Personality and Character

12 Apr

To be able to pick out the character and personality traits of Malcolm X in the piece “Saved”, one must fully grasp the meaning behind both. In my opinion, character is a collection of traits that define individual people. These traits are molded into people from the very beginning of their lives and shaped by the influences of their respective environments. On the other hand, personality defines the way that someone acts and the motivation behind their behavior. One of the most important aspects to understanding the difference between the two terms is that character is objective as for personality that is subjective or the mask that covers a persons character.

For Malcolm X, growing up in Omaha, Nebraska established a struggle for him to find the balance between character and personality. He was split from his family and experienced societal racial problems at a young age, which resulted in his environment shaping his character. When he moved to New York City, he found himself in an a unfortunate position of hitting the low points in his life, this was his mask, his personality. In every part of Malcolm’s life, his personality was always shifting whether it was at his low points selling drugs and in prison or when he was at his high points in the National Islam group and later on forming his own religious group, it was a continual change. As for his character, the horrible racial difficulties that he experienced in his past are always present. “America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem.” His character is defined by the experiences of his past.

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One Response to “Personality and Character”

  1. khu0014 April 16, 2013 at 1:03 am #

    I think this is an interesting post; I agree that personality is subjective and character is objective. This is because personality is based on how you describe yourself and character is based on how others see you. But it leaves a question: Is character really innate?

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