From what we have gathered from the lives of Toby, Adam, and Zeb, we learn that they have lived under different identities, and it was for all the same reasons: to hide from the authority. Though they have been quite MIA from the Compounds, they still managed to find jobs and they travel around quite easily, which involves showing some kind of identity. This got me thinking of how easy it is to make a pretend to be someone else or to hide from one’s self.
In Maddaddam, Adam and Zeb constructs identities out of cardboard. Then, they replace them with improved IDs by piecing together information of different people, and Zeb even steals one from a man. Though Zeb does say that these cards are not secure, they can still move around safely at some extent. Therefore, it is not that hard to live without a solid identity in their world.
If you google “Fake ID”, the first website it leads to actually sells fake IDs! I have a feeling that this website is a scam, but if it is real, then you can see how accessible it is to get a new age, name, or even citizenship. Although we can’t do much with that kind of uncertified pieces of plastic, the numbers that our country gives us (social insurance number, bank account, etc) can do you much harm if someone gets hold of it. In fact, as our lives becomes more electronically involved, the risks of theft or cybercrimes are rising. Through the works of hackers, millions of data can become accessible for everyone. For example, there was a case in the Swedish Medical Center at Seattle where data of many employees got exposed meaning that anyone could have wrote down their Social Security number, a form of identity. Thus, becoming someone else is pretty tangible, for identity is a physical thing.
As Zeb and Adam are running around the continent with different identities, Toby hides in the Pleeblands avoiding spilling information about her own. She throws away her ID because she does not want to be discovered alive by the Corps, and her resources come from sketchy paying places that do not consult anything from her. Then, to be safe from Blanco and the Pleeblands, Toby is arranged to go back to the Compounds as Tobiatha, a new identity. The last time she needs to be this new girl is when the waterless flood wipes out everyone.
How does changing one’s identity so easy in a world where technology is said to be on the edge of being invincible and where security is apparently so well built up? Is make me think about how we are identified: are we just a piece of paper that proves our existence?