The autobiography of Antwone Fisher Review

Fisher’s Life

The autobiography of Antwone Fisher, Finding Fish is one of the best pieces of literature and surely a treat to read. The book is fundamentally based on the astonishing journey of Fisher that starts from his abandonment, followed by sexual abuse by a woman, then liberation after which manhood follows and he gets extraordinary success. Many people would call him the Oliver Twist of the modern world, keeping in mind the chain of events that took place in Fisher’s life.

The author was documented in the reports of the caseworkers of child welfare as Baby Boy Fisher. The story starts off with the description of how Fisher was raised and supported in different institutions. His birth takes place in prison and he is born to a single mother, and this is where his miraculous journey starts from. Soon after his birth, Fisher is transported to an orphanage where he is kept for some time. He lives there till around the age of two after which he is taken to another foster home. The second foster home does not prove to be a good living place for him, because this is the place where he is abandoned and sexually abused. He stays in this place till he is thirteen years old. Feelings of emotional abandonment have thoroughly been described with respect to his life in this foster home. Long before Fisher even turned sixteen years old, he is thrown out of this second foster home. He soon finds a place to live in the reform school for boys, but soon after he is thrown out of this school as well and Fisher endures the turmoil of being homeless.

Even though Fisher was fully aware of the fact that he was not wanted anywhere and that did not consider him worthy of anything, he made sure that he kept his spirit intact and that is what kept him going in spite of all that he had to face. Even after facing all that has been stated above and even more, he became even more determined to make a name for himself, to listen to the teachers and the social workers who used to support him through the difficult times, and to nurture a heart that was romantic as well as full of wondrous imagination and a great sense of humor. It will not be wrong to say that it was his spirits that prevented him from breaking down and it was these spirits that led to the fulfillment of his dreams. Just when Fisher was facing the most horrible days of his life, he was fortunate enough to get himself listed in the United States Navy. This was the place where he lived for the next 11 years of his life. It was during this time that Fisher had the opportunity to prove himself and he became the man of the world, he became a person that was raised by the Navy family and that was created by himself.

Finding Fish is particularly intriguing to read because it shows how a person who was led by an unlikely combination of hope and deprivation, turns it one of the best artists. First, still as a child he had the potential to paint the words that he did not have the courage to speak out. Then he became one of the best known poets and story-tellers and then was considered to be one of highest paid and sought-after screenwriters in Hollywood. However, before he got all these amazing successes, the story of Fisher takes the readers from his job in the Navy. He worked as the as federal correctional officer and he also worked as a security guard at Sony Pictures in Hollywood. This memoir has rather a climatic conclusion. It is stated in the book that he struggles with his identity and it is only revealed when he moves to Cleveland where he is able to locate the surviving members of mothers’ and fathers’ families.

The melodic yet gritty literary voice of Fisher make this autobiography an ultimately gratifying and tumultuous tale and therefore makes it a must read for all the literature lovers.

Event of Fisher’s Life

Psychoanalytical Theory

He was born in prison because of which his mother could not take care of him. He was then taken to the foster home, where he stayed for 2 years and then was transferred to another foster home. These events led to the feelings of abandonment and isolation in Fisher.

The psychoanalytical theory that psychoanalysts would use in this case to describe how Fisher would feel at this time and how these events would affect his personality development is the developmental theory presented and suggested by Erickson. It will not be wrong to say that the different stages of this theory can be used to apply to the different events that took place in the life of Fisher.

While he lived in the second foster home, he was sexually abused by a woman. Needless to say, this event had an extremely adverse affect on his life and his personality.

There are more than one psychological theories that can be applied to this particular event that took place in the life of Fisher. The most appropriate theories that I would like to discuss here are the ones that take into consideration the fact that the children that are born to broken families or that have single parents are placed at an increased risk of getting sexually molested in their late childhood and early adolescence. The main reason behind this is that Fisher did not have any parents and it was his foster mother that ended up molesting him while he was only 13 years old.

The next main event that happened in the life of Fisher was when he moved out to a boys’ reform school from where he was also thrown out. This was the main event during which he felt extremely isolated and worthless. He felt dejected and felt the immense emotions of feeling lonely.

The theory that is most well-suited to this particular event that took place in the life of fisher is the theory of Intimacy vs. Isolation that has been presented by Erick. In fact, this theory is one of the several stages presented by Erick as a part of his developmental theory. This theory describes how some people feel lonely at a certain point in their life and the kinds of adverse effects that this kind of isolation can have on their personality development. It has been laid down by Erick that this stage of the psychological theory is applicable to young adults that fall in the age bracket of 19 to 40 years. These are the prime years during which adults have trouble in forming intimate and loving relationships with others. This implies that this theory is somewhat similar to the conflict theory.

It will not be wrong to say the psychological theory is always presented in the form a couple of sequential steps that are properly defined, but this stage has not been defined with a lot of details. It should be remembered here that each stage is linked to the other stage and it is extremely important to understand one stage in order to get an idea of the next one. For instance, it has been said that Erickson was of the view a completely developed sense of self is extremely important when it comes to forming intimate relationships with other people. According to different studies that have been conducted in this regard, the people with an underdeveloped sense of self have a tendency to get involved into relationships that do not demand a great deal of commitment and this is the main reason why these people later on suffer from emotional loneliness, isolation and depression in the later stages. On the other hand, Erickson also believed that it was extremely important for people to develop close and intimate relationship with others. He believed that success led to close and committed relations, while failure resulted in isolation and loneliness.

