Eriksons Theory Of Development In The Outsiders English Literature Essay

Erik Erikson ‘s theory of psychosocial development is one that is really good known and respected. Erikson was a pupil of Sigmund Freud in Austria. After Freud died, he continued to research, alongside Ms. Anna Freud, his wise man ‘s girl. Initially Erikson though his work was merely an extension of Freud ‘s theory, but it shortly showed to be far more extended, and have many differences. Erikson believed in each phase of life a individual will make a crisis that will either take to good traits or bad traits. Erikson besides felt the Freud had overstated the importance that sexual development dramas in psychosocial development.

Erikson believed that one ‘s personality develops in a series of phases, eight phases to be exact. The first phase is Trust vs. Mistrust, and occurs during babyhood, the first twelvemonth of life. Harmonizing to Erikson babes are torn between swearing and distrusting their parents and health professionals. If their demands are moderately met, they will develop a sense of trust in the predictability of their milieus and environment. If there demands are non met, nevertheless, they may go leery, fearful, and concerned about their security. The 2nd phase is Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt. This occurs in the 2nd twelvemonth of life, yearling, and is caused by the kid ‘s turning interactions with the universe around them. Children learn to pick up objects and hold points, pull strings them in different ways, and maestro bodily eliminations. If a kid fails at any/all of these undertakings they may see shame and diffidence. The following phase Initiative V. Guilt and is about the kindergartner at 3-5 old ages of age. This phase is about larning to originate undertakings, carry out programs, and take on new undertakings. Parental support in these enterprises can take to a sense of joy and security. If a kid is unable to get the new accomplishment of enterprise they may hold feelings of insufficiency, guilt, even shame. Industry vs. Inferiority take topographic point during the simple school twelvemonth, 6-pueberty. Children are invariably meeting new sets of outlooks, and need to larn the accomplishments to accommodate to the alterations. When a kid fails to run into the new criterions they develop low sense of ego assurance, experience unequal, and even lose religion in their ability to larn. Adolescence is following, from the teens to early 20 ‘s and this phase is Identity vs. Role Confusion. Here childhood is at its terminal and maturity Begins. This brings about new challenges, and the chief 1 is calculating out one ‘s ego individuality. Failure to accomplish a sense of ego can take to confusion and desperation. Intimacy V. Isolation happens during early maturity, 20’s- early 40 ‘s, and is characterized by people larning to go confidant ( emotionally and physically ) with others. This familiarity is normally in the signifier of matrimony, but can besides include long-run spouses every bit good as homosexual twosomes. To organize an confidant relationship both spouses must be swearing of each other, capable of enterprise, and have a strong sense of whom they are separately. Failing here can take to a alone life, isolation, and unhappiness. In the 40 ‘s through 60 ‘s we encounter Generativity vs. Stagnation. The end at this phase of life is to remain capable and productive. Peoples who have accomplished their ends in life are more likely to be happy in this phase of life than those who have struggled. Bing unable to stay productive in this phase of life causes feelings if dissatisfaction and desperation. Late maturity falls into the 8th phase, Integrity V. Despair. This is from the 60 ‘s through decease. Peoples at this point in their lives must come to footings with impending decease. Peoples who have navigated through the phases of development with easiness, or at least wholly, have an easier clip confronting decease.

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The film The Outsiders tells the narrative of two groups of immature grownups ; the wetbacks and the socs. There is a acrimonious competition that stems from economic differences. While there are some differences, these two groups are non every bit dissimilar as one would believe ; they do hold some things in common. Cherry Valance and Ponyboy Curtis have a love of poesy, sundowns, and music in common, and these commonalties transcend all differences temporarily. This intimation at understanding makes for a bright topographic point in an otherwise instead drab plot line. The characters in the film are all alone, and while they all fall into the Identity vs. Role Confusion phase, they all act really otherwise and have different personalities. Erikson would state this is due to the crisis ‘s they faced turning up, and the new crisis that they are put in throughout the film.

