Chuckie Finster

By Deidra Wright

external image Chuckiepro.jpg


Charles “Chuckie” Finster is a character from the Nickelodeon TV show The Rugrats. The show is about five babies and their daily activities that turn into adventures in their vivid imaginations. These five babies include Tommy, Phil, Lil, Chuckie, and Angelica. At two years old he is the second oldest of the babies and is usually the main target for Angelicas, the oldest babies, bullying. Chuckie is the son of Charles “Chaz” Finster and Melinda Finster. Chuckie’s mother Melinda was said to have died at some point after Chuckie was born, making him the only baby without a mother until the introduction of his step mother, Kira, in the movie Rugrats in Paris. He is also the only one of the younger babies that is potty trained and who can be understood by the adults. His first and only word is NO which Chuckie also said in the movie Rugrats in Paris right before his father is about to marry the evil Coco LaBouche. Chuckie’s Best friend is Tommy Pickles a free spirited and adventurous baby who can be seen as his exact opposite. Some of Chuckie’s most memorable characteristics are his uncontrollable red hair, blue shirts with Saturn on them, untied red shoes, buck teeth, and big purple glasses. Personality wise Chuckie is known for being the “scardy cat” of the group and has a terrible fear of clowns and the man on the oatmeal box with the big hat (The Quaker oats man). Whenever there is a new adventure to embark on Chuckie always approaches the situation with caution and heed,but still goes for the ride with his friends. Some of Chuckie’s catch Phrases include "Maybe this isn't such a good idea, Tommy!" and "We're doomed, doomed I tell ya!"

