Personality Traits in the Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada is a 2006 Twentieth Century Fox film, Directed by David Frankel. This story takes place in downtown New York; it is a story of a girl, a girl named Andrea Sachs. Andy, as she’s most commonly referred to, is a fresh out of college, armed with a Journalism degree, and ready to make it big in New York. However, New York doesn’t exactly give her the job she expected, and she ends up working as an assistant for the monstrous Miranda Priestly. Miranda Priestly is editor in chief for one of the biggest fashion magazines in New York, Runway.
When Andy begins her job, she has no idea how challenging it will be, or how challenging her boss, Miranda Priestly will be, for that matter. One of the primary ways Miranda and Andy differ/clash is in their personalities. In this paper, I will analyze the very different personality traits of Miranda and Andy. The personality traits I will focus on are, Machiavellianism, communication style, verbal aggressiveness, and the results of verbal aggressiveness, stress.
The first personality trait, Machiavellianism, is a term coined from the book, The Prince, by Niccolo Maciavelli (1469-1527). Machiavelli wrote the book as a handbook for the success of royalty. His basic piece of advice was to do whatever it took to be successful, the term Machiavellianism, simply means that “the end justifies the means” (Avtgis, 2010, p. 135). A person with high “mach” simply means that person will lie, steal, cheat and do whatever else it takes to get what they want.
Miranda Priestly is an excellent example of someone that is very high on the mach scale. For example, when she finds out her job is threatened by a younger woman, she blackmails Irv, the owner of Runway, to keep her in her position as editor in chief, at the expense of her friend, Nigel, who thought he was getting a promotion as well. When confronted about this by Andy she says, “You want this life, those choices are necessary” (The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda). Because Miranda communicates in this Machiavellianism way, and does not hesitate to sacrifice the ones closest to her, people are always wary and suspicious around her.
While Miranda is very high on the Machiavellianism scale, Andy is relatively low. She demonstrates this by leaving Runway after Miranda’s behavior toward Nigel. Andy even goes as far as to give her designer clothes to Emily; Miranda’s other assistant, to make up for taking her spot as Miranda’s assistant to the Paris fashion show. The contrast between the two shows character in Andy, and it also shows the success of Miranda. Miranda stayed successful, while Andy became jobless; maybe there is some truth to the saying, the nice guy always finishes last. The second personality trait discussed is Communication style; it is defined as, “A trait reflecting how a person verbally and para-verbally interacts with others” (Avtigs, 2010, p. 143). People communicate in many different ways, and with many different tones, the textbook lists ten different ways of interaction. Combinations of these specific interaction styles produce something called the communicator image. The communicator image shows how well the person can effectively communicate to others. This is divided into two groups, non-affirming style, which threatens the other persons self concept or worth, and the affirming style, which validates the other persons self concept or worth (Avtgis, 2010). Miranda and Andy have opposite communicator images and they demonstrate different communication interaction styles. Miranda has a very strong non-affirming communicator image. Her interaction styles are, dramatic, dominant and contentious. She shows her dramatic style, which is either under exaggerating something, or over exaggerating it, when she calls Andy up late one evening needing a flight from Miami to New York. Andy informs her that there is a hurricane and that is why her flight is cancelled....
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