The big questions that Elizabeth raises in this poem are really all about identity. Who am I? What is my relationship to other people? Can I be an individual and part of a greater humanity at the same time? How similar am I to my aunt? To the women in Africa who seem so foreign to me? Elizabeth never quite answers these questions, but her search for the answers – which are really all about her identity and her place in the world – is one of the most important things about "In the Waiting Room."
Identity in the poem is defined by individual experiences.
Identity in the poem is defined by one's relationships to others.