Examining Kurt Cobain's Personality Essay

1385 words - 6 pages

Personality theories attempt to identify the origins of personalty and examine how personality develops. Throughout the history of psychology, different psychologists have offered various personalities, each one contradicting some idea of the other. It is possible to examine personality using multiple parts of different theories, while certain characters may be best described by one theory. Although Kurt Cobain, a complex character, cannot possibly fit into any one personality theory perfectly, parts of his personality can be explained using theories created by Alfred Adler and Carol Rogers.
Kurt Cobain was born on February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. His mother Wendy was a waitress and his father Donald was a mechanic. His sister Kimberly was born in 1970. Cobain’s family had a musical background, and by age four Cobain was singing and playing piano. Cobain’s parents divorced in 1976, about which Kurt said “I had a really good childhood up until I was nine, then a classic case of divorce really affected me” (“Family Values,” 1992). After the divorce, he lived with his mother, but after about a year moved to Montesano, Washington, to live with his father. He spent a lot of time bouncing around between family and friends, and by high school he was living under a bridge.
In high school Cobain befriended a gay student and had to endure bullying from people who though he was gay. Cobain later admitted that he was “gay in spirit” and “probably could be bisexual” (“The Dark Side,” 1992). He dropped out of high school two weeks before graduation because he did not have enough credits, and became a janitor. It was in high school, however, that the beginnings of Cobain’s career were formed. He met Krist Novoselic, and later convinced him to start a band, what became known as Nirvana.
Nirvana’s first album, Nevermind, released in 1991, sold over ten million copies, and was known for the major hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Cobain could not handle the rock star life, and was worried that Nirvana had sold out (“The Dark Side,” 1992). In February 1992 he married Courtney Love, and his daughter Frances Bean Cobain was born shortly after. In Utero, Nirvana’s second album, was released in 1993, and was more open than Nevermind. Despite all the success, Cobain’s heroin usage grew. He attempted suicide on March 4, 1994, but the incident was deemed an accident. On April 7, 1994, Cobain shot and killed himself. He left a note to his wife and daughter that ended “I love you, I love you” (personal communication, April 7, 1994).
As a child, Cobain’s main influence was Evel Knievel, and he was determined to be reckless and fearless like his hero. As Cobain grew older, however, his influences became primarily musical, and included Neil Young, nicknamed the “Godfather of Grunge,” the Beatles, and various alternative bands (DeRogatis, para. 8). His major accomplishments were his recordings, as Cobain was known as a lyricist more than a musician, despite...

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