Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Something in the Way She Smiles: Amanda Knox's Emerging Profile

When the story first broke,  I viewed her as a fresh-faced college girl,  wrongly accused of the murder of her British roommate,  Meredith Kercher,  in their  shared cottage in Perugia,  Italy;   callously  jailed by Italy's corrupt judicial system.  After much analysis of material from numerous articles,  blogs,  and news pieces,  I have come to view her as a sociopath,  and one who I have considerable sympathy for,  albeit a sympathy mixed with a good deal of horror.  My 2 prior posts on this blog space (posted March 21 and 23)  were pieces written during my own movement from viewing her as the wrongly accused innocent coed to the tormented girl felled by inner demons.  It is the latter piece which I still adhere to.

Additionally,  I now believe  that her inner problems   -  coped with by her in solitary mode over the course of many years  -  metamorphised into a sociopathic personality which has become her "mask".  Very little honesty is likely to ever be forthcoming from her.   In a sense,  she probably has convinced herself that she is innocent.  A journalist mentioned that there is something "odd"  about Amanda's smile in the courtroom:  Not only is it inappropriate in such a situation,  but it seems incongruent and at odds with her eyes.  I would wager that this is a symptom of her disocciation:  From herself,  and from aspects of reality which  she never had a chance to cope with and to incorporate.

Her family does much to further the disingenuousness of her presentation:  Filling her with terror that if the "real Amanda"  were known to them,  they would have her locked up and the key thrown away.  It will be interesting to see if the actual truth of the events of the muder will come to light in this trial;  not from her,  but from her lover,  Raffaele Scolecito.  It would appear that he presents as far more reality based:  Serious and scared looking,  as though the full implications and consequences of the night are fully comprehened by him.  Amanda looks to be like a little girl watching a story unfold.

My feeling is that if he confesses all,  she will finally be viewed as what she really is:  a tragic case and a dangerous girl who needed and still needs help.   Certainly her drug use  -  excessive,  and not just for "partying"  -  were to alleviate the symptoms of depersonalisation and dissociative anxiety.  It is tragic and saddening to think of her struggles,  but she masked them in a manner which made detection difficult.  In the end,  she is a sympathetic character,  if only because of the tragedy of her self-alienation.


CDM said...

SM: Alice Miller's book "The Drama of the Gifted Child" might be a good read while following this case. An understanding of the real self / false self dynamics engendered in us all, to one degree or another, in response to our childhood environments, might shed some interesting light along the lines of your own thinking. The implications of Alice Miller's insights are staggering, for everyone; she speaks to the giftedness of all of us, in our childhood, in surviving.

Hopefully, our real selves can safely emerge; but the false self may also rule the day, in the name of the very same theme, safety.

Here might be an example of the tragedy that may result where the real self remains hidden; it's world hidden; it's emotions buried, lest they disturb the world otherwise only traversed in "apparent" safety by the false self, the one that wears the mask you refer to.

A tragic picture just may be emerging here; hopefully, a truthful picture does emerge, one that might help reveal, and heal.

Jesamyn said...

Such an interesting post and I must read more about it.We had the case here in Australia when Lindy Chamberlain was accused of murdering her baby, her stony face was taken (especially by women) to show she had a heart of stone. As an abused wife years ago, I remember trying to "put on" a pleasant expression as catching sight of my fear-ravaged face once frightened me and elicited stares which I LOATHE. And lately, now from grief I catch myself again with a "strange smile" it definitely seems to be a defence mechanism to appear "normal" and carefree as one feels so alone in merry crowds...Sorry I have digressed from the subject a little but it is damned refreshing to see Susan Marie not taking the usual stance of sitting comfortably on the sidelines and deriding another person of whom we know NOTHING of their tortured emotions and past. Great to see and the way we all should be thinkg this century.
In Highest esteem

SM Kovalinsky said...

Excellent insights! I know Alice Miller's text, and it does indeed apply here, and in the ways you have proposed. For all of Amanda's horrific narcissism, she is really a lost child. And this is revealed in her pictures, and in her awkward attempts to explain herself. Thank you for your insights and fine remarks. smk

SM Kovalinsky said...

And Jesamyn, your comments are NOT digressive, but are most poignant and relevant. Thank you for your kind and true and revealing words!

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