The Name and Identity

There seems to be no way to deny that Kind One by Laird Hunt is focused very intently on the purpose and place of identity within human life. More specifically, even, the novel brings forth presentations of unclear identity and the inability to truly identify with one’s self. I question whether identity presents itself in this novel as a clearly defined entity or one that corresponds with no proper understanding of the idea. That is, are name and identity mutually exclusive? It seems that with each incarnation of a person within the novel, a new name arises to complement this growth. Ginny was quite potentially another prior to her marriage to Linus, and was anew once she began to identify herself with Lucious – who himself was Joseph until his own father’s vision.

So, identity in this novel then is symbolized by names. But identity is not stuck to this notion. Rather, identity travels with it. There is no one set of wants and needs in regards to characters and self-actualization. Instead, they all bloom seperately along a similar pathways that move and ebb somewhat in similarity to the movement of a body of water – perhaps indicative of the meaning and pertinence of the well and the importance of the wells purity, coupled with its ability to give and in the same breath, take away.


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