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Harley Quinn Analysis

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Antonino Cammisano  


Dr. Selma Hamdani

Character Analysis: Harley Quinn

Part 2:

My character is named Harleen Frances Quinzel, Aka Harley Quinn. She is a 25-year-old female that is a super villain from the DC chain of super hero comics. However, she wasn’t always a super villain but a normal hard working young woman pursuing her career as a psychiatrist in Gotham City.

Harley grew up in a dysfunctional family with a mother that was harsh, a brother that had no priorities and a father that was a criminal. Her mother would be very forgiving but always compared her to someone that was evil. Her brother wasted all of his money and even after Harley helped him out he wasted her money to. Her father would steal money from other women when he would try to seduce them. Thus, being around these figures from childhood, Harley somewhat started to acquire mental issues.

Therefore, she wanted to understand why her family acted like they did and especially her father, why he would have done those horrible crimes. Thus, she ended up studying in psychology but found it very boring. She then cheated in all of her courses to become a licensed psychiatrist. She then enrolled in the Arkham Asylum where she would be listening to multiple patients with severe mental illnesses.

She acquired great knowledge and enjoyment for her practice and also began to become emotionally attached to some of her patients. One patient that she became really attached to was the joker. The joker is another character that is probably the most malicious super villain in all of Gotham city. She was so fascinated about the stories he was telling her. He started to seduce her and make her fall in love with him.

In addition, he manipulated her to free him and be devoted to him. As gullible and naïve as her character is, she listened to him and freed him from the Asylum. Now both of them fled and started to live their criminal life together. He kept on manipulating, torturing, verbally and physically abusing her. These traumatic events led her to change the way she acted and became evil doing everything he would command her to do. The love she had for him was to strong and she changed forever, psychiatrist Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel was gone and her malevolent alter ego was born, Harley Quinn.

Consequently, she is definitely a victim of abuse and this has triggered her to develop a personality disorder. More specifically, she would be diagnosed under histrionic personality disorder. Thus, the symptoms that range in this disorder are as follows; being seductive, shallow, gullible, being center of attention and dramatic. She demonstrates many of these symptoms in the movie Suicide Squad. She would dress provocatively, try to seduce the joker constantly, would scream and say things to be the center of attention, got mad easily and believed everything the joker said.

There is not much hope for this character in terms of treatment. However, at certain times in the movies it would seem like she would be caring and be normal towards others. Yet, she would suddenly change her perspective on things and the symptoms of this disorder would become apparent again.  

Part 3:

The goal of this study was to determine if cognitive analytic therapy is actually an effective way to help someone with histrionic personality disorder. Previous research stated on histrionic personality disorder is that this mental illness categorized under the DSM-IV, is predominately a disorder that affects females. It is also stated that the main symptoms of this personality disorder consist of acting dramatically and seductively towards others.

The hypothesis of the study consisted of cognitive analytic therapy actually making a positive effect on someone with histrionic personality disorder. The variables studied were a group of people with the mental illness and the cognitive analytic therapists giving therapy to these individuals. The methods used in this study was an experiment and an observation on these individuals. There was one group of five individuals with the illness that underwent 28 sessions of cognitive analytic therapy. The therapy was designed to help these individuals dealing with the personality disorder to cope with it and reduce their depression. The results of this experiment led to three out of the five individuals to be treated from the sessions. Therefore, this demonstrated that this type of therapy is actually effective in helping individuals that deal with this disorder.


The goal of this study was to observe if there was a correlation between the positive-side of the Big Five Personality trait and the negative-side of histrionic personality disorder. Previous research was done on what actually is in the Big Five personality traits and factors and what negative effects the personality disorder has.

        The hypothesis of the study consisted of the positive-side of the big five personality traits actually correlating with the negative-sides of histrionic personality disorder. The variables studied were the positive-sides of the big five personality traits and the negative-sides of histrionic personality disorder. The methods to observe this was through an experiment. This experiment consisted of a sample of 5000 british adults that were tested to see if they fell in the positive-traits of the big five personality traits. At the same time, it was observed if these individuals also demonstrated symptoms of the mental disorder. In result, the hypothesis was accepted, demonstrating that individuals who possessed positive-sided traits of the big five personality traits also predicted these individuals to have a negative-sided personality disorder.



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