The solider who degrades him. Due to

text also demonstrates how individuals will deny their identity as a way to
escape their reality. An individual could deny their identity by denying their
sexual orientation, which is an issue dealt with within the novel. Sam decides
to deny his sexuality when he is penalized for it and so ashamed of himself that he
thinks, “BS1 How
could he possibly tell his mother what he did to get arrested?…he was
tormented by a vision of Bacon going under the tide fists and boot heels…’FBI
Soldier is more of a man than the rest of you'” (412). Sam is caught being
sexually intimate with a man by the FBI and, when arrested, is thinking how he
could not bear to tell his own mother; they beat both Sam and Bacon severely
then taunt Sam by using his weak physical appearance against the strong trained
FBI solider who degrades him. Due to this traumatizing experience, Sam hides
his sexuality and marries a woman whom he can never romantically love in order
to shut down his mind and soul very tightly
in “a deliberate and conscious act of self-immurement” (581). Overall, the way
the FBI treats him makes him feel ashamed of himself, therefore, he seeks to
escape his reality by marrying a woman he never loves, which is meant to shut
his desires down completely. Other than denying one’s sexuality, one may also desire
to change their personality in order to be better. Joe wants to change who he
is in order to free his family and those oppressed by the war, which Chabon
demonstrates when he states that, “The Escapist swears to work for liberation
of all who toil in chains-as the Escapist… ‘I wish he were real’ said Joe,
suddenly ashamed of himself” (134-135). Joe creates a comic book character that
is the alter ego of who he is – strong and capable enough to help those in need
through feats of liberation; his character encompasses what he wants to be
capable of doing, which is why he is ashamed of himself. Therefore, this type
of escapism pushes him to try and escape himself to become the person he is not
to escape the frustration of being unable to rescue his family. Similarly, an annual
Pride Parade survey found that, “from more than 1000 LGBT+ people in the UK, 74%
pf people felt the need to lie about their sexuality or gender identity”
(Mills, “Many gay people still feel
the need to hide their sexuality”).

Therefore, in today’s society people are still uncomfortable with being
themselves in public, this is highly due to the fact that, “59% of LGBT+
respondents had felt threatened by other people’s attitudes and behaviours
towards them” (Mills, “Many
gay people still feel the need to hide their sexuality). Showing how society is still
oppressing and targeting those who are different, like Sam, it results in people
suppressing who they are in order to become someone they are not, allowing them
to deal with that sort of pain instead. Not only do people deny their identity
as a means of escapism, but the pressure of guilt also pushes people to escape
their reality.

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