A Tribe Apart
To believe that no one in this world understands what you are going through on any given day. To feel that you are the only person out of the almost seven billion people that populate this universe who can experience the feelings of desire, hurt, pain, happiness, sadness, confusion, emptiness and joy. Sometimes all at the same time can these feelings be amongst you. This is how, in my own words that I would define the meaning of Personal Fable. To be the center of attention when there is good and bad happening and the feeling you have thereafter depends on what you think that others think of you. They are always watching you as you imagine. They are the judge of your every move. You have to be cool, act cool, look cool. To me this is the definition of the Imaginary Audience. To have a constant judgment of your behavior can lead to a phobia or paranoia. It can be positive or negative. For most it becomes a result of your character and leads to you to being self-conscious of your ever move. It’s all about me and only me! I am the center of attention. It is my way or the highway. No one else matters. There is no particular interest in what you think, believe, feel or say. I am selfish. I am self-centered. I am the definition of Egocentrism. According to the Cognitive Development topic these processes, Personal Fable, Imaginary Audience and Egocentrism all require formal operation thought. They all work together and sheds plenty of light on how and why we think the way we do. In A Tribe Apart, Brendon is a good example of Personal Fable. Brendon comes from a good family; he has four siblings in which he is the youngest. He feels compelled to compete with his older brothers because they are good students and all around good people in general. Brendon’s family were displaced from Reston to Houston since his father lost his job and then later lost his job in Reston whereas his mother became the ‘bread winner’ of the family. The family appears to be the All-American, traditional family whom eat together and pray together, however this model family is said to be ‘distorted by the pain of economic loss’. Brendon takes on risky behavior and becomes and example of Personal Fable as he uses escaping as a way of not to care or feel his feelings. He to, becomes a product of Imaginary Audience, because he had previously dealt with embarrassment and has decided to shut himself off from that part of the world since his optimism and excitement have since vanished. In A Tribe Apart, Brendon turns to alcohol consumption and drug use as a pacifier to make him feel ‘warm and alive’. His substance abuse leads him to believe that it is like “relaxation, and escape from everybody to make yourself happy.” Brendon is said to have tried many modes from classroom clowning, truancy, dope, booze and art as an act of anger and therefore has led to aggression towards his siblings than his parents. Brendon often feels alone when it comes to his feelings, although his friend Tad is around he feels let down and disappointed by people and has chosen to shelter himself instead of reaching out to those who may feel the same way he does. Because Brendon has a ‘doesn’t care’ attitude he has removed himself from the social setting of school all because of a role he played in the talent show that has him feeling embarrassed. Brendon is dealing with, not only believing that he is the only adolescent in this world experiencing issues (Personal Fable) but also feeling self-conscious, like he is being watch or evaluated (Imaginary Audience). He continues on his path of destruction although he really doesn’t want to be that ‘guy’. His though process is that the good in him is no good and in order to feel good about himself he has to do badly. Brendon follows this streak throughout the book and doesn’t change much. Brendon, as bright, talented, and creative as he is said to be deals with darkness, loss and mental turmoil and focuses on his regrets...
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