How is Dexter a sociopath if?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by waloshin, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. waloshin macrumors 68040

    waloshin

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    #1
    A) He cares about his sister?

    B) He gets mad when children are killed?
     
  2. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

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    #2
    If he was a real sociopath the audience wouldn't with stay the character for that many seasons. The writers needed to soften him to let people empathise.
     
  3. waloshin thread starter macrumors 68040

    waloshin

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    #3
    C) He even has visions of his dead brother and talks to him.
     
  4. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #4
    That was once or twice, his father is more prominent and maybe next season we see someone else too.

    Due to his training by Harry he was able to put up a mask he can blend in with, he even said so in one of his voiceovers in the first series, that one of the reasons he choose Rita as companion was her damage and no need for physical contact. Once that got out of the way, them sleeping together and sharing more time with each other, he saw what he could have and started to question some of his methods and even learned during one of his kills, that he loves his and Rita's children.

    And as irishgrizzly said, it is a way to make Dexter more likable.
    Or would you get along with someone who kills people out of a need, even if those people were "bad"?

    We will see where Dexter goes to in the next series after the events of the last finale.

    And how come you think of Dexter as a sociopath anyway?
     
  5. haiggy macrumors 65816

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  6. waloshin thread starter macrumors 68040

    waloshin

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    #6
    Priest: I'm sorry for your loss.
    Dexter: Thank you, father.
    Brian: I'm not sorry.
    Dexter: You're still here.
    Brian: Never left.
    Dexter: Yeah, you did. I killed you.
    Brian: No. You just took my life.
    Dexter: So, how do I make you go away?
    Brian: Hm. Well, you could try doing what these people are doing.
    Dexter: I'm not like them.
    Brian: Well, if it helps, I can tell you that it's not your fault. What you did to me.
    Dexter: I never said it was.
    Brian: But you feel it.
    Dexter: How do you know that?
    Brian: It's human nature.
    Dexter: I'm not human.
    Brian: No. You're just ****ed up.
    Dexter: I need to let you go.
    Brian: You think it's as simple as that?
    Dexter: Nothing's simple.

    This was when he was in the church at the Funeral for Ritas ex.
     
  7. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #7
    But he had not so much multiple visions of Brian, but of Harry.

    Your point C) alluded to having visions of Brian in general, when it more often occurs with Harry.
     
  8. waloshin thread starter macrumors 68040

    waloshin

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    #8
    Yes, flash backs are flash backs what would be causing this if he is a sociopath?
     
  9. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #9
    Anyone else get the feeling we're going to be hearing about waloshin on the news?
     
  10. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #10
    I just locked my door

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  11. bartelby macrumors Core

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    #11
    Best unlock it, he's in the cellar apparently
     
  12. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #12
    There's very little to associate Dexter with any accepted description of a sociopath. Some sort of multiple-personality disorder may be a better attempt (as he refers to his dark passenger that he has to satisfy from time to time), but I still think that's way off the mark as his personality never really changes. He's very self-aware at all times, and his dark passenger is really a motivation that another personality.

    Awesome is a good description!
     
  13. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #13
  14. twistedlegato macrumors 65816

    twistedlegato

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    #14
    ^^^ You got it all wrong. He doesn't look like Dexter, but he DOES look like a character from the first season.

    *Spoilers for Season 1*



    Remember that guy that pretended to be the ice truck killer for publicity (like he hacked into the police station's network and was able to get all the info on him not released to the pubic). I can't find that guys name, but he looks exactly like him :)
     
  15. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #15
    Yikes dude you're creepy.
    You realize it's TV right?
     
  16. tkermit macrumors 68040

    tkermit

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    #17
    If I go by Wikipedia's definition, there doesn't seem to be a doubt that Dexter's portrayal is that of a sociopath. I'd argue that his killings are meant to be taken metaphorically though and his struggles represent those of ordinary human beings...

     
  17. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #18
    Wow. you people DO realize this is a TV show right ?

    If "Dexter" were a true sociopath nobody would relate to him. With the exception of a few true sociopaths. And those people wouldn't be enough to sell the show.

    It's call Hollywood for a reason.
     
  18. tkermit macrumors 68040

    tkermit

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    #19
    I'm kind of surprised here...How exactly can it be said, that the Dexter character is not portrayed as a sociopath? Just because he cares about children and his sister? I bet a lot of sociopaths in real life do... So of course he is a sociopath. Viewers relate to him despite of that, and because they don't take it literally ?!
     