Psychoanalytic Perspective
The Psychoanalytic Perspective was founded by Sigmund Freud. This Perspective focuses on the subconscious sexual desires of a person. Freud believed that each person’s personality is made up of three parts the ID the Ego and The super ego. The ID functions as the part of personality that seeks to satisfy our instinctual desires where as the ego is the part of personality that responds to the real world. The Superego on the other hand is the part of personality that takes in society’s norms and rules and tries to make our actions socially acceptable. He used techniques such as free association and analyzing the manifest content of a person’s dreams to extract what was in a person’s subconscious and find what was causing psychological disorder.
In the case of Chuckie, Freudian Psychologist would analyze his character as having an over active super ego. As a result of this over activity, Chuckie acts as a conscience for the babies. This could be said because he is always the one who takes heed of what is right or wrong acceptable or unacceptable and tries to warn the other babies of this . This can be seen in the episode Grandpas bad Bug. In this episode the babies try to pry a “bad bug” out of Grandpa Lou with pliers in order to make him feel better. Before this clearly unacceptable action Chuckie, much like our conscience, warns the babies that this was not a good idea.
A Freudian psychologist would also say Chuckie is going through the Anal stage of Psycho sexual development. In his theory Freud stated that people go through psychosexual stages of development. In these five stages of development Freud believed that a person’s sexual libido developed and that if we did not pass through these stages properly that a fixation would occur. In the Anal stage of development, that occurs around age two, a child enjoys getting rid of bodily waste but encounters conflict because the parent is trying to control where the child expels this waste. In Chuckie VS. the Potty we see just this happen. Chuckie does not understand why his father wants him to go poop in a potty and give up his diapers. Chuckie feels conflicted because he enjoys relieving himself in his diaper and finds the thought of using a potty scary. This overwhelming event also seems to have given Chuckie a case of post traumatic stress in which the traumatic event of switching to the potty shows up in his dreams. In this dream chucky dreams of using the potty as a walk down death row to “The Chair “ where he is met by someone with a black hood over their face and an evil laugh waiting to flush him. Freud’s psychosexual stages also explain Chuckie’s fear of the man on the oatmeal box with the big hat. During the Phallic stage boys go through an Oedipus complex in which a boy fears that his father is father is going to castrate him because of his intense feelings for his mother. The man on the oatmeal box symbolizes Chuckie’s much bigger father. Chuckie is unconsciously afraid of his father because he fears that he will castrate him because of his love for his new mother Kira.
Trait and Skill Aspect
Gordon Allport’s “Big Five” personality traits are one of the best ways to delve deeper into Chuckie’s personality. Allport used extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to capture ones personality. By watching episodes of this show it is very easy to infer that Chuckie is not an extroverted person. Extroversion describes weather a person is dominant and sociable, two things that Chuckie are not. In many cases Chuckie verbalizes his opinions, but without fail his thoughts gets ignored and the other kids continue on with their plan of action. Chuckie is so introverted that if it weren’t for some of his extremely outlandish traits such as his big red hair Chuckie would go unnoticed. In the episode Chuckie’s Red Hair Chuckie dyes his hair black and becomes virtually invisible to the world Chuckie’s friends forget about him while he is sitting right next to him and even Grandpa Lou forgets that Chuckie is in the house when getting the kids ready to go to the park. Another Trait that Chuckie is low on is openness. Openness describes a person’s creativity and imagination. People who are low on openness are said to be very simple and plain this is something that thoroughly describes Chuckie. If it were Chuckie’s decision on what adventures to go on there would be no adventures. Chuckie would rather play it safe and stay in the play area where he knows things will not harm him ,even something as simple as dressing up as a monster for Halloween (Curse of the Werewuff )is a little too dangerous for Chuckie. On the other hand one trait that Chuckie is exceedingly high in and is probably one of his dominant traits is agreeableness. This dimension includes the warm and cooperative part of personality. If there is one thing that Chuckie is that would be cooperative. Even though he disapproves of most of the journeys that Tommy and the other babies decide to take on Chuckie is right there with them. Chuckie almost never puts up a fight and even when he knows something just isn’t right he does it anyway. He is also a very affectionate person. This is seen in his relationship with his father who he loves to give great big hugs to and also how he is always there for his friends when they are in need. Conscientiousness also manifests itself In Chuckie’s personality. This trait describes a person’s cautiousness dependability and organization. One person that the babies can always count on to pull through for them is Chuckie, even when it’s something such as being turned back into babies from monsters, Chuckie sees to it that is done (Curse of the Werewuff ). With the amount of things that trouble him at the age of two, it is sound to say that Chuckie is also a very neurotic baby. Chuckie unlike the other babies is worried about most things that a most two year olds do not even think about such as that his aunt is an evil alien (Aunt Miriam ). While the other babies are playing in mud and eating bugs and old food stored in their diapers Chuckie on the other hand develops a case of anxiety and eventually becomes a neat freak after he was told what germs were (Mr. Clean).
Henry Murray’s concept of motives also gives further insight into Chuckie’s internal forces. Murray believed that people had internal motives that induce certain behaviors or expression. Murrays motives included the need for power, achievement, affiliation , and exhibition. Through observation of Chuckie’s character it is easy to see that Chuckie’s main need is for affiliation. When Chuckie rips his signature blue shirt with Saturn on it and has to wear a new one (Chuckie’s new shirt) He becomes distant from everyone because he does not feel like himself. Chuckies need for affiliation causes him to makes him put on his old shirt and become attached to it because without it he has no other way of being close with and have the affection of his friends and his father.
After looking at Chuckie’s character through the lenses of both the Psychoanalytic and Trait and Skill approach it is easy to see why Chuckie acts in the ways that he does and also to predict the future development of this character. It is apparent after analysis of Chuckie why his trait of being afraid trumps the occasional acts of braveness that Chuckie may display. The warmth and great dependability could be seen as a result of Chuckie’s need for affiliation and his conscientiousness. Chuckie’s over active Superego does not allow him to act on the instinctual urges of the Id or the real world concerns of the ego. This paired with Chuckie’s overwhelming neuroticism and introversion makes Chuckie a baby who is extremely on edge and scared. Also in his future one would be permitted to say that his problems will continue on with him. Chuckie’s need for affiliation and his extreme agreeableness would make him susceptible to being a bit of a follower later on in development. This is because Chuckie has the need to be around others but does not really have the strength to say no because he is so cooperative or be unique in situations because he is low in openness.

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List of Rugrats.Episodes.Wikipedia.Retrived from 4/20/2011
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Rugrats Character from 4/20/2011