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Best Years of Our Lives Essay

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Updated: Dec 6th, 2018

Homer Parrish is a character in the movie “Best years of our lives”. The movie chronicles the lives of three soldiers returning from the war. Homer Parrish is returning from the war with severe injuries that have resulted in both his arms being amputated. Therefore, Homer has to adjust to both the civilian life and his disability. Other characters in the movie are Al Stephenson a middle-aged family man who worked as a loan officer, and a scarred Fred Derry who served in the Air force.

Homer’s personality is well highlighted throughout the movie. For instance, his numerous encounters with other characters especially his fiancé give great insight into his personality.

The first trait in his personality is extroversion. Right from the beginning, Homer’s character is outgoing, talkative, energetic, and enthusiastic. All these traits are synonymous with extroversion. For example, in the scene where Mr. Mollett approaches him with a question, his answer is riddled with humour and sarcasm. This conversation is just one among many in which Homer uses skilled humour.

Homer’s character is also very talkative. He is not intimidated by any of the people he encounters. Even when he is trying to cut his girlfriend loose, he still does it talkatively. Another trait that points towards Homer being an extrovert is his use of gestures and facial expressions. His personal warmth is what makes his friend Fred volunteer to be the best man at his wedding. Following these examples, it can be speculated that Homer has an extroverted personality.

Another trait used in determining a person’s personality is one’s agreeableness. This trait shapes a person’s trust, forgivingness, generosity, and kindness. Homer’s agreeableness is mostly on the negative side.

When he gets into an argument with a customer at the soda store, the confrontation ends in a physical altercation. This incident points towards lack of agreeability. Another manifestation of this trait is his distrust towards his girlfriend Wilma. While Wilma insists that she is okay with Homer’s condition, Homer takes a long time to believe her.

Homer also has a neurotic personality. This personality trait is highlighted in various instances. At the beginning of the video, there are several instances when Homer pities himself. In another incident, he compares himself to a baby. This self-pitying is synonymous with neurotic personalities.

It is also clear that from the way he answers people self defensively, he has neurotic tendencies. Fluctuating moods are also associated with neurotic persons. During most of his conversations with Wilma, this trait is evident. A neurotic personality is also susceptible to depression, hostility, and anxiety.

Homer’s personality is mostly open. The openness is witnessed in various incidences. For instance, there is a scene where he insightfully explains to Wilma why they should not be together. This openness is also portrayed by Homer’s unusual thought process. His mind seems to wander off in unusual thoughts.

Homer is a Conscientious person. This is why after coming back from the war he decides not to carry on with his marriage to Wilma because of his disability. When the plane is landing in their hometown, Homer takes the moment in and has high aspirations. All these scenes portray Homer as a Conscientious person.

Homer acts as the main protagonist in the film. However, all his actions are motivated by things that happened either before or after his military accident. These same actions are also pivotal in shaping Homer’s personality. Right from the beginning, it seems like Homer is going to have the hardest time readjusting owing to his age and disability.

However, Homer seems upbeat about his chances even with his artificial arms. When explaining what led to the loss of his arms, he says he had no idea a shell was coming their way. This indicates that one of the things that motivate him is the knowledge that his disability was not because of his mistake.

According to him, his disability was just an unfortunate incident. Another thing that motivates Homer is the fact that even though both his arms were burnt off, his prosthetics work just fine. In the bar, he even shows Mollette that he can scoop ice cream with them. This gives him motivation as he feels he is lucky for the second chance.

Before the war, Homer was a young and energetic young man. At that time, he was engaged to Wilma. In school, he played football in the enviable position of a quarter back. He also lived with his parents as a contributing member of the family. These issues contributed to his later development.

As a football player, he learnt how to put up a fight and capitalize on the chances he got. This possibly explains why he is not about to give up on his ambitions now that he is disabled. He also understands that one of the reasons Wilma was attracted to him was because of his abilities. This fact motivates him to abandon his relationship with Wilma.

When Homer is touching ground at his hometown, he is upbeat about everything else in his life except for his relationship with Wilma. He is convinced that his fiancé will feel differently about him now that he is disabled. In response to this threat, he becomes withdrawn and hostile towards Wilma.

No matter how much she tries to make it work with him, he is resolute about ending this relationship. In a final attempt to convince himself that she is still not comfortable with his condition, he unhooks his hands in front of her. When this gesture does not perturb her, he becomes convinced that she really cares for him. Homer’s is not easily threatened even when he faces probable defeat. This is why in the drug store he stands up against the arrogant customer. He is also not moved when Wilma threatens to move to another town.

Homer is an outgoing person and has several acquaintances. Most of his relationships are cordial. However, his condition puts a strain on most of his relationships. Before his accident, Homer had a good romantic relationship with Wilma. However, after the accident the relationship becomes one-sided.

Homer lives with his parents and other siblings. Before he became disabled, they all considered him an able-bodied young man and a great asset to the family. After the accident, the relationship becomes dominated by pity and curiosity. For instance, at one time his sister gathers her friends and they all spy on how Homer is coping with his new hands. His relationships with fellow veterans are more stable because most of them understand his condition. Fred even volunteers to be the best man at his wedding.

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"Best Years of Our Lives." IvyPanda, 6 Dec. 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/best-years-of-our-lives/.

1. IvyPanda. "Best Years of Our Lives." December 6, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/best-years-of-our-lives/.


IvyPanda. "Best Years of Our Lives." December 6, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/best-years-of-our-lives/.


IvyPanda. 2018. "Best Years of Our Lives." December 6, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/best-years-of-our-lives/.


IvyPanda. (2018) 'Best Years of Our Lives'. 6 December.

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