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Howard Hughes Essay

1000 words - 4 pages

Movie: The Aviator
Character Analyzed: Howard Hughes
Disorder/Diabilities: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Giftedness and Sensory Impairment (severe hearing impairment).

This film was quite remarkable in that it portrays the main character, aviator and filmmaker Howard Hughes, as an immensely successful man and yet it spends a great deal of time also focusing on his rather unusual behavior. This film is based off a true story, but as with anything in the film industry some of the events were exaggerated for the sake of the film. This leads me to question the ways in which they portray Howard Hughes’ behavior in this film and then analyze that with the characteristics that actually accompany ...view middle of the document...

He was extremely gifted in the area of aviation, mechanics and engineering despite the fact that he never completed high school. Like most movies, “The Aviator” portrays Hughes as gifted person, but highly dysfunctional, paranoid and obsessed. According to Sternberg, Hughes would be considered to have an analytic giftedness because he dissects problems and understands their components. Likewise, Hughes would have been considered to have a gift in spatial intelligence according to Gardener’s multiple intelligence. Rather than focusing on the positives aspects of Hughes’ giftedness, the film focuses more on the negatives of Hughes’ personality. Like most films, giftedness are overshadowed by disabilities.

One of the more private struggles that Hughes battled with was his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This film first portrays Hughes as a rather eccentric, yet extremely charming young man. Later his character evolves, becoming an obsessive, compulsive, paranoid recluse that is aggressive, inconsiderate and rude to others. Hughes’ character is portrayed in a manner that makes him seem more like a paranoid schizophrenic than a person with OCD. In the film Hughes often gets locked into repeating a certain phrase over and over again, at times literally restraining himself from speaking by placing his hand over his mouth. Though someone suffering with OCD might repeat themselves often, Hughes’ phrase repetition is portrayed in a manner that once again feels more like a severe psychological disorder. After one of his repetitive episodes, Hughes confides in a friend and says that he sees things. This is not consistent with OCD characteristics. Though a person with OCD certainly has routines and rituals that they incessantly repeat, they do not hear or see things like the film alludes to. I believe that Hughes’ OCD attributed to his often erratic and unstable behavior. Therefore, I would classify this as an emotional or behavioral disorder (EBD). Hughes displayed several of the characteristics, such as the inability to maintain satisfactory relationships, inappropriate behavior and the tendency to develop physical...

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