Cinema and Personality of Adolescents

By: Shaifali Rachna Puri

 It is a universally accepted truth that the actions emphasize a particular concept better than words or it can be said; that what is experienced practically makes one learn the best. The learning hence, gained by individual stays with him through out the life. Perhaps, it is due to this fact that most of the teaching community prefers to use such teaching processes that involve a repeated use of practical aids. Cinema is one of such most practical aids, frequently used for the purpose of teaching. When some one ponders over the question, as to what cinema is, the answers that readily come to mind are “An art form”, “A means of telling stories”, “A business”, “An entertainment” and possibly several other similar phrases but of course, these are not the real definitions of cinema. In fact these are the theories or the concepts that one develops while watching cinema. It is these pseudo definitions that nurture whole set of attitudes towards cinema and mask out important issues.

“A novel is a narrative that organizes it self into a world where as a film is a world that organizes itself into a narrative” says Mitry, Jean

One more opinion that cannot be left unquoted is by David, Bordwell. It goes, “A film I suggest, does not position anybody. A film was spectator to execute a definite variety of operations”.

If one looks at the definitions quoted above he will find quite a different type of impression coming up. When one looks at often vague and pseudo-definitions of cinema one feels that the simple evocation of cinema arouses deeply personal resonance. But the cinema does not perform only this function. Apart from arousing feeling cinema also plays a very important role in day to day social as well as moral life of people. Cinema is such a subject, the study of which provides a peep into the life and atmosphere of the society in which it is produced. It is such a media that effects the changes in the life style of the society and is within the reach of all.

It is not only the most important means of communicating information and entertainment but it also casts significant influence on the behaviour and attitude of the society. Cinema only is responsible for improvement as well as deterioration of tastes in public

 “Much of our knowledge, many of our attitudes, the topic of conversation at work the next day, the brand of soap we pick up at the grocery store, the cartoon characters on our children’s clothes, our aspiration- almost every conceivable aspect of our lives is touched by this medium: yet, like eating or sleeping, we accept it as just another part of our daily routine, uncritically and unknowingly.”

All the opinions given above with their true reactions, wild allegations, emotional overtones and ill-defined terms suggest that cinema is the object of ideological confrontation. There is no better initiation to socialize then the study of cinema. While the cinema permits the audience to probe the collective psyche of a society, it also helps them to understand their individual psyche and personality. It is so because the cinema involves the widest range of physical, mental and social development of ones personality.

At this point amidst the discussion one feels a strong need for the explanation of the term “Development”. The sole aim of education is to bring an all round development in the personality of a human being. Human life starts form a fertilized cell. The constant interaction of the human being results in the encouragement and the outlet to innate capacity, abilities and potentialities. It refers to the changes in the quality or character rather than in quantitative aspect.

Development is a continuous process that goes from womb to tomb. It does not end with the end in a particular phase of life.

The term development refers to the overall changes in an individual taking place with the passage of time and causing such a positive difference that makes him worth the society wherein he lives.

Therefore it becomes clear that the development takes place in ones life regularly and it is only due to this development that one finds the personality of human being undergoing a change at different phases of life.

Deep within lies in every individual a powerful urge to grow and blossom out as a PERSON – to be distinguished from sub-human species. Born as a helpless infant, totally dependant upon it’s mother for survival, the human body grows, matures and develops, learns and comes to be reckoned as a PERSON. Among several persons in this world, the quest of everyone is to become a person as Carl Rogers says and develop ones personality.

Some psychologists trace the origin of the term PERSONALITY to a Latin form PERSONA – a kind of mask used by Greek actors while staging plays in bygone days. For the theological meaning, personal tic philosophers agree that

 (I) Personality is of supreme value.

(II) Persons are to be distinguished Meta physically from things.

(III) The subjective experience is the final psychological court of appeal.

According to Browne “Personality can never be constructed as a product or a compound; it can be only experienced as a fact”.

On the other hand, Stern though a persona list, does not deny corporal significance to personality but declares a person to be “Psychologically Neutral” multi form dynamic unity.

Philosophically, Locke defines a person as-“A thinking intelligent being that has a reason and reflection and considers self as itself”.

Psychologically speaking, perhaps the commonest type of definition says-“Personality is the some total of all the biological, innate dispositions, impulses, tendencies, appetites and instincts of the individual, and the acquired dispositions and tendencies-acquired by experience”.

According to Allport, neither a theologian, nor a psychologist can monopolize PERSONALITY. According to him, the following amplifications seem to serve the purpose better – “Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his unique adjustment to his environment”.

Regard less of the diversity of descriptions, one does find a few commonalities; namely-ones personality is unique, organized, multidimensional and consistent. No two individuals are alike and that is what makes life interesting and exciting.

One notices that the personality of a human being can be viewed from various aspects but basically there are only few angels which when properly studied give a full view of what personality actually is. These are:

(1) Physical development

(2) Intellectual development

(3) Social development

(4) Emotional development

Physical development: It refers to a process which brings bodily and psychological changes-internal as well as external. The physical development effects the development of the other aspects of ones personality too. The physical development of a child or an individual greatly depends on few factors such as the atmosphere at the time of delivery, mental health of mother, the living conditions, social circle, the place of interaction, influences on psyche etc. Thus one finds that both environment and hereditary condition the physical development of an individual.

Intellectual development: The growth and development of the mental abilities and capacities which help an individual to adjust his behavior to the ever changing environmental conditions or to enable him to accomplish a task that needs complex cognitive abilities is referred to as mental or intellectual development. The process of mental development includes the development of various cognitive, reasoning and conceptual abilities.

Social Development:  The process of the development of such qualities and abilities in a person, which bring desirable changes in his social behavior, is referred to as social development.

According to Sorenson “By social growth and development we mean increasing ability to get along well with oneself and others”.

Emotional Development: Emotion is a ‘stirred up” or moved state of mind of an organism. It is a reaction of an individual towards any particular object, act or surrounding. These are not present in a human being at the time of birth rather these need to be infused in a child with the passage of time. How, when and where to give expression to these emotions need a great exercise and that is what we call emotional development. If one studies in detail the process of development of the personality one comes across the fact that the personality of an adolescent is the most complicated one. Adolescent community is such a part of society, which can be very easily effected by any and every incident around. This point gets proved easily when one looks at the daily activity of the adolescents around him.

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