The main character in the film is Drab Charlotte Vale. According to the film, Charlotte is raised up by an abusive mother. She lacks self-confidence because of her past experiences. The film shows clearly that Charlotte was an unwanted daughter. She later benefits from the services of Dr. Jaquith. The psychiatrist encourages her to stay away from her controlling mother (Now, Voyager 1942). She later befriends Jerry. Charlotte returns home only to realize that Mrs. Vale is ready to destroy her. She decides to become independent and resolute. She later encourages Tina to overcome her depression. Tina “becomes Charlotte’s gift” (Now, Voyager 1942). Charlotte also finds herself closer to Jerry.
Drab Charlotte encounters numerous challenges throughout her childhood. Mrs. Vale always abuses her. Charlotte’s brutal mother makes her insecure and unhappy. These experiences eventually affect her behavior. She develops a unique personality disorder characterized by the inferiority complex (Now, Voyager 1942). She becomes antisocial, depressed, and incapable of achieving her goals. Different theories can be used to support Drab Charlotte’s behavior and personality.
According to Sigmund Freud, human behaviors arise from the three components of the mind. These include “the ego, id, and the superego” (Engler, 2013, p. 24). Freud identified several stages that arise from different childhood struggles. Such experiences influence the personality and behavior of an adult. This theory explains how a troubled childhood can have unsuccessful adulthood. Alfred Adler also explains why discouraged children will eventually become incompetent adults.
That being the case, physiatrists can re-pattern the experiences of such patients. The Adlerian theory focuses on the past experiences and challenges encountered by a person. The theory seeks to support the future needs and expectations of every patient. Hans Eysenck also describes various personality traits. One of the traits identified by the psychiatrist “is called the neurotics” (Engler, 2013, p. 36). Individuals in the group are usually “moody, anxious, and always worrying” (Engler, 2013, p. 39).
Explaining Charlotte’s Character Formation
Alfred Adler gives a powerful theory to explain Charlotte’s character formation. To begin with, Adler believes that every childhood experience of a person dictates his or her future personality. The surrounding environment will have numerous impacts on the behavioral developments of many persons. This argument explains why Adler’s theory supports the development and growth of human beings. According to the theorist, encouraged children will always act positively throughout their lives. On the other hand, discouraged persons will not focus on the best goals. They “will remain disoriented and eventually become psychotic” (Now, Voyager 1942).
Adler uses these ideas to explain why parents should always encourage their children. This practice will “ensure every child feels significant, valued, and competent” (Engler, 2013, p. 82). The targeted child will eventually achieve his or her goals. The Adlerian theory makes it easier for psychiatrists to understand most of the experiences and beliefs created in childhood (Engler, 2013). The psychiatrists will then “re-pattern such beliefs in order to produce healing, growth, and change” (Engler, 2013, p. 64).
This discussion analyses the life of Drab Charlotte. Mrs. Vale was always emotional, abusive, and dictatorial. Charlotte becomes unconfident and depressed. Charlotte eventually finds herself “on the verge of a nervous breakdown” (Now, Voyager 1942). The pains experienced by Charlotte affected her adulthood. Mrs. Vale failed to mentor and empower her. This malpractice made her disoriented. Charlotte’s encounter with Dr. Jaquith transformed her life completely. The Adlerian approach can, therefore, support the psychological needs of many people such as Drab Charlotte.
Engler, B. (2013). Personality Theories. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Wallis, H. (Executive Producer). (1942). Now, Voyager [DVD]. New York, USA: Warner Bros.