Olivia Caroline Pope: One of the most vibrant characters in the ABC TV Series Scandal that aired from April 5, 2012. The TV Series created by Shonda Rhimes presents one of the most thrilling and dramatic shows which Olivia Pope as popularly renowned the series’ main character. Olivia starts by joining Fitzgerald Grant III presidential campaigns and transforms him from a possible loser to a winner of the election. Throughout the series, Olivia transforms into the top echelons of power in DC’s dynamic world of politics, competition, and wealth. From fighting her father’s (Eli Pope) ‘superspy’ underworld describes as ‘monsters that rule at night’ – Olivia becomes one of the most powerful and revered individuals in the show. Her strong personality, focused, calculating, and ambitious self, she becomes ‘Command’ becoming the judge, jury, and execution in season six.
Olivia Pope through her Crisis Management Firm (Olivia Pope & Associates – OPA) rises through the series to be the most revered woman in the show. The associates include Hulk – former spy agent of the Secret Spy Agency B613, Marcus, Abby Whelan, Queen Perkins, Harrison, and Stephen are members of OPA. OPA focused on dealing with diverse issues that proved to be controversial and provide solutions to their clients in the best way possible. Through Olivia’s guidance and directives – OPA remained to be the most popular firm to deal with any political crisis or scandal in Washington DC for the high and mighty.
From Season 1 Olivia Pope goes through one of the hardest, difficult, and painful love stories. Falling in love with the President of the United States Fitzgerald Grant III was a difficult and impossible affair to maintain from the journalists, paparazzi, security agencies, and national security advisors. To a high extent, this was perceived to be a threat to national security putting her life in danger for the patriots that would not allow the affair to flourish. Olivia’s personality can be analyzed to be a stubborn and determined individual who defies the norm and expectations of the world. From fighting her father who applied orthodox tactics to ensure the affair did not thrive to Melody Grant (Mellie) who poured her wrath on Olivia for cheating with her husband presents a personality determined to take on the world.
Following Olivia’s kidnapping by Vice President Andrew Nichols in his scheme to overthrow the President, Olivia’s character and personality remains undeterred, headstrong, and committed to rescuing herself. She convinces the kidnappers to sell her to the highest bidder as a tactic to increase her chances of survival. In the revengeful act following Andrew Nichols regain of ability to speak, Olivia kills him with a chair. This a complete transformation of a personality that was committed to doing good ‘the white hat’ into a killer. The epitome of the killer personality is attained when Olivia orders Eli Pope to shoot Quinn Perkins – at the time pregnant and Olivia was the baby’s godmother in the name of protecting the republic. ‘If Quinn Perkins has to die for the Republic, so be it.’
In a nutshell, as command Olivia Pope commits numerous atrocities in the name of protecting the republic. This is a personality completely different from the ‘white hat’ committed to doing good and will do anything in the justification of patriotism. In the process, she orders the assassination of President Farid Rashad of Bashran to protect her ‘trophy’ president Mellie Grant, as well as, her presidential reputation. The unfolding of events as Command and White House Chief of Staff, Olivia Pope is a ruthless person who has no friend of limits when it comes to the protection of the Republic. However, after her resignation she recollects, change, and expressed regrets and sorrow in sliding to the bad side. She works for the forgiveness of her friends and remains committed to earning their trust. The death of David Rosen, the attorney general who was poisoned by Cyrus Benne is a turning point to embrace the white hat personality again as they are the only ones left to fight for justice, the law, and the truth.
Change/Stability Over Time
The change and stability over time psychological variations are exhibited in the developmental processes that mold personality to diverse traits. Psychological theorists note that personalities are developed and modified in individuals through interactions with the environment they are exposed to, i.e., experiences at school, workplace environment, family, and acculturation (Rauthmann & Sherman 2016). Caspi et al. (2005) outline the extraversion or positive emotionality type of personality among children and adults to describe individuals who are “vigorously, actively, and urgently involved with the world around them.” This comprises a key personality trait that has manifest in Olivia’s journey to competitiveness and takes one of the worlds. In her quest to work in the White House, shape policy, and determine the future of the United States, Olivia is an extravert whose commitment is focused on attaining high ambitions of building, nurturing, and producing a leader (three times made the President of United States – Fitzgerald Grant III 2, Mellie Grant 1).
