Re: Personas


Jack Thistlewood, Writer

Disclaimer: This is a part two article to “Re: Presenting”. While the primary subject material is different, it may be in your best interest to read that first. Also, the ideas proposed in this article come with personal bias and no scientific basis, so a grain of salt should be taken when considering the words of insanity to come.


“Persona – noun: an individual’s social facade or front that especially in the analytic psychology of C.G. Jung reflects the role in life the individual is playing” (Merriam Webster, definition 2a). The persona, along with approximately too many other interpretations of the human psyche, is something that has eternally drawn out my curiosity. The idea that everyone wears a metaphorical mask to adapt to society is a pretty little thought. However, I believe that the concept of the persona is far more than a single mask. 

When a person uses a persona, there’s always a grain of the ‘true self’ imbued into it, creating a nigh permanent mask that can’t easily be removed. The problem with this is that people create personas as often as they meet new people – which is to say, there are hundreds of personas a person cycles through on a daily basis. Combine this with the fact that each and every one of those masks takes a small piece and suddenly the ‘true self’ isn’t a whole. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the matter of what happens to anybody with that many identities. 

With the ‘true self’ spread so thin, the user can no longer determine what their own truth is – it’s been completely buried. Following this, a person will naturally assume a persona that has the most relevance to their inherent traits. While the sub-conscience remains untainted by personas, that particular mask becomes their conscience. Taking this line of inquiry even further, the next step would be to say that the conscience is a shield of sorts, a mask made to hide the original true self away from even the person themselves. 

This entire article may sound confusing, ridiculous even. Defending against such a claim would be preposterous, considering how many viewpoints there are in psychology as a whole. Yet, I still wish to believe in the claims I’ve proposed here. Perhaps that is my own persona – one created of ignorance and selfishness.