Carlito’s Way by Edwin Torres
It has often been said that people’s life depends more on their personality than what the world makes of them. How a person views life determines his/her interactions with the outer world and the overall judgment of the world towards the person. …
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According to these sentiments, success is never an absolute factor but a variable factor that depends on personal point and according to the views of an observer. The book Carlito’s way tells a thrilling story of a gang superstar by the name Carlito Brigante. According to the author, this character has gone through all dimensions in the life of a true gangster. The writer describes the life of Carlito through a series of conflicts that are inspired by his life in Harlem and the lives of his colleagues. Carlito goes through a series of trouble with law enforcers and his fellow gang members. The writer uses these conflicts and events to portray the life of an ordinary hustler in the USA. This paper provides a criminological-forensic and psychological assessment of the book in relation to the life of the main character and the author’s position. According the author’s account on the life of Carlito, it is evident that he is a psychopath. According to Cohen, psychopath is a personality disorder (1965). The criminologist adds that psychopaths are emotionless criminals who have no feelings for other people. In addition, psychopaths have no any respect for social laws. Being emotionless also indicates that psychopaths are fearless persons who get involved in crime without considering the possible outcomes or punishment. Such individuals are satisfied by causing pain and suffering on their victims. According to the author’s chronological account of Carlito, it is evident that he was a psychopath. Carlito fits in all categories of psychopaths according to criminology literature. Firstly, Carlito is a primary psychopath; this is because he does not respond positively to punishment. According to the book, Carlito was a jailbird. He did not respond to any form of punishment accorded to him by the law enforcers. Carlito was in and out of prisons for cases related to drug trafficking assault and robbery (Torres, 1994). The numerous times he was arrested did not alter his involvement with crime. Carlito cannot only be considered as a primary psychopath but also a secondary psychopath. This is demonstrated by his ability to take risks in crime. According to the author, Carlito was a true risk taker. He lived a lavish life that required him to have a lot of money. The main reason for his continued involvement with crime was to support his lavish lifestyle financially. The risk taking aspect is demonstrated by the fact that his determination was not hindered by possible risks such as arrest, or being killed by a member of a rival gang. Finally, Carlito can be described as a charismatic psychopath, this aspect is demonstrated by his influence among members of his gang and other people that he dealt with. Carlito was an irresistible person who was an attractive and a charming liar. He used these characters to influence and manipulate his victims for his personal gains. His manipulative attitude is demonstrated by the fact that he was a popular pimp. Most readers who have previously read the book usually have opposing views concerning factors that influenced Carlito into crime. However, an objective analysis of the book proves that there were three main reasons that influenced Carlito into crime. Firstly, Carlito engaged into crime for economic reasons. His involvement with crime was to provide finances required to support his lavish lifestyle. Secondly, Carlito had an irresistible urge to commit crime for self-satisfaction. This explains why he was rearrested five hours for assault just a few hours of being released from a five-year prison sentence. Carlito also had a rebel attitude that inspired him to commit crime. This attitude made him to be always against the law and the country’
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