Jimmy’s Childhood and The Consequences – Psychology Essay
According to psycho-analytical theory, one’s early experiences are crucial to how we cope with adult life. Death, betrayal, lack of love and all the other facts that he was exposed to as a child, played an important
role in the process of shaping his adult personality. There are two persons who are responsible for what he bacame – his parents. The pain and isolation Jimmy experienced as he saw his father die, are no doubt vital to his present state of mind.
One of the most important fears of Jimmy’s come from this experience. The pain of betrayal is the one that grows in him for all these years, even though his father died many years ago and he keeps no contact of his mother. But the fear is present. And the problem with that is he really exaggerates sometimes. He must have suffered very much watching his father dying with noone around him except his son, because his wife was ashamed of ideology that Jimmy’s father gave life for. As a wife she should have been loyal, supporting, but not a person who cares for her husband out of obligation.Jimmy is afraid that Alison would leave him when he would be in the phase of needing help. Here is not the main concern whether they love each other or not, it’s just about their loyalty (especially Alison’s) toward each other. There is a part from the book that supports this statement – when Alison tells Jimmy she is going to church and Jimmy’s reaction that follows. He feels that Helena and Alison are joining up against him and takes this as a betrayal. And another betrayal take spart in the book – Even her father blames Alison for writing to her family when knowing how they feel about Jimmy. It was a betrayal.
And not only the loyalty is important. Jimmy also hates apathy of people and I found some kind of association with his father’s dying again. In one of his monologues he tells that he was the only who really cared about his father – who really loved him. He was the only one that had to fight his tears in front of father – all the others were apathetic. He never found his mom really concerned about her husband and Jimmy probably realized that their relationship wasn’t based on love.
His mother’s lack of love also played an important role in shaping his adult personality and causing his great difficulty in accepting and getting along with women. He is not mature even though he is well educated middle-class man. He simply isn’t capable of love. One of the reasons for marriage with Alison was the battle that he fought with Alison’s parents (again the most important role in this war took a woman). And since he won the battle he doesn’t know how to go on because his expectations of marriage are kind of not real.
Another problem is that Jimmy takes love as possession and maybe that’s because love is such an important value for him – he suffered the lack of maternal love and he wants to keep sb’s love as a treasure. He is extremely jealous of Cliff and Helena, believing love is competition (“You’re determined to win her, aren’t you?”). He also connects love with pain: “They all want to escape from the pain of being alive. And, most of all, love. /…/ It’s no good to fool yourself about love. /…/ And if you can’t bear the thought of messing up your nice, clean soul, you’d better give up the whole idea of life, and become a saint.”
Jimmy as a nobody desperately needed someone to love him. He confirmed that with the words “I may be a lost cause, but I thought if you loved me, it needn’t matter.” However, he did not know how to give or accept love, which prevented him from being happy.
As I already mentioned, Jimmy is immature. The problem is that Alison is immature too. The only thing that is functional in their marriage is their game of squirrels and bears. It’s a way of escaping from reality, freely playing without common sense and responsibility. And that is not love. It’s just unreasonable passion, without any obligations. Something that Jimmy does well.