Personality is a summative of the choice people have all through their entire existence. It is a result of interaction, emotion, behavior, attitude and genes. Some people easily adapt and some just have difficulty adjusting in the environment they inhabit. The pattern of personality is intricate and that is the reason psychologists and theorists formulate and are currently formulating paradigms and models to greatly decipher the hidden symbols of a human behavior.
Antwone Fisher’s personality epitomizes somebody who has never blamed society on how life has turned out to be. Instead, he puts the blame onto himself. He has kept back many painful experiences that later on manifest through intense rage toward others. At an early age of two, he is exposed to physical, emotional and sexual abuses which normally a growing child should not endure. The character exhibits complex persona that is hard to encode. Psychoanalytical theory, in conjunction with social cognitive theory, must be used for effective analysis.
At the beginning of the film, the dream to some extent showed what Fisher desired: a big family that welcomes him with feast. It corresponds to Sigmund Freud’s psychodynamic theory that a dream can be analyzed as the manifest content (the consciously recalled) and the latent content (the underlying unconscious meaning). The latter, Freud argued, is an unconscious wish (John, Pervine & Robins, 2008, p. 63).
As in the movie, Fisher consciously seeks love and belongingness. The large wheat field signifies the underlying oblivious meaning of social isolation. Society plays an important role in developing one’s personality such as teaching a child hw to behave. Culture varies on how a child should be raised. Antwone’s violent behavior can be traced to what kind of discipline he
had gotten from his foster mother. In social cognitive theory, children’s psychological development is viewed as shaped almost exclusively by children’s environment through parents’ modeling and reinforcement (John, Pervine & Robins, 2008, p. 356). Early in Antwone’s therapy the doctor gives him a book ”The Slave Community,” which theorizes that the ruthless punishment he received like countless children did was an internalized reflection of the abuse his ancestors suffered at the hands of slave owners.
Internal and external factors can be linked and intertwined to a person’s behavior and personality, as in the case of identical twin studies. The integrity of the studies rested upon an important assumption-that when identical twins were reared apart, they necessarily had been reared in different environments. It was proven wrong later on because identical twins, even if reared apart are alike in both physical appearance and rate of maturation, factors that exert powerful influence upon one’s adjustment (Wyatt & Midkiff, 2006, p. 138).
In the movie, Fisher reunites with his biological family. His mother is a troubled woman. The family of his father is well respected. His father is creative yet temperamental according to his family. If he had been raised to such pleasant milieu he would have not become a troubled young man.
To further analyze Fisher’s personality, this study used the Five Factors Theory (John, Pervine & Robins, 2008, p. 159). First, the character’s pessimistic attitude such as his negative outlook, anger towards co-worker and no respect to authority is basic tendencies of neuroticism. The second tendency is extraversion, as seen when he hardly socialized when he was a young adult in the navy. This is a sign of negative vulnerability and introversion. As a child and teenager, he seeks the company of his best friend. Also, he prefers to join the navy. This only means that he had adapted to this characteristic.
The third basic tendency is openness to experience. Even when he is very young, Antwone had found refuge in his own imagination. He appreciates visual art, literature and poetry. His love for Motown records, although forbidden, is another proof for his positive reception (John, Pervine & Robins, 2008, p. 164).
Agreeableness is the fourth factor trait. As shown in the movie, Fisher is suspicious, disagreeable and antagonistic. His creativeness and artistry has become a way of opening up, thus his longing for love is reflected on his writings such as in his poem ” Who Would Cry for the Little Boy.” Later on, when he meets Cheryl, his perspective changes and it inspires him to open up. As a result, he has become cooperative with his therapy sessions. The last factor is conscientiousness (John, Pervine & Robins, 2008, p. 164). This trait is evident in Fisher’s predisposition to the need for achievement. This is caught on a battle between pursuant to study and wanting to be discharged from the navy.
Psychodynamic, social cognitive and five factor theories are all significant to the character of Fisher. They provide explanation and justification on the different aspect of his behavior. The analysis and theory as of today are still evolving to clearly comprehend the complexities of each human being.