Group Identity

It has become clear to me in The Avian Gospels that the identity of self is a main component of the text. However, this is complicated by the implications of the lack of personhood throughout the story. That is, no person’s identity exists without the influence of another power structure. But how can identity be created without single personhood?

It seems that personhood in The Avian Gospels refers to the plural persons, rather than singular person is. This is to say that the identity of one is, instead, the identity of a group. Identity is performed as a group dynamic in a way that it cannot be performed as a singular item. The RedBlacks, for example, are an identity as a whole, according to Novy. In order for the RedBlacks to function cohesively as their identity states, one must not stray from the group. The Tutor, for example, is slain due to his disobedience of the Judge. When Mike is unable to act like a “true” RedBlack, the novel descends into the disarray that litter the second book.

Even those who seem more singular as characters (Morgan, Katherine) are employed by one or more group identity. Katherine is tethered to the Giggs’ name, yet inexplicably connected with the Gypsys (or Norwegians). Her self does not fully exist without the influence and presence of the others. She finds herself unable to connect with the Gypsys due to her status, yet wishes to engage with them in a way that she does not with her “primary” identity (as a Giggs).


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