January 7, 2011
Entry #8: "The Madness of John Brown"
Historians are not the only ones that can elucidate history. History is a extensive puzzle that can be solved by anyone who has an educated diploma on certain subjects. Historians are the main disposition to solve the uncertainty of history with their useful, quality skills of making theories to conjoin loose ends of history, motivation of repeated research, and their undying love to learn new history, but a psychologist can solve history too with their forte. Even though it may seem absurd to believe that this occupation who assesses a man's personality to solve problems; a psychologist can solve an dead man's prospective in life. A letter is a common communication device in the old days and can be read by anyone. A historian would try to find key words in the letter to guesstimate the situation, but a psychologist knowing the mysteries of attitudes and behaviors of people would look at double meanings in passages. Two perceptions are better than one and knowing the true motivation of a person's mind than their careless actions can give an different outlook of a case. Other specialists can help historians find the gist of John Brown rationale of being "insane" in the terms of slavery and why he killed five men in the open.
Although John Brown never underwent a psychological examination about his childhood, he had left a letter with important information of his childhood into a story. Psychoanalytic insight has helped to reveal some of John's most intense personal conflicts from this letter; his ambivalence toward his father's strict discipline, the paradox of Brown's struggle to internalize and accept his father's authority in order to become independent himself, and his main concern with property and "pets" as a means of defining his independence. This ambivalent father-son relationship suggests that Brown's intense life-long identification with black slaves might well have sprung from...
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