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As an adult
Oprah Winfrey has been commonly known amongst the masses as one of the most confident and influential woman in the United States of America. She came to prominence through her hosting roles in television shows, and watching her shows became a common routine for the domestic women in the country. Through her television show, Oprah famously brought those matters into the limelight that had hindered normal living for many women across the nation. Her brutal approach of hosting shows about sensitive topics became a common theme for her shows. Through these, Oprah aimed to help the people of America to come to terms to their problems and helped them achieve solve their own problems by providing effective solutions. Although the issues she based her shows on were very unorthodox for a family show, the American people loved the way Oprah presented her shows. These issues were so sensitive at most times that even many men would not dare to discuss such issues but what the public liked about Oprah was that she confidently presented these issues and helped the society become aware of the dangers of those issues. Her ability to present the shows by captivating the audience, whilst using commanding presence and confidence of speech became her asset throughout her career. Although many say that Oprah was naturally gifted, it was practice from her early years as a child and the impact of the situations she face in those days that allowed her to develop her confidence and public speaking skills.
According to Oprah, she could relate to the core problems of the society because of the events that had occurred with her through her childhood. These events had molded the psychological self of Oprah and made her the person that she became as an adult. In psychoanalytic terms, Oprah is referred to have developed an authoritative but selfish nature. Oprah has been known to be a sharp and intelligent woman as well. Moreover, she has been known to possess support for women who have been victims of sexual abuse throughout their lives. All of her characteristics, her ways of presenting and acting and her personality in her adult life have been developed due to the events of her early childhood.
According to her family members, many events that Oprah has told about her childhood have not been true and have been falsified by her. One of her Aunts, Katherine Ester, has been the most critical of her stories in the public. Katherine has told reporters that when encountered about the untruthful stories Oprah used to tell the public, Oprah told her that the truth was boring and instead people wanted stories with drama. Based on such statements, it can be deduced that Oprah Winfrey used the concept of projective identification on the general public as defense mechanism from her real life childhood story and to increase the ratings of her shows and herself. Heinz Kohut's theory of Narcissism relates to the development of narcissistic characteristics in people in terms of healthy and unhealthy behaviors. Kohut explained that such characteristics developed due to the events that had occurred in the life of a patient and based on them the individual would move to develop more self-confidence and positive self-esteem. This had been evident from Oprah's childhood events as she grew up with high confidence in herself. However, people have publicly blamed Oprah to possess an unhealthy narcissist character as Oprah used to sell herself and her name as a product to the general public. Moreover, unhealthy narcissism is also charged on her because the people believe it was this characteristic that prevented her from giving birth to a child. People believe that although she is talented, she has negatively used it to portray herself as a great achiever in life after having to go through a tough life. She has been believed to mention herself as a real life Cinderella in the existing world, publicizing herself for fame.
Events that led to the positive development of Oprah's personality as an adult
From the early years, Oprah had to face many difficulties in her life. Her mother had left her in the care of her grandmother who had been living a life of poverty on the farm which was on the rural outskirts of Kosciusko, Mississippi. This deprived her from the love and care of her mother in her early years as a child. Moreover, her grandmother did not have enough income to ensure for her a life without poverty. Oprah did not have many friends early on, and only had the animals on the farm to play with. This did not stop Oprah from being active as she used to play with the animals, made plays around them while including them as the characters of the stories, and include them in her tea parties. About this she said, "I had only barnyard animals to talk to… I read them Bible stories."
By the age of three, Hattie Mae had begun to teach Oprah how to read, which encouraged her love to read books. She used to read to her from books almost every night and taught her to recognize the letters and sounds of the alphabets. Her grandmother also used to teach her through the verses of the Bible and it was the first book that she had ever read. Since she was a small girl, Oprah's grandmother, Hattie Mae used to take her to the church with her every Sunday. This point of the week gave little Oprah the chance to wear her best clothes, which she happily wore to the church. Oprah used to recite the various vs. And pomes from the Bible at the church and soon became known amongst the locals to have a gift as a speaker as she was titled 'The Preacher' for her recitations at the church. The visits to the church and publicly speaking there later would have a huge impact on Oprah's life and career as an adult. At the age of three, Oprah was admitted into kindergarten, where she wrote the teacher a note asking her to put her in a different class. Upon seeing this that Oprah could read and write at such an age, she was moved into the first grade very soon after being admitted into kindergarten, and by the end of the year, she had been promoted to the third grade for outstanding growth and capabilities as a student.
Oprah had always been fond of talking to everyone. She used to speak to the animals at the farm and with her toys as well as speaking made her happy. When she was four, some family member even asked her about what she wanted to do when she grew up. In reply, Oprah said that she wanted to be paid to talk. Oprah was not allowed to speak at home when adults were around, which she could not understand why since people loved her when she spoke and she herself also loved to be able to speak to other people. The environment in which she was living at the time was also quite strict. If on any occasion, Oprah disobeyed these orders or any other orders or did not complete any of the chores assigned to her by her grandmother, her grandmother used to beat her with a stick. These beatings had a psychological impact on her mind, and when she used to play with her dolls, she then beat them with sticks to punishing them as if they were real. This also used to make her envy the white kids in the area as she never saw their parents or folks beating them. However, the strictness provided a sound base for Oprah to improve as a person by not indulging in unhealthy activities that could not have made her a woman with a solid character as she is today.
Events that led to the negative development of Oprah's personality as an adult
When Oprah reached the age of six, Hattie Mae started to get very ill. Due to this reason, Oprah was sent to live with her mother in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There Oprah found out that she had a young half sister, Patricia Lee, who was born in 1959 and lived with her mother. Vernita used to be housemaid and had trouble in earning enough to support her family. There they lived in a ghetto that was extremely poor area and a dangerous neighborhood. Vernita used to work very long hours during the day, and therefore was not encouraging and supportive to Oprah. And whenever Vernita seemed to find time on her hands, she would spend time with little Patricia. This made Oprah feel neglected and gave birth to a feeling of unhappiness and of being unwanted. Oprah became to develop more anger and depressive attitudes within herself. Oprah had lived to be adored by her grandmother since she was born, but now, when she had moved to her mother, she…[continue]
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