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Emerging Themes (Essay Sample)

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Interpretative approach to qualitative research entails the individual’s thinking, actions, and experiences that can be recognized, explained, analyzed, and organized into logical themes. According to Minichiello & Kottler (2010), the essence of qualitative research is for a researcher to view certain phenomena from the point of the subjects studied as opposed to the detachment and objectivity of quantitative research. The researcher’s work, analysis and the interpretation of results of investigation carried out often reflect their personal experiences, desires and expectations. Hence, results from qualitative research present a window into the personal lives of the researchers. The themes addressed in the stories of creative struggles to an extent justify Kottler’s emotional and mental perspective.

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The Presentation of Emergent Themes
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The Presentation of Emergent Themes
Interpretative approach to qualitative research entails the individual’s thinking, actions, and experiences that can be recognized, explained, analyzed, and organized into logical themes. According to Minichiello & Kottler (2010), the essence of qualitative research is for a researcher to view certain phenomena from the point of the subjects studied as opposed to the detachment and objectivity of quantitative research. The researcher’s work, analysis and the interpretation of results of investigation carried out often reflect their personal experiences, desires and expectations. Hence, results from qualitative research present a window into the personal lives of the researchers. The themes addressed in the stories of creative struggles to an extent justify Kottler’s emotional and mental perspective.
The Theme of Vulnerability
Kottler’s cases highlight vulnerability of human beings to social and environmental factors. He considers himself crazy, just like the characters in his book Divine Madness. His background of living in a home that made him vulnerable to developing a state of mental condition influenced his choice of work, interpretation, and view of life. Trying to protect and maintain his family as a young child with an alcoholic, suicidal, and depressed mother, he developed depression (Kottler, 2005). This theme runs through his book for all the cases of artists. In the case of Sylvia Plath, her marriage was troubled and led her to an unstable emotional state. She was a victim of her father’s sternness and lived struggling with herself esteem. Sylvia Plath was so hopeless, developed insomnia, and became suicidal. She could write a lot of creative art during her periods of emotional instability, but unfortunately, she succumbed to her divine madness.
Another example of an emotionally unstable but great artist is Judy Garland, a great singer and presenter whose mental condition in adulthood was a result of childhood exploitation. She was vulnerable because of her pure artistic talent discovered at a very early age. Her situation was sensitive and needed good nurturing in order to survive, but unscrupulous adults subjected her to continuous exploitation, manipulation, and abusive medication to keep her going beyond normal endurance. Already insecure, needy and unstable, Garland developed constant incapacitating anxiety which she could not control even with the pills she was given. According to Kottler (2005), her mother and manager started to give her highly addictive and dangerous drugs when she was only nine years old and denied her the opportunity to experience a normal childhood and mature in a more healthy way. The adults around her took advantage of her vulnerability as a sensitive and needy child to get maximum benefits from her as a property.
The Theme of Emotional Struggle
All the artists in the cases provided by Kottler went through emotional struggle in their lives. An instance is of Mark Rothko who was a renowned painter. According to Kottler (2005), He was born in Russia and brought up in an environment of discrimination where Jews bore blame for most evils faced in Russia. This situation instilled fear in Rothko throughout his early childhood as illustrated by Kottler (2005). He got a scholarship to study at Yale, but the contract did not hold after his first year so he had to work as a delivery boy and a waiter to finance his studies. He felt that Yale community was racist and elitist and made him start a satirical magazine. However, Rothko dropped out of school after his sophomore year. He then embarked on art as a career and was very successful at it until he developed mild aortic aneurysm. Kottler (2005) explains that Rothko continued to smoke and drink heavily, avoid exercise and eat unhealthy food. He became highly nervous, restless, and thin to a point he could not paint as much as he used to. These, coupled with his marriage problems, led him to commit suicide, having sliced his arms using a razor and taking an overdose of anti-depressants.
The Theme of Resilience
Success alone does not tell a comprehensive story of a man. Overcoming serious personal setbacks and enduring professional frustrations hold a large part in success. Some people take up the challenge presented by their mental and emotional conditions, deal with them and live right again. Not everyone succumbs to his or her fears and desperate circumstances. A case from Kotter’s work is Brian Wilson, one of the greatest pop composers who have endured in their profession despite major setbacks. He is in a resurgence of his career, emerged from the darkest and most paralyzing period of social withdrawal, and is again undertaking a journey of professional and personal triumph, according to O'Hagan (2002). In his young life, pressure from his family to perform and a troubled sense of self made him experience a nervous breakdown, and later on, he turned to drugs to ease his condition. Wilson’s condition got worse, and he spent three years paralyzed by anxiety, binge eating, and drugs. He stayed in hospital for severe dependence on drugs, became afraid of water, refused to shower, and eventually his wife left with their two children after he offered one of them an unspecified drug. Brian developed paranoid schizophrenic and maniac depression; nevertheless, he remained strong and eventually overcame his condition (O’Hagan, 2002).
The Theme of Connectivity
There is always a root cause and a means to an end. Most people end up being who they are because of their experiences and encounters. Life revolves around connectivity. Nothing is independent (Minichiello & Kottler, 2010). For instance, in the case of Sylvia Plath, her father was very domineering, antisocial, opinionated, stubborn, and never allowed his wife and children to socialize. Her mother had the passion for being a writer, but she could not get permission from her husband. She then secretly made Sylvia write and was very good at it by the time she was eight years old. Sylvia’s mother lived a frustrated life and tried to relive it in her daughter. This drove Sylvia to a state of depression and she directed the condition to more creative poetry. Her outstanding talent and debilitating depression were inherent to her family, and hence, her decisions in adulthood were influenced by her earlier interactions.
The theme of connectivity applies in the case of Brian Wilson as well, which unfortunately begins with sins of parents passed on to their children, as is the case with most mental and emotional tragedies. His father, not a very successful songwriter, directed his frustration to his three sons. He pushed them so hard that one day he tied Brian to a tree as a reprimand for a very petty mistake. He later beat him up and apparently caused his partial deafness. Brian was constantly afraid and nervous, which he carried on later into adulthood (O'Hagan, 2002). To hide his fear and nervousness, he immersed himself into music as an escape from chaos around his life. The only safe place for him was the studio and his bedroom, which he turned into a music room as every other place.
Escapist Fantasy Theme
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