Ponyboy Curtis is a 14 year-old male child who is populating with his 2 brothers after the decease of his parents. Ponyboy is really intelligent and has equal get bying accomplishments covering with the decease of his parents. Due to socio-economic factors, low-income, he has major separation anxiousness. Due to the fact that he is a twelvemonth younger than his equals he besides appears somewhat immature and unable to take duty for his actions. Harmonizing to Erikson Ponyboy falls right into the Identity vs. Role confusion phase, and this seems to suit absolutely. In the film after Ponyboy and Johnny kills a Soc, Bob, after Bob holds Ponyboy ‘s caput under a fountain until he loses consciousness. Ponyboy and Johnny are non able to confront the effects for the incident and run to happen Dally who instructs them to conceal in an abandoned church. Johnny cuts and bleaches Ponyboy ‘s hair, and Ponyboy has a difficult clip seting to that alteration. During this clip period he is really diffident of himself ; he doubts whether he will be able to populate in town once more, doubts his worth as a individual, and uncertainties that his brothers would still love him. After Johnny and Ponyboy rescue kids from a firing church they are able to return to town as heroes. It is at this point Ponyboy seems to turn up and accept his new function and the actions of his yesteryear. He talks to the tribunals about the dark of the incident and is told it would be put down every bit self-defense as Johnny was supporting his friend ‘s life. At place he has a heart-to-heart with his older brother who was worried ill about the events and loss of his small brother, and they clear the air of all ideas of Darrel non desiring his 2 small brothers populating with him. Upon the decease of Johnny Ponyboy has a realisation about who he is as a individual, and the importance of relationships with friends and household, deciding the crisis in the adolescence phase.

Johnny is besides from a low socio-economic background, and lives with parents that ever fight. He is of mean intelligence but has a difficult clip with reading comprehension, which caused him to be held back a class. At 16 he besides falls into the same phase of Identity vs. Role confusion as Ponyboy. With parents that fight a batch and are alkies it seems like he was unable to larn any sort of get bying accomplishments and relies a batch on what other people tell him to make. His shyness and a societal clumsiness lead to the inquiry of maltreatment and PTSD ; this belief is besides substantiated as he has a cicatrix on his cheque from being beaten by 5 adult work forces. Johnny besides has frequent ideas of self-destruction which could be due to depression, experiencing unloved by his parents, socially unwanted, seeing himself as “ out of topographic point ” even amongst friends, and that he internalizes that actions of others. Throughout the movie he ne’er truly comes to footings with his function in life. He runs to Dallas when he needs to do a determination, likely as he feels uncomfortable doing a determination that will impact others every bit good as himself. One mark of strength in his character is that he decides to turn himself in so the Ponyboy could travel back place to his household and friends. When he is in infirmary with dangerous Burnss and speaking to Ponyboy the first clip he says he regretted a batch of his yesteryear ; that he wished he had ne’er helped deliver the kids, and that he did n’t desire to decease even though he did n’t cognize what to make with his life. Then right before he dies he confesses that salvaging the kids was deserving it ; that their lives where so much more valuable than his. This shows that he eventually accepted his function in life, and that he was get bying with his yesteryear.

Cherry Valance is a Soc and in the same class and school as Ponyboy and Johnny. She forms a sort of bond with Ponyboy even though she said she would still hold to disregard him at school. When her fellow sees her speaking to the wetbacks he gets huffy and makes Cherry go forth with him. This is the cause of the struggle in the film and what causes the Socs to assail Ponyboy and Johnny. Cherry is really cognizant of the category difference, but still feels bad about the events and attempts to do damagess in any manner she could. Cherry ends up descrying on the Socs and feeding the information to the Greasers. She besides is willing to attest against her societal group in defence of Ponyboy and Johnny. She shows marks of already holding achieved a sense of ego ; she knows her topographic point in society, has strong friendly relationships, and besides a strong sense of right vs. incorrect.

Dallas is the “ older ” male child in the film ; he is the function theoretical account for the Greasers. Dallas is 17 but seems to be in the immature maturity phase ; he already is confident about his function and is seeking to work on organizing relationships with people. In the beginning of the film you see him hitting on Cherry and her friend really strongly, and he is so sexually aggressive it borders on colza. This demonstrates the inability to demo compassion for other, and compassion, along with friendship/love, trust, and common involvements, is cardinal to constructing stable relationships. He is really unagitated under emphasis, and that is evidenced by the fact his friends all turn to him for advice. Dallas does demo marks of an anti-social personality ; he is available to his friends and cohorts but to everyone else he is hostile and aggressive. Violence is used to derive laterality over other males, and as I stated above he is really sexually aggressive with adult females. Despite holding Ti with the Greasers, he does n’t organize new relationships and seems really entirely and stray.

Overall this film demonstrates really clearly the Adolescent phase of the theory of development that Erikson proposed. All of the characters struggle to happen a sense of who they are and what they are making. We see both the consequence of happening one ‘s ego every bit good as what can go on if that crisis is ne’er resolved. We besides glimpse the following phase in the signifier of Dallas, and we can larn how of import relationships are in personal development.


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