Free Essay Containing Psychological Analysis of The Other Sisters Movie

Published: 2019-12-20
Free Essay Containing Psychological Analysis of The Other Sisters Movie
Categories:  Psychology Movie Mental health
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1759 words
15 min read

Describe the context of the book/movie

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The film, The Other Sisters is one of the majorly analysed romantic movies in American societies. The film is a romantic comedy that stares Juliet Lewis as Carla Tate, and is portrayed as a woman suffering from intellectual disability. She moves from home to San Francisco in a school for people with disability, having previously admitted in a special school back at home. He mother is portrayed as character who likes controlling Carlas behaviour and plays the role of Elizabeth Tate. As a beautifully acted film, The Other Sisters portrays Carla as a character who struggles for independence and self-respect. The film is established in different contexts, including in schools, home, and wedding ceremonies, all of which occur transitionally in relation to the manner in which the director desired to air the thematic issues involved. It begins with Carlas return from the school to bosom of her prospering family. At home, her mother expects her to study art, learn how to play tennis and possibly comply maximally with the genteel West Coast woman of means image.

Contextually, the director of the film has significantly focused on the problems that face Carla, who occasionally tries to make her way in the world, particularly after being discharged from the special school. The film includes several scenes of triumphal weddings, which provides it with tremendously successive endings that feel clumsily tacked together, in addition to its manipulative techniques. At one of the two wedding ceremonies, the participants are observed to re-enact a variation of the wedding at the end of the Graduate. The move of Carla to fall in love with a young man whose mental impairment is severe than hers leads the audience to various scenes whereby the two plan on various ways to have sex with one another and this presses uncomfortable emotional buttons on the part of the audience. At this point, the viewers are dared to feel a derisive superiority anytime they show on the screen.

Detailed description of the thoughts, feelings

In the film, there are several scenes, which portrays the thoughts, feelings, actions of Carla, in addition to the life events that impacts on her. At the introductory part of the film, Carlas further takes her home from the special boarding schools. The father seems exited to see her daughter after a long time, but Carla feels neutral; depicted when she leaves her doctor with a big hug. This is a scene that deserves further analysis, as Carla does not show any fascination or excitement to come home, which at this point, provides a representation of the pain she underwent in the past.

Further, the film moves to a flashback, whereby we find that Elizabeth gets upset with the Carla, simply after using the knife to eat, instead of a fork spoon. Carla becomes upset and angry; a move that propels Elizabeth, her mother, to want to send her back to the same boarding school she returned from due to her incapability to handle Carla. In the same scene, the viewers are able to observe that Elizabeth is getting angered by with her daughters erratic behaviour and later complains to Radley, her husband.

Do you consider the character normal or abnormal?

I consider the main character in the film as abnormal at some point, but normal on the better part of the scenes, pertaining to her actions and as demonstrated throughout the film. Firstly, Carla openly speak about sexual issues, not putting into account the place, context and who surrounds her. Notably, Carla interrogates her sister on whether or not she did it with her fiancee. Elizabeth, being a concerned mother, sees the behaviours as inappropriate, and urges her that the topic should not be subjected to discussion at home. This scene portrays her as abnormal.

In another scene, we only observe Carla getting upset when one makes fun of her, or perceive her actions as inferior. Ideally, this demonstrates her coherence and rational thoughts. For example, she was developing an understanding that her sisters were unable to visit her more often and upon hearing an apology from her, Carla says that it was fine and the tremendously appreciated her letters. As the audience, we are also able to see considerable changes in Elizabeth, particularly when Carla depicts substantial sexual knowledge she possesses. At this point, the mother resorts to believe that her daughter is capable of being independent. Finally, normality is also observed is deeply linked to her characters. What I found authentic about Carlas characters is that despite portraying childlike actions, she crucially embodies positive qualities, which are mainly observed in people with intelligent ability. Her character supports the childlike stereotype, but later give a definition regarding sexuality, coherence and rationality. Upon being asked by Daniel (Danny) if she could become her girlfriend, she accepts by saying yes. At this point, the audience will agree with me that both Carla and Danny challenge the stereotype of disability. They both have important knowledge about sexuality, romantic issues and the need for sexual maturity in a relationship.

Does the main character(s) fit one particular type of classification (diagnosis) of abnormal behaviour? What is that diagnosis?

