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Antisocial Personality Disorder Essay

1299 words - 6 pages

The crucial characteristic of antisocial personality disorder is repeated lack of concern for and violation of the rights of others. Other core features of this disorder are manipulation and deceit. The antisocial person feels no remorse for hurting others. They may become irritable and aggressive. People with antisocial personality disorder lack responsibility and fail to plan ahead.
The film I chose to view this week was “The Talented Mr. Ripley”. Tom Ripley is the main character in this film. I feel that Tom could be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. Throughout the film we see Tom in situations where he lies, lies more to cover up his previous lies, and kills others to prevent them from discovering his lies.
In order to be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder the person must have at least 3 symptoms as indicated by the DSM-IV-TR. Out of the 7 criteria, I believe Tom possesses at least 6 of these traits. Tom is observed to be deceitful as he repeatedly lies, pretends to be someone else, and makes others believe his lies. To me, a clear motive isn’t clear, however it appears that he does these things either out of habit, or as like a game to see if he can get away with it. We see Tom engage in impulsive behaviors not really thinking through the consequences of his choices. When people begin to catch him in his lies or attempt to confront him he becomes irritable and aggressive. Tom appears to show little to no remorse for his actions. Tom also fails to conform to social norms as we see him repeatedly break the law.
In one of the first scenes Tom is playing piano at a wedding and wearing a Princeton jacket. He did not own the jacket, yet when asked if he had went to the school he said he did. The man, Mr. Greenleaf then asked if he knew his son Dickie. Instead of saying he didn’t, he continued further with his lie to say he did and asked how Dickie was. Mr. Greenleaf begs Tom whom he believes is a friend of Dickie’s to go to Italy and bring his son back home and he would give him $1000 for his troubles. Tom shows intelligence in digging up information about Dickie so he could form a relationship with him based on interests. Throughout the film we see Tom lie and manipulate to get closer to Dickie until eventually he tries to become him.
Tom first introduces himself as Dickie when he arrives at the airport in Italy and runs into another American named Meredith. While Meredith knows of Dickie, she does not know him so this is an opportunity for Tom to strike up a relationship with her. Upon meeting Dickie, Tom tries to get close to him. He studies Dickie, his mannerisms, his handwriting, his interests, and the way he speaks. All, so he could pretend to be him.
After some time, Mr. Greenleaf realizes that Dickie will not return home and cuts off Tom’s allowance. While Tom believed he was good friends with Dickie, Dickie decided that he and Tom need not hang out together anymore. This...

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