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Describe the personality of a famous Caribbean person from the perspective of two of the theories discussed in this course (not trait theory) and then conclude with your own impression of the adequacy of those two theories' explanation of the individual's personality.
When most people hear the name Bob Marley, they will often associate it with a singer who is: pointing out the social ills of the 1970's or the genre of music that he helped to make famous (Reggae). However, underneath it all he was more than just a great entertainer and song writer. As there were numerous aspects of his personality, that helped to define the music and his legacy.
Evidence of this can be seen with the fact that Bob Marley and the Wailers have sold 21 million albums since 1991. At the same time, Marley has received a number of favorable distinctions including: a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he was inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, he is the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and he has been honored with the Jamaican Order of Merit (one of the highest distinctions given in Jamaica). These different elements are important, because they are showing how Bob Marley would help to redefine an entire genre of music. (Moskowitz, 2007, pg. xii)
However, what made him larger than life were his personality traits that he exhibited. This created a sense of awe about the man and the ideas that he left behind. Over the course of time this helped him in characterizing the music and the message. Once this occurred, is when his popularity soared, as he became larger than life. To fully understand Bob Marley requires examining his personality in comparison with two different theories that were discussed in class most notably: Maslow and Freud. This is the point that we will be able to see how his personality would influence the music and his popularity.
Bob Marley was born on February 6, 1945; in the village of Nine Mile, St. Ann (Northern Jamaica). His mother was of African descent and delivered him when she was 18 years old. While his father, was a 50 years old (white) quarter master with the British West Indies Fleet. Although they were married prior to Marley's birth, his father never really saw his son grow up. This is because there were constant amounts of pressure placed on him to offer limited amounts of support and to spend no time with him. ("Life and Legacy," 2011)
As a result, Marley grew up in: a poor, rural environment. In the late 1950's, is when he would move to Kingston. For most people, this was supposed to give them greater economic opportunities. However, the reality was that it was no more than a big city with shanti towns everywhere. Marley spent considerable amounts of time in the Trench Town neighborhood of Kingston 12. As he was exposed to tremendous amounts of: poverty and inequality that existed in these communities. ("Life and Legacy," 2011)
It was during this time that he met Bunny Wailer and was introduced to Rastafari. This would reshape Marley's image of the world and who he would become. As, he would start out embracing many of the traditional sounds of: the late 1950' and early 1960's in his music. Then, during the late 1960's and into the 1970's is when his music began to take on more of a social message. This is the point that Marley would be transformed from just another entertainer. To someone, who represented Jamaica and new genre of music. Once this occurred, is when he began to redefine how everyone is entertained. ("Life and Legacy," 2011)
After Marley died in 1981, is when his interviews and the music began to take shape based upon the image that he left behind. This is when he became the symbol of Reggae music, with future generations following the example that he set. What made him such an enormous influence was: his personality and the way that he lived his life. This allowed Marley to become one the greatest entertainers ever. ("Life and Legacy," 2011)
Freud and the Theories Views on Bob Marley
Freud's theories are based on the belief that events which happened during childhood will have an impact on someone when they become an adult. This is because the positive or negative experiences, will define how we subconsciously react to a host of situations. When someone is older, this will automatically influence who they are and the way that they are interacting with the world around them. (Cherry, 2011)
Moreover, Freud determined that many of these events and how we behave are often compartmentalized in the mind into a number of different categories these include: the conscious and unconscious mind. The conscious mind is when someone is aware of what is happening around them and they will control how they are reacting to a variety of situations. The unconscious mind is when a person will began expressing the thoughts or ideas about how they really feel. This is because, an event or experience that they had when they are younger are influencing who they would become. At which point, they will begin talking about these ideas or thoughts without being fully aware of them. (Cherry, 2011)
In the case of Bob Marley, the events that occurred to him as a child were often experienced as unconscious thoughts in his music and during his concerts. Where, he was caught between two different worlds when: he was growing up and wanted everyone to be respectful of one another. In his music, this is constantly coming up with him discussing everyone working together and cherishing one another. (Cherry, 2011)
A good example of this can be seen in the lyrics from his song One Love with him writing, "One Love, One Heart. Let's get together and feel all right. Hear the children crying (One Love). Hear the children crying (One Heart). Saying' give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right. Saying' let's get together and feel all right. Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One Love). There is one question I'd really like to ask (One Heart). Is there a place for the hopeless sinner. Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own? Believe me. One Love, One Heart. Let's get together and feel all right. As it was in the beginning (One Love). So shall it be in the end (One Heart). Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right." (One Love Lyrics," 2011) This is significant, because it is showing how the Marley is subconsciously speaking about love. (Cherry, 2011)
As a result, one could easily tie the sense of abandonment that he felt as a child, to determine the kind of songs he would write. As Marley wanted to express these feelings in a format that everyone would understand. During the course of composing the song is when these ideas would come out. This is because he is going into the deep recesses of his mind, to express these ideas. Once this takes place, is when he is telling everyone some of the unconscious thoughts that he has experienced throughout his life.
Maslow's Views on Bob Marley
In 1943, William Maslow had studied some of the most successful people, to determine what specific needs were being met. As this was used to decide, what led to their successes in life. A few of the most notable that he interviewed include: Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt and Jane Adams. What he determined; is that there is a hierarchy of needs that must be satisfied in order for someone to achieve more in their life. Once a basic requirement has been met, is when there is a change in the needs of the person. As they will begin, automatically focusing on the next level. When some reaches the final stage (self-actualization), this is when they having a true sense of enlightenment. (Cherry, 2011)
To determine what needs are most important to someone, Maslow created the self-actualization pyramid. As, he found that there were several areas that must be addressed in someone's life to include: psychological, safety, love / belonging, esteem and self-actualization. Psychological needs are when a person must have their basic requirements met to feel comfortable to include: water, food, shelter and sex. Safety is when an individual needs to have a way to support themselves such as: having a job, remaining in good health and financial security. Love / belonging are when someone is concentrating on: friendship, sexual intimacy and family. Esteem is when a person wants to feel good about themselves and have the respect of others. While self-actualization, is when the individual is focusing on dealing with more abstract concepts such as: prejudices, justice and equality. Once someone reaches this stage, is the point that they will express their ideas…[continue]
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