This paper is going to examine Francis Macomber’s personality from three distinctive perspectives. First, based on the type approach, Macomber changes from melancholic into sanguine. Second, Macomber has traits of extraversion, neuroticism, and low agreeableness. Macomber displays low neuroticism later. Third, Macomber mainly displays avoidance motives, focusing on ambition, power, status defense, and affection. It is possible that he changes into approach motives, but evidence is not apparent. This paper further goes on to provide theoretical basis for Macomber’s personality change at the end. Murray’s press theory and the theory of interactionism both tries to explain behavioral change based environmental influences. I believe such influences can be extend to the change of personality.
Let’s first examine Macomber’s personality from the type approach. According to the type theory of Hippocrates, Francis Macomber fits the category of melancholic at first. Then at the end of the story, he turns into sanguine. Choleric people tend to be despondent, irritable and anxious. Macomber is very depressed as after his failure on lion hunting. Macomber is also very anxious regarding his humiliation caused by his failure. He is very afraid of his wife and Wilson’s contempt. We can also tell his irritability from his conversations with his wife. He repeatedly respond to his wife impatiently and insulting. For example, he said to Margot “Why not let up on the bitchery just a little”. However, after his first trying of shooting the bulls, Macomber suddenly turns into a sanguine person who is courageous, passionate, and optimistic. Macomber “really felt wholly without fear”, and he insists to keep on chasing the bulls out of his “happiness” and “elation”.
A second possible approach of personality is from the perspective of traits. According to the five-factor model, Macomber displays traits of extraversion, neuroticism, and low agreeableness. Extraversion is tendency to draw energy from the external world. It seems that everything Macomber does is to acquire recognition from other people. He is really humiliated and upset about his wife’s contempt on him, which is caused by his failure. So it would be other people’s treatment on him, rather than the incident itself that affects his feelings. Neuroticism is the tendency to immerse oneself into negative emotions. It is very apparent that Macomber is constantly anxious, ashamed, and distressed, which are all resulted from his fear to the lion. However, at the end Macomber displays a relatively low neuroticism as he is not afraid and anxious anymore. Macomber also displays low agreeableness as he is very hostile and not easy-going toward other people.
The their approach of personality...