Also, the psychoanalysis of extraverted individuals describes them to be outgoing, energetic, expressive, dominant, and influential (Caspi et al. 2005). This is a key personality that has been employed by Olivia in her management of the OPA and political dynamics of Washington DC. Her take on the Republic and resilient to fight for what she believes to be the truth is unshuttering. This ensures that nothing can stop her and the decisions she makes to pursue her objectives remain unparalleled. Olivia is an influential individual remaining to be the center of many individuals who look up to her for guidance. Fitz describes her to be “the center of everyone” – a person who controls other people’s lives and worlds.
The conception of how person-situation impact on the stability and change of individual personality is fundamental to understanding the impacts it creates on a person (Rauthmann & Sherman 2016). Situations such as the ones described to include mechanisms that mold a personality is crucial. From her teenage years, Olivia was brought up away in boarding schools setup, a tough-love father who was committed to running a secret spy agency, a presumed dead but terrorist mother (Maya Pope – Maree Wallace), fight for power with the powerful caucus that rigid the election in Defiant voting machines, the kidnapping incidence, assuming command, and fight for the justice. Throughout the series, different situations help shape the personality of Olivia to be the most calculating, strategist and committed individual to her course. Such person-situation interactions are key to determine the personality in which one has to exhibit and exercise in the outer world (Rauthmann & Sherman 2015). Thus, change and stability are fundamental to facilitate the development of the emotional state that impacts the personality of an individual.
The psychoanalytic theory developed by Sigmund Freud is a major component of psychoanalysis of human personality. Sigmund Freud notes that the human personality entails a complex entity that comprises more than a single component. This is to purport that the human personality comprises three elements including the id, the ego, and the superego (Lapsley & Stey 2011). The three elements are fundamental and work together to develop a complex mix of human behavior. The personality of an individual contains aspects that are stronger than others and are bound to influence and/or act upon an individual’s most basic urges (Schulein 2008).
The id includes instinctive and primitive behaviors that serve as the source of psychic energy. To influence personality, the id is driven by the pressure principle which is responsible for the pursuit of gratification desires, needs and wants of an individual. The ego drives the personality of an individual and behaviors to deal with the reality (Lapsley & Stey 2011). The ego keeps check on the id and ensures that it is expressed in a tolerable manner to portray behaviors that are acceptable in the real world. The reality principle drives the personality to maintain desires in a realistic and socially acceptable manner. The superego develops and nurtures the attributes of the right and wrong in the real world. The superego is responsible for holding the personality and internalized standards and ideals that individuals acquire from the environment (Lapsley & Stey 2011).
The three elements of personality play a fundamental role in shaping the reality and behavior of an individual. The id aspect of personality guides Olivia’s desires and the need for satisfaction such as the sexual fantasies that she longs for the president. In the instance that Olivia is moved into the White House and the affair becomes official and open she runs away from the responsibility. This describes a desire to pursue what you cannot have, the hard, the painful, and the dangerous affair. When it becomes easier, it becomes impossible to maintain. The application of the ego facilitates the need to control Olivia’s desires to have a relationship with Fitz because he is a married man and would prove futile to maintain such a relationship. Furthermore, the superego applies in showing what is acceptable and what is not to the reality (Boag 2014). This posits control of the personality desires of individuals to what they can access and what they cannot by all means. The standards of conduct and behavior of individuals are controlled by a set of behaviors that determine the personality and conduct of an individual in the real world (Schulein 2008).
Therefore, the psychoanalytic approach determines the control of the unconscious mind rather than the conscious mind. The capacity to differentiate reality and the world of fantasies is essential to determine the personality of an individual. This goes to a deeper level to control the wishes and fears in the real world. The reality is core to shaping the personality of an individual and building the capacity to pursue different ends (Boag 2014). The reality in which Olivia lives is one that depicts the difficulties of maintaining a secret affair with the president. The pressure is enormous and desires are not always satisfied. Therefore, this sets a difficult journey to pursue and makes it difficult to remain consistent. Therefore, the difficulties experienced lead to Olivia’s shift to love and care for Captain Jake Ballard who at one point fled the country with to the Island of Zanzibar.
Evolution Theory – Charles Darwin
The evolution theory as developed by Charles Darwin asserts that natural selection is the cause of individual differences in personality through their life (Larsen & Buss 2014). The evolution theory notes that the capacity of individual development to build better capabilities is attained through selection and adaptation to changes experienced over time. The changes and capacity to adapt over time are fundamental to enable an individual build better survival and reproductive capacity. Various adaptations at different stages in life enable an individual to function and respond to different problems. Darwin advocates for the survival of the strongest as the best approach to mold the personality of an individual in the best way that conforms and adapts to changing realities. The weak are bound to perish and become extinct.
