inner problems he is dealing with. Self esteem is an influencing issue across all contexts. Malcolm, Beloved, and Buns, from the movie Belly, deal with their own issues of self esteem as well.

According to The Counseling and Mental Health Center at The University of Texas at Autsin,

For people with good basic self-esteem, normal "ups and downs" may lead to temporary fluctuations in how they feel about themselves, but only to a limited extent. In contrast, for people with poor basic self-esteem, these "ups and downs" may make all the difference in the world. (Burns, 1)

The characters that are focused on experience many ups and downs throughout their respective stories. They live for the ups and because of that they demand certain aspects from people around them and their surroundings as well.

Nathan McCall seems to always be spending time with his friends. He looks to his peers for acceptance and always needs to know what the moment’s in-thing is. He gives in to peer pressure without a second thought. McCall’s friends sit around doing and selling drugs and he joins right in. They push him to join in on things he knows are wrong, such as the times they were running trains. His conscious tells him not to join them but he acts otherwise out of his fear of their rejection. “After about the fifth guy had gone, I still hadn’t taken my turn. I could have gone before then, but I was having a hard time mustering the heart to make a move” McCall 48. McCall does not have a positive view of himself in the sense of self esteem. The self esteem he feels is a faзade. He builds up his own feelings of self esteem through acts he sees as acceptable through the eyes of his friends.

McCall is always worried about his fashion sense and being sure he is dressed in the latest styles. He and Shell Shock are certain to dress in fashion whether they’re walking through the halls at school or walking down the street. McCall also discusses how he looks up to some of the older guys, but specifically Scobie-D. He wants to dress, talk, and act just like him. McCall uses superficial issues to build his own feelings of self worth. He needs constant reassurance of fitting in to remind him that he is, in fact, accepted by his friends.

Beloved also battles self esteem issues in her time staying at the house. She always needs reassurance from Sethe and Denver. She wants to be the most loved and needed but won’t seem to let Denver forget that it is Sethe she needs, not her. Beloved stays quiet about her own past, not letting anyone in to that part of her life. She is insecure in herself and relays that fact over and over throughout the novel. It seems that she finds it difficult to function without Sethe close to her side. The love and reassurance Sethe provides is the only thing that makes Beloved feel she has any worth.

Malcolm deals with his own self esteem issues. Up to the point when he is thrown in jail, he hustles on the streets. His acts reflect the importance of what his peers think as well. He participates in the same activities and lifestyles they lead and he doesn’t think about the consequences he will face himself.

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