Religious and Sociocultural Values and Their Role in Self-Identity Construction

Rashad Mohammed Moqbel Al Areqih


Religious and sociocultural values play a significant role in constructing a person’s self-identity and influencing their choices. This paper explores the religious and sociocultural values depicted in Akwaeke Emezi’s The Death of Vivek Oji (2020) and the impact of those values on Vivek's life decisions. Vivek's self-identity construction is highlighted, as well as how religious and sociocultural values influence his decisions and isolate him from the world of adults in favor of spending time with peers he trusts and who show more tolerance and openness toward his choices. Through a sociocultural and textual lens, this study traces Vivek's transformation, and how his lifestyle choices impact both his appearance and the discovery of himself. This paper outlines why the choices Vivek makes do not match the sociocultural and religious values of his community, which leads him to isolate himself and choose a life he prefers, away from his family and the world of adults. His choices lead him to a tragic end, with his bewildered mother finding her son dead, rolled in colorful fabric, at her front door. Vivek's disorienting blackouts distract his parents from recognizing the shifts taking place in their son's life, beginning with changes to his appearance: long hair, interest in makeup, and women's dresses. His parents find out after his death about the life Vivek led as a homosexual, which the religious and sociocultural values of the community could not appreciate or approve of.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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