In the film, Carla is portrayed as the major character with intelligence disability. In my opinion, she fits DSM Axis II, which is used to diagnose the personality Disorders and intellectual disabilities. Fundamentally, Axis II forms an integral part of the DSM, which is designed to offer a comprehensive diagnosis that incorporates an entire picture that consists of not only the acute symptoms, but of the whole scope of factors that constitutes to mental health of a patient. Specifically, Axis II is used to assess personality disorders and intellectual disability, which are usually life-long problems that emanate from during childhood. Ideally, people with disabilities are usually depicted as being asexual and ultimately attracted to their colleagues with disabilities. This notion is accurately portrayed in the film, whereby Danny and Carla are both seen as disabled, and finally end up going out. Throughout the film, not even a single of them is seen as getting an attraction to individuals without disability. In one scene, a girl is tremendously attracted to the teacher, but does not showed any attraction to him. Generally, Carla fits DSM Axis II, which is used to diagnose the personality Disorders and intellectual disabilities.

What is relationship of abuse suffered by the main character and the development of depressive symptoms?

Various psychological studies have shown that the onset, progression, and the prognosis of a major depressive disorder are tremendously influenced by the interactions between a numbers of factors (e.g. In Baron & In Gross, 2015; Schalock et al. 2015). Fundamentally, the onset, progression and the prognosis of the major depressive disorders such as intellectual disability are influenced by factors such as genes, environment and personalities (Kendler, Karkowski & Prescott, 1999). Under these circumstances, the environmental factors will include issues such as the maltreatment, parenting, frequent life stress, and stressful life events. In the scene where Elizabeth and Radley meet with their daughters doctor, and find that she has been smothered by her mother, Carla is likely to undergo stressful events, which plays an integral role in perpetrating the depressive symptoms. In the conversation, it is observed that the doctor provides the suggestions that Carla should be given tremendous independence, which will consequently allow her gain dignity. Ironically, the mother does not respond even at the presence of Carlas medical expert, feeling that whatever she has been doing to her is the best and will help her.

The life events, personality and the temperament has also been suggested to tremendously associate with the depressive disorders (In Baron & In Gross, 2015). Under this conditions, individuals association events that may instil stress in them may provide a greater opportunity for the manifestation of the intellectual disorders. In the film, the frequent negative responses from her mother seems to tremendously impact her life. When Carla speaks about her dream of becoming an expert in veterinary services, her mother instantly upsets her through her response. Elizabeth tells her to wait and take a vacation, and explore your options later. The constant dismissal and unsupportive actions and assertions from Elizabeth regarding Carlas desires. These makes her feel that she is not strong and worth enough to accomplish her goals; a move that appears to gradually destroying her ambitions, and putting her life into a state of serious jeopardy and increases the depressive symptoms.

Importance of the movie

The movie, The Other Sisters has provided helped me understand and broaden my perspective about human behaviour and psychopathology. Notably, the film offers an expository discussion of the intellectual disability. However, the film has tended to support many stereotypes regarding the individuals with disability. The manner of representation of the disabled people in the film include depicting them as childlike, asexual and dependent. Further, they are only attracted to people with intellectual disability. Despite being subjected to all these issues, Carla crucially embodies positive qualities, which are mainly observed in people with intelligent ability. Her character supports the childlike stereotype, but later give a definition regarding sexuality, coherence and rationality. At some point, Danny and Carla shows that they both have important knowledge about sexuality, romantic issues and the need for sexual maturity in a relationship. This scenes considerably shaped my perspective that people with disability should not just be viewed as those who are completely disabled, but those who are abled different. I learnt that these individuals can develop character traits, skills and knowledge, which are beyond diagnosis.


In Baron, D. A., & In Gross, L. S. (2015). Clinical psychiatry: Recent advances and future directions.

Kendler K. S, Karkowski L. M, Prescott CA. (1999): Causal relationship between stressful life events and onset of major depression. Am J Psychiatry; 156:83741. doi: 10.1176/ajp.156.6.83

McFarlane A, Clark C. R, Bryant R. A, Williams LM, Niaura R, Paul RH, Hitsman BL, Stroud L, Alexander DM, Gordon E. The impact of early life stress on psychophysiological, personality and behavioural measures in 740 non-clinical subjects. J Integr Neurosci. 2005; 4:2740. Doi: 10.1142/S021963520500068

Moeschler, J. B., Shevell, M., Saul, R. A., Chen, E., Freedenberg, D. L., Hamid, R., & Tarini, B. A. (2014). Comprehensive evaluation of the child with intellectual disability or global developmental delays. Pediatrics, 134(3), e903-e918.

Schalock, R. L., Borthwick-Duffy, S. A., Bradley, V. J., Buntinx, W. H., Coulter, D. L., Craig, E. M., ... & Shogren, K. A. (2010). Intellectual disability: Definition, classification, and systems of supports. American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 444 North Capitol Street NW Suite 846, Washington, DC 20001.

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