Psychosocial Life-Span

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By bglh614
Words 617
Pages 3
The novel and movie Ordinary People follow an upper middle class family as the deal and cope with a death in the family of the eldest son. The character Calvin in Ordinary People is the father, who is married to Beth and have a son name Conrad. Calvin and Beth lose their eldest son Buck to a boating accident a year ago, which leads to a suicide attempt of their other son. The characters in this novel and movie show many signs of Erickson’s theory of development especially Calvin. Calvin falls into two stages of Erickson’s theory of development: Ego Integrity vs. Despair, and Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt. The theory of Ego Integrity vs. Despair states as people become older in life people they often spend time reflecting on their life and feel despair and become depressed because they may not have accomplished goals they set in life. This theory can be seen throughout the novel and movie as Calvin becomes more and more aware of what kind of relationship his wife and son, have after the death of Buck. He soon becomes despair with his marriage and realizes what kind of person his wife Beth is, and understands why his mentor did not approve of their marriage. Calvin begins to drink more to help deal with problems and alcohol is a depressant, which often leads him to reflect on what life could have been if he had followed his dreams of becoming an athlete or soldier. Also, Calvin falls under the Theory of Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt. This theory states people can become inadequate and have self-doubt. There are many examples throughout the novel and movie where Calvin is very insecure about how to mend the broken relationship between his wife Beth and his son Conrad following the death and suicide attempt. His wife doesn’t care about his son problems and he perceives this as a personal failure on him, which increases his insecurities and the feeling of mistrust he is…...

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