Tarzan and the quest for identity

This is the well-known story of a man brought up by gorillas in the middle of the jungle who later meets a girl and falls in love with her. A young boy whose only contact was with animals, who never knew who he was, where he came from, and why he was so different from the rest.

Let’s begin with the most evident characteristics: his physical appearance compared to the rest of the animals. The only one who realized this was Tarzan, not the gorilas nor the rest of the animals because they can’t realize it. They react only to sounds and movements but they can’t make a meaning of it. Instead, Tarzan means with his movements and shouts what we wants and needs (that is why his shouts are different). His needs are different to the rest of the animals. Although he learns to survive, he still needs other things like knowledge, food, clothing, etc.

Those questions that are inside the mind of every human, Tarzan is no exception, the main problem is not falling in love with Jane, but an identity problem. Like the rest of us living in cities, societies, everywhere around the world, every man and woman wants to know who they are and thier lives’ purpose. We may not have an identity crisis in the middle of the jungle, but in our daily life we can have it.

What  Edgar Rice Burroughs shows us is that no matter where we are, and who we are raised by, we all share the same questions about ourselves, alone or being a part of a society we all need to know the purpose of our life. We all want to be happy, but knowing who we are is the only way we can search for happiness.
The human is a social animal by nature says Aristotle and that is true; we cannot survive alone, we need a kind of bond with other beings to live: animals and nature but we need to communicate, share and learn from others. What Tarzan did was learn from what he could to survive, when he met Jane he was able to know more and fulfill his need to respond to his questions: who am I?

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