The personality traits of an individual through the evolution theory can be described in the aspect that builds and impacts on the person to better adapt to different situations. In the first place, every individual share similar trait and is only triggered if the situation allows and/or the environment support the change (Larsen & Buss 2014). For example, Olivia hated her father – Command for being a ruthless killer who abused his power to pursue his goals in the name of the Republic. Given the chance to become Command, Olivia exhibits the same traits as her father if not worse to protect her interests in the name of the Republic. She turned into a predator that preyed on the weak and those that opposed her objectives including Quinn Perkins when she threatened to expose the horrors she committed. Also, she terrorized her father by denying him the chance to move around, took his dinosaur’s bones, and restricted his power or capacity to express his wishes. The capacity to evolve and become the thing she hated the most proves every individual portrays similar traits but is influenced by reality and environment to exercise them.
The capacity to evolve accordingly is fundamental to the evolution theory. On the kidnapping of Olivia, evolving accordingly was fundamental to her survival. By remaining weak proved to be detrimental to her survival which threatened her future. The capacity to build contingent traits is crucial to ensure the survival of an individual through any scenario. The contingency to convince her kidnappers to sell her to terrorist groups metamorphosed into a chance to survive through the odyssey of suffering, fear for one’s life, and the unknown in the fluid nature of psychotic captors (Confer et al. 2010).
Therefore, the evolution theory of personality traits proposes the need for adaptation to new realities. The natural selection occurs to individuals and/or entities with the capacity to transgress difficult times and maintain a fighting spirit. This was crucial to shape the trait of Olivia whose survival solely depended on her. Following her fall and loss of contacts to clients – reinvention was fundamental to regain the footing in Washing DC politics and power circles. In the last season following her resignation as President Mellie’s Chief of Staff, ceasing to fight to maintain the Command position, among other incidents – Olivia’s capacity to evolve key to building a lasting brand and personality (Confer et al. 2010). Thus, she maintains a high and influential profile in Washington DC among the powerful and mighty of power-politics and control of the strongest country on earth.
Motivation can be described as an inceptive that enables or influences an individual to complete a task. The application of motivation and personality is fundamental in facilitating an individual to link the context of knowing and doing, differentiate between action and thinking, as well as, performance and competence (Judge & Ilies 2002). Motivation facilitates the development of the personality in the sense that it causes an individual to take action. For example, motivation comprises of the force that directs, guides, and enables a person to maintain goal-oriented actions. This manifests in behaviors that a person executes such as taking a drink to quench your thirst, grab some food to eliminate hunger, et cetera. The motives of motivation towards causing action can be attributed to emotional, cognitive, social, or biological reasons (Boag 2018).
The existence of unmet needs prompts the prevalence of the drive motivations which triggers, influences or forces an individual to take action. For instance, Olivia is driven by the motivation to achieve power and protect the President she builds, nurtures, and invests in to take office. Also, she is driven by the desire to win. Olivia really hates to lose and would do anything to win. This posits her at odds with David Rosen for taking shortcuts to ascertain a win in the cases she pursues. She fights for Mellie to ensure she attains the Presidency viewed as the last resort measure to run a clean election. The motivation behind continued persistence and commitment to attain her objectives are key traits of her personality (Judge & Ilies 2002). Thus, guarantee a win in all the cases she takes on despite the level of impossibility of difficult the circumstance exhibit.
In conclusion, the essay comprises of four theories used to describe and comprehensively analyze the personality of Scandal’s TV Show Olivia Pope. The application of change and stability over time theory Olivia is described as a person who transforms to meet contemporary needs. Change is fundamental to ascertain growth and progress. The level of stability is essential to support the developed personality based on different scenarios. The psychoanalytic theory depicts the control and pursuant to diverse needs. The personality of an individual enables a person to make key decisions to satisfy their needs. Darwin’s theory of evolution analyzes the survival of the fittest. The capacity of Olivia to adapt to changes and new realities is crucial to ensure she shines throughout the show. Finally, motivation theory of personality determines how one satisfies their needs, what drives them to take certain actions, and approaches in which they execute their actions. Therefore, personality and behaviors of an individual are developed and shaped by different scenarios in the course of life.
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