Marilyn Monroe and Mental Illness Essay

864 Words Mar 14th, 2013 4 Pages
Marilyn Monroe and Mental Illness
By: Whitworth
PSY 410
May 20, 2012

Marilyn Monroe and Mental Illness
Marilyn Monroe, her given name Norma Jeane Mortenson, was born on June 1, 1926. The name Norma Jeane Mortenson was baptized as Norma Jeane Baker (Bio True Story, 2012). When Marilyn was born, during the 1920’s, single parenting was not regarded highly. Marilyn’s mother, Gladys Mortenson, named Marilyn after Norma Tallmadge, famous actor during the mid- 1920’s. Marilyn was born with no father figure in which to influence her life. Marilyn’s birth certificate lists Edward Mortenson as the father, of which he was Gladys’ second husband, biographers have since agreed that Norma Jeane’s father was actually Stanley Gifford. Gifford
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During Norma Jeane’s childhood she was known to have fantasized that she was the daughter of Clark Gabel, she had often told school mates that her father was a famous Hollywood actor (Doll, 1998-2012). It is known that Norma Jeane never did formally meet the man whom she thought was her biological father, Gifford (Doll, 1998-2012). Doll (1998-2012), "When she was a teenager, she tried to speak with him by telephone. She identified herself as "Norma Jeane, Gladys's daughter," but the party on the other end of the line simply hung up.” (Para. 7). It is easy to underestimate the significance of the stories surrounding Norma Jeane’s early life, yet it appears that she felt a profound sadness at never having known her father. This alone left an emotional scare. The conflicting stories the fantasies about who her father was, is a mere representation of her attempts to put her early life into presepective, in spite of a dim past (Doll, 1998-2012). Unfortunately these attempts were not enough to for the actress, it is noted that shortly before her death, Norma Jeane filled out an official document, witnessed by her personal secretary, where the father is listed as “unknown” (Doll, 1998-2012).
Family History of Mental Illness Norma Jeane’s mother had a documented history of mental illness. Both of her parents, Otis and Delia Monroe were found to have lived out their later years in mental institutions, Norma Jeane’s uncle, Marion Monroe, was also