The next major event that took place in the life of Fisher was when he enlisted himself in the United States Navy. It will not be wrong to say that this event was the turning point of his life for this was when he started to earn a name for himself. One of the specific events that are worth mentioning at this point with respect to this phase of Fisher’s life is the one when he gets into a conflict with one of the other members at the Navy and when he is called to see a psych.

The theory that needs to be mentioned here and that can be used to explain the thinking and mindset of Fisher is the behavioral theory of psychology. It will not be wrong to say that this theory is quite vast and there are many aspects that need to be considered in this regard. First of all, this theory explains behaviorism of a person. This explains why a person behaves in a certain way and what are the things that effect the attitude of a person towards life and towards the other people in general. Different kinds of conditioning have also been explained as a part of this theory.

Now we shall come to the phase of Fisher’s life that is the most important and the most interesting one; when he enters Hollywood and becomes one of the highest paid and the one of the most sought after screenwriters. This is the success that he achieves after enduring such hardships that would be enough break down any man and his spirits. However, this was not the case of Fisher. He made sure that he follows his dreams and finally achieves what he has thought of achieving. Apart from that, whatever unfortunate events that take place in his life, he used them in a positive way so that he can prove to the man of the world.

The theory that is most appropriate in explaining this particular phase of Fisher’s life is the cognitive theory. Cognitive theory is basically based on the pattern of thinking that is developed by the people mainly because of what they experience in their life and this has the potential to leave an impact on their personality development. It also involves the problem solving abilities of the people and how people develop the abilities to cope with certain stress situation and how find out ways out of the problems in their lives. Cognitive theory explains how Fisher always faced his problems and this was the main reason why he ended up becoming one of the well-paid screenwriters of Hollywood.

The last major event that took place in the life of Fisher was when he goes in search of his family and is then successful in finding them. Since he was born in prison and he was raised by his foster mother, he did not know much about the relatives of his father and his mother that were alive. He then goes on to find them and is also successful in doing so.

The best theory that will explain this phase of Fisher’s life is definitely the developmental theory. The reason behind this is that even if a person stays away from his or her parents, there is always something that will keep him attached to his ancestors and it will one day take that person towards him. This is exactly what happened with Fisher. Even though he had never seen his relatives from his father’s side or his mother’s side, but he still felt the urge to look for them and eventually he was successful in finding them as well.

Short-comings of the Theories

Many psychological theories have been stated and explained above according to the major events that took place in the life of Fisher. It will not be wrong to say that Fisher was not psychologically evaluated for any of the events that took place in his life. This is the main reason why we cannot say certainly whether or not the theories that have been stated above are well-suited for the respective event or not. Particularly when we talk about the developmental theory presented by Erickson and its different stages we are not sure how Fisher developed his thought process and what were the ways in which the unfortunate events that took place in his life ended up affecting him.

It is important to note here that the developmental theories put forth the basic framework on which the thought process of the development, human growth as well as the learning of an individual is based. It will not be wrong to say that if a psychologist wants to know the motivation that is present behind the behavior, actions or the thought process of the individuals, then the understanding of this theory can contribute significantly. Apart from that, the understanding and knowledge of these theories can also provide us with an insight into the society as well as the individuals.

However, when we talk about the cognitive theory with respect to its suitability and applicability on the major events that happened in the life of Fisher, it will not be wrong to say that this theory does suit his conditions. The main reason behind this is that this theory revolves around the internal state of an individual that later on influences the behavior as well as the decision making abilities of that person. It is extremely important for us to understand the internal emotions and state of Fisher so that we can get an idea of whether or not the experiences faced by him were responsible for his behavior.


As it has been stated above multiple times, the life of Fisher was full of turmoil and unfortunate events. Students of psychology will understand that many people that have to face stressful or traumatic events in their life do end up developing some kind of psychological issues. In order for social workers and psychologists to prevent such people from suffering depression of any other psychological disorders, it is important for them to make an intervention. It is important to note here that interventions in such cases have to be based on one of the theories that have been stated above, or oftentimes a combination of more than one theory. Even though there are many events in Fisher’s life that can be discussed because an intervention was required after them, the one that we shall be discussing here as this part of the paper is the event in which he gets molested by an older woman when he is only a very young boy. The reason behind the selection of this event is that many theories of sexual abuse suggest that people that have been molested or sexually abused in their childhood have the tendency to do the same in the future. Therefore, it is important for children that are sexually abused to be counseled so that they do not end up doing the same.

The most suitable theories that need to be made use of in order to lay out the framework for the intervention are the cognitive and the behavior theory. The concept of cognitive-behavioral therapy is not new. Once Fisher is asked to talk about what he had to suffer in his life and how those events bother him, it be easier for any psychologist to judge that whether or not he also has the potential to make other suffer from something that he suffered from himself.

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