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A case study of Marilyn Monroe

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  1. Introduction
  2. Personality theory
  3. Chapter 1: 'Childhood'
  4. Chapter 2: Emotional murder
  5. Chapter 3: The Inferior superior
  6. Chapter 4: Perfectionism as overcompensation
  7. Chapter 5: Physical death follows emotional death
  8. Conclusion

Most people have heard of late actress and Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe(1926-1962). Many are aware that she endured a tragic life; however, just as many are unaware of exactly how tragic it was. To briefly summarize, she was born as an unwanted, illegitimate child to a mentally ill mother and a father who abandoned them both upon learning of her conception. For approximately the first twenty years of her life, she was extremely impecunious and lived in and out of foster homes, one of which she was one child among sixty. She married at sixteen only to escape the plethora of orphanages she was frequently relegated to and from. She then pursued the life of a glamorous movie star, against nearly impossible odds, and more than succeeded; she appeared happy and complacent externally, but internally she was battling, extreme and ineffable emotional and psychological turmoil and pain, that was committed against her by the very people who were supposed to care for and protect her.

This case study is a psychological evaluation that was completed with the aid of late Alfred Adler (1870-1937), an extremely influential psychiatrist and psychologist in psychoanalytic theory of psychology, which is distinguished by two characteristics: ?first, it views disorders in adults as the result of childhood traumas or anxieties. Second, [it] holds that many of these childhood-based anxieties operate unconsciously; because they are too threatening for the adult to face, they are [often] repressed through mental defense mechanisms.

[...] She was often angry at herself. She had attempted to take her own life. [] Even if [she] hadn't inherited a mood disorder, Gladys' actions would have been enough to drive her to the edge of madness. Marilyn had grown up believing she was the embodiment of sin and evil. From childhood, she had had to live with the message that the very circumstances of her birth had driven her mother mad. Gladys had imposed upon the child an insupportable burden of guilt. [...]

[...] As quoted by Marilyn in one of her autobiographies (Barns, 2000) p. 15: ?[Aunt Grace] did make a promise to me that as soon as she was able to she would take me out of that place. [She] came to visit me often, but when a little girl feels lonely and that nobody cares or wants her, it's just something that she can never forget as long as she lives. The promises she made to me [] seemed then like only promises. [...]

[...] Then she threw open the sliding door. Shouting at the two soldiers to sit on her feet, [she] slid belly-down out of the helicopter. Laughing and blowing kisses, she dangled in mid-air over the shrieking, whistling, applauding Marines. The danger seemed only to enhance her euphoria. Four times she ordered the pilot to circle the mountain as the excitement below kept building. [] When Marilyn peeked through the burlap curtains, what she saw exhilarated her. Some thirteen thousand men [] were all there for her. [...]

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