Goodwill Hunting Analysis

Topics: Borderline personality disorder, Attachment theory, Complex post-traumatic stress disorder Pages: 7 (2709 words) Published: February 8, 2011
Will Hunting was a twenty-year-old, Caucasian boy in a struggling economic state, without the support of a family. He was living in a run down apartment in a low economical neighborhood in the south of Boston, Massachusetts. Will was very much admired by people around him. Although he might have been seen as cocky, Will was also a very smart, good-looking boy. He was a math genius but was better known for hanging around bars and getting into neighborhood fights. It was until he was discovered by a professor while working as a janitor at a University in Boston that he would be recognized by others as the genius he was.

According to the attachment theory, an infant requires a good quality of attachment in order to develop physically and psychologically. Because Will did not have a secure base, providing him a sense of security, he later had psychological problems with exploring his environment. He became fearful of failing, even in what he did best, math. Will experienced insecure attachment, he did not have a stable mother or caregiver as a child. He was taken to many different foster homes and not given the proper parenting. He experienced many different parenting styles and his needs were not met. Reflected by his fearful, withdrawn, rebellious, and resentful personality it could be said that many of the households he was in were authoritarian. He would get in a comfortable situation and was many times reluctant to experience new situations. He would best be classified to have a high reactive temperament because new things would cause alarm to him and he would often withdraw from situations. After his relationship with Skylar had gotten serious she asked him to move to California with him. He immediately became alarmed by the situation and explained to her that his home and job was in south Boston. Although Will was smart enough in math to get a job anywhere in the country he did not feel comfortable to move to a new place, even if it meant a better life for him.

The role of Will’s id would be most present by the fact that he avoided many situations in order to avoid pain and decrease tension in his life in order to receive instant satisfaction. When Will began to date Skylar he often avoided taking her into his run down apartment because he was afraid of how he would be seen by her. In order to avoid the tension he would change the subject when she would mention it and insist in going to her dorm where they could be intimate. His pleasure principle led him to put Skylar’s wants aside in order to please himself and avoid discomfort. In realization, Skylar’s intentions were not to judge him because she loved him for who he was as a person. Each time she would ask him about going to his place, he would reply, “next time”. Will’s ego played in when he was closer to the age of twenty-one. He began to evaluate his thoughts and behavior and then realized what the best choices were for him in life. Because of his reality principle he was able to postpone his gratification until the appropriate time. When he went after Skylar he was not gratified but knew that he later would be because he would be happier there. When he left south Boston to California his superego told him that he would be a better person while staying away from violence and perusing a better life. When Will was sent to prison for getting into a fight at a local park he was given the chance to come out of prison as long as he followed two criteria. One being that he meets once a week with professor Lambeau to help work in the advances of mathematics and second that he sees a therapist twice a week. At first he exclaims that he will not meet with a therapist however, Will’s superego told him that he would do better by following the courts orders. Will experienced two of Freud’s psychosexual stages. Given that at twenty years of age he was only able to maintain same sex friendships, he experienced the latency stage and therefore...
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