Among the Hidden
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Hidden Theme of Identity
We know, we know, nothing cool happens on Facebook anymore. By now, it's basically just a confirmation of your identity. It's a public place on the Internet that tells everyone else, "Yep, I exist." If you don't have a Facebook profile, people think you're a little, well, weird—like you don't quite exist in the same world that the rest of us do.
In Among the Hidden, Luke and the other shadow children have no Facebook profiles—and no Twitter profiles, no Snapchat accounts, and no Instagram accounts. They officially don't exist. And how do you know who you are when you have no one else to compare yourself to? No one else to present yourself to? For the shadow children, "identity" is about more than having a card that tells the police your name and address. It's about having a public face to show people. It's about getting hearts on your Instagrams and likes on your posts. It's about being recognized as an individual—which means that Luke's new I.D. card still isn't quite an identity.
Questions About Identity
- How does Jen's self-identity differ from Luke's? How does she view herself, and how does Luke view himself?
- Can Luke Garner just become Lee Grant? Why or why not?
- Jen thinks that fake I.D.s are just another way of hiding. Is she right? Why or why not?
- Would you rather stay hidden and be yourself or have a fake I.D. and live someone else's life?
Chew on This
In Luke's world, people donate identities after death just as they would donate a lung or a kidney. This process of donation suggests that a legal identity is necessary for life.
Jen's acceptance of her identity as a third child gives her the confidence to rebel against the Government.