FRANK SINATRA (1915-1998)
A description of his personality from his handwriting
The most striking quality in Frank Sinatra's handwriting is the deep emotional content and intensity of feeling (as indicated by pressure, pastosity, forward slant and horizontal strokes) that permeates every letter and indeed the whole page of his writing. Not only did his emotions play an important role in his life; they were a force that drove him. Nevertheless, despite the intensity of these emotions he appears to have been strangely unable to give complete expression to his feelings within his relationships.
Numerous signs of repression (retraced strokes, some leftward tendencies, a few restricted movements and many angles) that appear throughout the writing show how he tried to suppress certain feelings. Somehow, perversely, he only managed to show the opposite of what he intended. Indeed, in all its volatility (seen in the variations of form and slant and a few discordancies), it is a somewhat tortured writing that attests to the constant battle raging within him. Fortunately for the world, however, he was able to give expression to the depth of his feelings through his singing and it was this genuine display of emotionality combined with his superb musicality that was the wellspring of his genius. It was this magical combination that found an echo in the dreams of people all over the world.
Strong pressure, some well-developed lower extensions especially in the p's, a certain pastosity and some notable forward drive (rightward slant, pressure, and long horizontal strokes) all point towards strong physicality - and indeed, he was a man of action. But there is also a strong restless quality in the handwriting (inconsistency of slant and middle zone size) and he was constantly forced to contend with the conflict within his personality. Conflict did not only surface within his relationships but it was actually built into his very fibre so that it was his constant, often unwelcome companion.
He was often drawn to people but at the same time he resented them and tried to build a defensive wall against them. He seethed with numerous strong resentments that were so well-entrenched in his personality that they seemed to bubble up from deep within his psyche and probably had their first origins way back in his childhood. He was suspicious of people's intentions and hated to be imposed upon. He appears to have been on constant guard against people who might try to take advantage of him.
He was tough and critical of others as well as of himself but he hated to be criticized by anyone and he probably lashed out defensively at those who attempted to foist their unwanted and usually unsolicited opinions on him.
There is a rubbery resilience (seen in the pressure combined with pastosity) to his writing that speaks of a strong ability to bounce back. There is also evidence of a very strong personal drive that was rooted in his powerful will to achieve. This was reinforced by his unrelenting determination to get his own way. In fact, he was capable of bulldozing over anyone who stood in his way. (Note the long and powerful down strokes counter-balanced by relentlessly tough and down-slanting t-bars.) And of course he continued to do things his own way throughout his life - a fact that is graphologically substantiated by the strong individualism so clearly apparent in his handwriting (indicated in the departure from copybook, variations in form and slant and the shortened d-strokes). His independence and ability to stand alone are evident in the completely unpretentious quality of the handwriting, (the clear spacing between the lines, repeated upright letters and some shortened d-strokes).
He badly wanted to be loved (although he allowed few people to get close to him) and there is much evidence of love and warmth in his writing. Note the right slant, the full warm strokes, and the almost soft, rounded shapes in the very word, "love" towards the end of his letter. Nevertheless, he apparently went to great lengths to conceal this softer option of his personality not allowing it to be seen except through the context of his singing. In fact his lyrical and poetic side that was such an important part of his make-up was only accessible to the world through his singing. His songs were his lifeline to the world.
Guest Analyst: Sandra Fisher
email: Sandra Fisher