by Christopher Paolini
Identity Quotes in Eragon
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
The realization that Garrow and Marian were not his real parents had disturbed him greatly. […] One other thing bothered him: Who was his father? (3.4-5)
Right off the bat, the book begins with a series of hidden or mixed identities. Eragon is raised in a world where there are more questions than answers as far as his family members' identities are concerned. Is it any wonder, then, that he too is having a hard time figuring out just who he's supposed to be?
"This lasted for five years and would have continued for much longer if an elf called Eragon hadn't found a dragon egg." […] "Ah, I see you didn't know of your namesake." (6.20)
Come again? There was already an Eragon? And he was a famous Dragon Rider himself? Imagine how it must feel to inherit the name of a famous achiever. What if your name was Albert Einstein George Washington Iron Man, Jr.? Other than the difficulty you'd have writing your name in your underwear for summer camp, would a name like that inspire you, or cast a shadow over everything you did?
"It is a good name to have, though; you should be proud of it. Not everyone has one so honorable." (6.25)
Brom tells Eragon to be proud of his name, to embrace his heritage. Think about it, though. Is that an easy thing to do? Is a name something to be lived up to? Can your name dictate your sense of self, your identity?