- Death of his mother. Everyone experiences death, but Elvis had a staggeringly close relationship with Gladys. He became a lot more insular with her passing.
- Elvis was born into dirt-poor surroundings. He lived a basic life for what turned out to be half his existence. He became a star overnight and wasn't equipped to deal with it. He needed advice and guidance; he got Colonel Parker.
- Because of the nature of his fame, tremendous expectations were placed on him. He was a rebel, so he was "drafted". He was a movie star, so he had to "fulfil" his contracts. He was a singer, so he had to do "approved" material. He was a sex god, so he had to "perform". As talented as he was, it was tough for him to break the mold. His looks were another double-edged sword; he was marketed as a commodity, he seemed unbelievable in his roles (a Martian playing an aspiring writer, a boxer, a racing driver, a doctor etc.) and people presumed to see a trim Adonis on stage.
He was boxed in in so many ways. One shouldn't just lament that boxing in, however; one should celebrate the smashing out. The wit, the verve, the sass, the style, the reinvention. All uniquely his.