  19. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #20
    sociopath |ˈsōsēōˌpaθ|
    noun
    a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

    The character "Dexter" has a conscience.

    E.g. He only kills people that are killers. He does NOT murder an innocent person.

    A sociopath does. And doesn't care.

    [edit]

    A good example of the typical sociopath is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. I don't mean to get political but he's a good example imho.

    [/edit]
     
  20. tkermit macrumors 68040

    tkermit

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    #21
    The character is portrayed to have a "selective" conscience and does show extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior.

    I may be wrong here, but I take "lack of conscience" to mean, that your conscience is severely underdeveloped or misguided, not that it simply doesn't exist in any way. He kills people because of an inner urge according to standards set by himself.
     
  21. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #22
    Can we analyze Ross on Friends next
    I always thought he was a little sociopathic, and I never really liked him

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  22. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #23

    [​IMG]

    .
     
  23. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #24
    ross
    ROSS

    not Joey

    Joey's actions and personality are perfectly normal :D

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  24. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #25
    Taken from a psychology site..

    Here's that sociopath list again in an easier to refer to format


    1. Glibness and Superficial Charm

    2. Manipulative and Conning
    They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

    3.Grandiose Sense of Self
    Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

    4.Pathological Lying
    Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

    5. Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
    A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

    6. Shallow Emotions
    When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

    7. Incapacity for Love

    8. Need for Stimulation
    Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

    9. Callousness/Lack of Empathy
    Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

    10. Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
    Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

    11. Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
    Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

    12. Irresponsibility/Unreliability
    Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

    13. Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
    Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

    14. Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
    Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

    15. Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
    Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.


    ---------------

    Some minor spoilers next but I've marked them out as they happen.. I haven't seen past Episode 7 in Season 4 yet so I don't know everything, but I do have S1 to S4 epi7 and watched them regularly for a while until I got busy recently.

    Just my opinion on why I think dexter doesn't fit the sociopath profile going by the standard list used by psychologists

    Dexter

    1. Typically dexter is the anti-charmer in the show as his lack of understanding of human emotions make it hard for him to use platitudes convincingly as seen with his relationship with his wife and step-daughter. The viewer has warmed to Dexter, but that doesn't mean he's a charmer.

    2. Dexter does see the rights of others, and the only time he cons is for self-preservation. A ritualistic need.

    3. Dexter recognises the strengths of others and admits when he is outgunned, admiring his opponents, even if they are a normal, unassuming person, he still registers their abilities and often makes introspective comments about how he admires them.

    4. Like having to to be manipulative, Dexter uses lies only for self-preservation and doesn't lie unnecessarily.

    5. Dexter in the earlier seasons did appear to live by an end justifies the means philosophy, but that was because his life was uncomplicated by relationships. We see in season 4 that he's deferred his course of action risking everything to protect his son.

    6. Emotionally Dexter is growing with each episode, would you call a kid who watches a dog die and didn't flinch a sociopath? No, and I know a case just like that, though the individual (my girlfriend) loves animals now and cries just to see them in pain. Dexter was protected by Harry and relationships were discouraged which no doubt stunted Dex's emotional development. But we can see he's a fast learner, coming a long way in just 4 seasons.

    7. He has a capacity for love that exceeds his own self-preservation. So, no on that one.

    8. Dexter isn't portrayed as a thrill seeker. He's not driving fast, he's not hitting clubs, he's not actively seeking drama or creating it. The show itself may be exciting to us, because of the context of the show which is murder, but that aside, Dexter seems at peace when the heat is low, with only his dark passenger to satisfy occasionally for release (release, not thrill).

    (SPOILER)
    9. Dexter does hold contempt for many of his victims, but these victims are murderers themselves, and when Dexter learns that he may have killed one person in season 4 in error - he feels gutted.

    10. Dexter's temper is very much in check throughout the seasons. Only blowing his fuse when really pushed to the limit as in S1.

    11. Yes, very turbulent childhood. If anything marks dexter out as a sociopath it would be his actions during childhood. Perhaps an argument could be made out that if Dexter had not been taken under Harry's wing, and had somehow grown up undetected, then he may well have been a fully fledged sociopath.

    12. This doesn't fit at all. He blames himself when necessary..

    (SPOILER)
    13. He did sleep with that annoying English girl, but generally he doesn't actively seek out sex, even with his own partner at times.

    (SPOILER)
    14. Dexter is the opposite of this, he hates change, and feels insecure when pushed to move as seen when he has to move in with his wife.

    15. Has a strong identity and has established himself socially in a way that he doesn't want changed.
     

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