Joan Didion Essay

485 Words2 Pages
“When you're a beautiful person on the inside, there is nothing in the world that can change that about you. Jealousy is the result of one's lack of self-confidence, self-worth, and self-acceptance. The Lesson: If you can't accept yourself, then certainly no one else will.” In Joan Didion’s essay, with the help of periodic sentences and metaphorical language, she explains that self-respect does not come from others but from within oneself; it cannot be achieved when one is averse to oneself. Didion was looking for outer gratification, but through the ordeal of being rejected, gains the knowledge that self-respect is proper value of one’s character, and learning to love oneself. One can only be truly happy when one learns to accept oneself. By obtaining one’s self-worth from others, one will never fill the void inside. As Didion suggested in her essay, “…Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.” Through the use of a periodic sentence, she proposes that once one realizes their self-love is fallacious, one can never be the same. She states, “To such doubtful amulets had my self-respect been pinned, and I faced myself that day with the nonplussed apprehension of someone who has come across a vampire and has no crucifix at hand.” With the help of a metaphor, one can suggest that Didion was unprepared to realize that her self-confidence and worth was all a façade. One cannot deceive oneself with good intentions because ones knows their real motivations in doing so. The most valuable knowledge one can acquire is that in order for others to respect one, one must first have self-respect. Didion states, “Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception. The tricks that work on others count for nothing in that very well lit back alley where one keeps assignations with oneself: no winning smiles
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