“The Brown Bunny” is a film describing the story
of a motorcycle d\racer, Bud Clay. In fact, the film raises
numerous themes which are interested to a wide range of people,
but the main character is particularly noteworthy. The director
of the film managed to create a remarkable character with
a very complex psychology. At the same time, on analyzing
his behavior, his actions and lifestyle as well as major traits
of character, it is possible to estimate that he suffers from
the narcissistic personality disorder.
At first glance, the main character does not have any serious
problems and he is an ordinary man who enjoys racing above
all. However, as the events of the film unfolds narcissistic
inclinations of Bud Clay become more and more obvious. Traditionally,
the narcissistic personality disorder is defined as a pervasive
pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of
empathy (Zimbardo, 2005, p.510). In this respect, it should
be said that the narcissism of the main character is mainly
manifested through his relationships with other people. He
wants the public to admire him. It seems as if his passion
to motorcycle races is nourished not by his eager interest
in races but it is stimulated by the admiration and respect
of other people, which Bud Clay enjoys when he succeeds in
At the same time, the narcissist inclinations affect dramatically
the life of the main character. In fact, because of his narcissism,
he cannot develop normal relationships with other people.
This is particularly evident in his relationships with women.
Bud Clay is inconstant and careless person. He cannot have
serious relations with one and the same woman for a considerable
period of time. Instead, he changes his girlfriends permanently.
At this point, his narcissism again plays the determinant
role and defines his relations with women. Obviously, Bud
Clay does not really love his girlfriends, but still he needs
them and it is not only the need of intimate relations but
it is also an irresistible desire to feel the admiration of
women who rather perceives him as a superman than an ordinary
However, his own admiration with himself is even higher than
the admiration of the public or his girlfriends. He is constantly
focused on his own needs, interests, desires and he pays little
attention to his environment.
In such a situation, it is possible to recommend the cognitive
therapy (Zimbardo, 2005, p.537). This treatment will be focused
on the assistance to Bud Clay to understand his own faulty
thinking. He should realize that he overestimates his significance
and totally ignores other people. He should be conscious of
the importance of other people, their needs, feelings and
The causes of Bud’s problems may be explained with the
help of Trait theory (Zimbardo, 2005, p. 468) since he was
the only child in the family and it is probably contributed
to the development of his narcissism because he was always
surrounded by attention of his relatives, he felt support
and eventually such a hyper attention to the boy evolved into
narcissist trends in the adulthood when the personality of
Bud was shaped.
Zimbardo, L.J. et al. (2005). Psychology: Key Concepts. New
York: Allyson and Bacon.