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Self-expression is arguably the most defining characteristic and fundamental joy of being human It adopts myriad forms and mediums and it spans a range of intensities from the softest whisper to the boldest brushstroke Without it we could not release our sensations and perceptions of our experience in life and relay them to the rest of the world -communication would not exist - but more importantly one would not have a sense of self to impart to the world Singing painting reading writing dancing acting and even playing sports or being an orator are all basic examples of how people choose to engage themselves in the process of learning about themselves and their relationship to the rest of humanity Specifically reading and writing are two prominent forces in this evolution they help one to recognize ones self define ones identity and ultimately create a person that will influence the rest of the world all of which occur by establishing a connection with the inwardness of others In the essays of Jos Ortega y Gasset Harold Brodkey Ralph Waldo Emerson Michel de Montaigne and Sigmund Freud the construction of a sense of self and in turn its broader influence upon culture is explained in various contexts and the power of reading and writing is viewed as an essential element in this development although discussed sometimes directly and others implicitly as more of an analogy These authors prove in their different theories that reading and writing take on the ultimate form of self-expression and serve as a means of constituting the identity of individuals cultures and in the broadest sense all of humanity The first stage in this process is recognizing ones self How are all our capabilities and intricacies made apparent to us How do we learn to acknowledge our many sensations and emotions and give them names so we can initiate introspection and self-awareness In his book Man and People Jos Ortega y
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