The Individual’s Characteristic Reactions To Social Stimuli
According to Gordon Allport, an American psychologist, personality was “the individual’s characteristic reactions to social stimuli, and the quality of his adaptation to the social features of his environment.” Throughout different literature, the fact remained true as shown in the pieces of works like Sinclair Ross’s “The Painted Door”, and the novel The Secret Lives of Sgt. John by Lois Simmie. In both of these literary works, a character’s personality showed that it was directly affected by their disposition and temperament towards the society they’re with, or their peers and the community around them. A character’s personality is based on his/her perspective of things around them.
In Sinclair Ross’s short story, “The Painted Door”, Ann showed loneliness and isolation throughout the whole flow of the story as attested by the line, “All famers’ wives have to stay alone. I mustn’t give in this way. I mustn’t brood. A few hours now and they’ll be here,” (Ross, pg.3). Although they had their moments like, “once she had danced with Steven six or seven times in the evening, and they had talked about it as many months” (pg.4), she felt disconnected because she felt left behind. “Year after year their lives went on the same little groove.”
Living in a farmland where the neighbours are distant, to whom could she tell how she felt inside than those she’d share a house with? Ann was reluctant to tell her husband what was really going on inside her head and eventually caved in to her isolation. Her dreams for something lively, cost her something that was dear to her, her husband.
In any event, an individual’s personality was always apparent to those who were around them. In Lois Simmie’s novel, The Secret Lives of Sgt. John Wilson, Elizabeth Craig described Mary Wilson as “…bright and cheery and brave,” (Simmie, pg. 7). She later wrote to Commissioner Perry about her sister saying, “She was always brave and would’ve laughed at what would made me weep…”(pg. 171).
However, amidst Mary Wilson’s brave and strong-willed disposition, she remained mostly oblivious about her husband, John Wilson, what he does and how acts during some circumstances as stated in page 8. After searching for her husband in a different country, being left behind and treated as a stranger by John, she ought to see the good in him as she always does during their marriage. Later, failing to do so, she became a victim of her husband’s manipulation and infidelity. She still remained inconceivably blind from these acts and kept on going for her children.
Concurrently, John Wilson was portrayed a “liar” (pg.9) who usually lied about things if it was in his favour. A concise description of his personality was an excerpt from James Hutchison’s letter to Commissioner Perry. “…I found him out to be a liar, a rogue, and a soulless scoundrel” (pg. 171). This description of him was further gratified in many different events. One of these events was when Conrad Read found the service revolver that went missing in John’s possession, even though John claimed that one of the officers had it.
During a few incidences with car salesperson, he also portrayed his roguishness and untrustworthiness when the salesperson asked him for the payments for the two cars that Wilson bought. The salesperson later found out that he was off by $600 from his dealings with John Wilson. He enacted one of the most gruesome things possible when he killed his first wife, Mary Wilson, just to marry another woman at the same day! Later, as every act he displayed throughout his effort to have a new and better life backfired, he saw no hope; and foolishly imperiled himself.
Therefore, as every person goes through with their own lives, there would be countless challenges that will change their personality, temperament and perspective. Through social, psycho-emotional, or even environmental disturbances, an individual’s personality could provide hints as to what they were going through or experienced. Their disposition to their current situation was exactly parallel to their personality. And in accordance to the rule, their personality is based on they perceive around them, and by how they react to circumstances.
Your teacher might require you to do a different topic. The topic for this essay is, “Does the environment affect an individuals personality?” And they might also require a different number of books or quotes to back up your thesis statement.