Sociopathy in The Moonstone

Sociopathy in The Moonstone

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Sociopathy in Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone
Sociopathy affects many individuals across the globe. As a medically recognized condition, it alters one’s natural state of mind. A sociopath develops patterns of behavior consisting of harassing others, failing to conform to social norms, and lying. People with this condition disregard the rights and feelings of others, resulting in a frequent lack of empathy towards other individuals. Sociopaths frequently show deceitful and manipulative behavior in order to gain personal profit or pleasure. They perform acts with no respect to lawful behavior that include stealing or pursuing illegal occupations (Diagnostic). Godfrey Ablewhite develops similar patterns of lying, lack of remorse, and harassment, which result in personal gain. He displays these behaviors that differ from those of ordinary society. Godfrey Ablewhite exhibits the sociopathic behaviors of amoral behavior, lack of empathy, and manipulation in Wilkie Collins’ novel The Moonstone.
Furthermore, sociopaths develop a pattern of amoral behavior. Mr. Ablewhite acts without knowing the difference between right and wrong. “If Mr. Godfrey chose to keep the diamond, he might do so with perfect impunity” (Collins 465).Godfrey believes that he deserves no punishment because he benefited from the ordeal, and considers himself innocent. The difference that lies between right and wrong continues to be absent from Godfrey’s lifestyle. He shows no right mind in his actions against his friends and colleagues because he benefits from these experiences. “Godfrey Ablewhite […] had […] betrayed the mercenary nature of the motive on his side (against Rachel)” (Collins 288). His amorality persists in his everyday life because in anybody else’s mind, betraying someone clearly goes against the principles of modern society. No event that Godfrey Ablewhite partakes in, in his mentality, shows signs of being wrong as long as he benefits from the matter. Thus, “Mr. Godfrey is all the readier to enter into the conspiracy (to have Mr. Blake drink laudanum)” (Collins 463). Mr. Blake eventually drinks the laudanum, steals the diamond, and gives it to Mr. Ablewhite. Because the diamond falls into the hands of Godfrey, the conspiracy to drug Mr. Blake contains no elements of foul play in the mind of Godfrey Ablewhite, further developing a pattern of amorality in his behavior. A typical sociopath develops amoral behavior, no different than in the case of Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite.
In addition, the modern day sociopath displays a serious lack of empathy for fellow human beings. Godfrey Ablewhite shows no remorse towards other beings due to the fact their sole purposes remain to make him content and see that he gets what he wants.

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“All (Godfrey) did when he heard what had happened was to hold up his hands in a state of bewilderment, which didn’t say much for his natural strength of mind” (Collins 102). Godfrey’s mind remains unbothered after hearing about the loss of the diamond because he already obtained what he wants; therefore Rachel’s feelings have no impact on him. Mr. Ablewhite scolds other individuals without remorse because in some way, shape, or form, they stand in between him, and what he wants. “On (Godfrey’s) side, he looked down at her with an indulgence so injudicious and so ill-deserved, that I really felt called on to interfere” (Collins 223). Rachel Verinder stands as an obstacle in the mind of Godfrey Ablewhite. He scolds her in an attempt to get her out of the way of obtaining what he wants, with no remorse for her at all. Mr. Ablewhite displays no intellect towards women because to him, they only exist as mere devices to help him acquire personal profit or pleasure. “Poor thing! the bare idea of (Godfrey Ablewhite) marrying (Rachel) for his own selfish and mercenary ends had never entered her head” (Collins 286). Mr. Ablewhite views Rachel as a device to help him acquire wealth in order to pay off his debts. The fact that marriage for a women tends to have emotional distress has no impact on Godfrey. His lack of empathy towards women and other human beings continues to strengthen his sociopathic behavioral patterns.
Finally, manipulation of other human beings remains an important symptom of Sociopathy. Godfrey Ablewhite manipulates other people because he continues to lack the mind of a normal human being that would allow him to receive all of his needs and wants on his own without the use of other people. “You have gotten into a habit of telling fibs” (Collins 223). Godfrey tells lies in order to have his way with people and get what he can from them. His lying abilities correspond with how he obtains what he has in life. Godfrey’s outside behavior and conduct represent his inner being, that of a manipulative amoral sociopath. “(Mr. Bruff) call(s) it the conduct of a meanly deceitful man” (Collins 289). Mr. Ablewhite displays cunning behavior and conduct in order to manipulate his many subjects. He intertwines his outside behavior and inside being in order to maximize his full potential of manipulating human beings. “Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite’s life had two sides to it” (Collins 461). He uses his deceitful side in public to create an allusion that allows him appear eloquent and intriguing. Godfrey uses his other side to manipulate the people who see the allusion and take what he can from them. Manipulation continues to be an important indication of Sociopathy in an individual.
Godfrey Ablewhite displays patterns of behavior that correspond to that of a sociopath. His amoral behavior shows that he acts without knowing the difference between right and wrong. Without the knowledge to discern between right and wrong, he disregards the rights and feelings of other individuals resulting in a lack of remorse towards other human beings. Godfrey Ablewhite utilizes his manipulative powers to gain personal profit and pleasure from other individuals. Ablewhite’s behaviors develop into patterns that exemplify those of a sociopath. His behavior alters his natural state of mind that changes his outlook on other people and life itself. Sociopathy changes the lives of many people, including Godfrey Ablewhite’s.


Works Cited
Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone. New York: Penguin Books Ltd., 2002.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.
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