A Psychologcal Interpretation Using Freud and Allport

2639 Words11 Pages
“Soon, we will come to be afraid of our persona's and personalities, it will be clear that they are by no means ours” (Gombrowicz, 2000). There is no one definition of personality that would satisfy both layman and psychologists. It has been a subject of human studies since the first philosophers. Both Aristotle and Hippocrates where interested in the subject, though up until the 19th century the discussion was about character, not personality. Psychologist differ from these attempts in their use of the scientific method, using both clinical and experimental studies to evaluate the construct of personality. There have been multiple theories to come out of this research. Some such as Sheldon's Constitutional Theory(Sheldon,1940), which hypothesised a link between body type and personality, are no longer in vogue. Others such as Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1986) have a high heuristic value and are still used in therapy today. This essay will use two of these theories to offer a psychological interpretation of a fictional character and by doing so evaluate the merit of the hypotheses. Firstly the Psychoanalytical Theory of Personality put forward by Sigmund Freud, followed by the Trait Theory of Personality by Gordon Allport. Although both of the theories have developed since Freud and Allport, this essay will focus on the original theories as seen by their creators. The fictional character in use will be Dmitri Fyodorovich Karamazov, henceforth referred to as Mitya, from Fyodor Dostoyevsky's “The Brothers Karamazov”. Freud himself called this book “the most magnificent novel ever written”(Freud, 1927). Mitya is the eldest of the three brothers of the title, though the only one from their father's first marriage. Like his father he is a drunk and a sensualist, who people take as miserly, however he is capable of totally selfless love, most
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