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Film Analysis: How to Eat Fried Worms

Several scholars in clinical psychology attribute man as a complicated organism because many systems have thought of to conceptualize his personality. Personality involves varying characteristics, like physical, mental, emotional, social and moral (About. Com, 2009). There are many situations in life that make necessary adjustments. People build their personalities with ideals of perfection. There are theories of personality that attempts to explore the peoples’ minds.

One of the theories is Erik Erikson’s theory on psychosocial crisis. From the movie ‘How to Eat Fried Worms’ has portrayed how children really react in their environment, especially if everything is new to them, and the feeling of being liked or disliked stem from the inner-self which presumes reaction of others. This paper will discuss and examine various theories or concepts and stages of personality development of people interacting within the societal environment. Discussions Erik Erikson’s theory on psychosocial crisis

In the movie ‘How to Eat Fried Worms’ the main character Billy who has moved in the town with his parents and a brother Woody experienced a psychosocial crisis within his self for being the new kid (IMDB, 2006). Social frustrations result on those that have something to do relating with people. Billy might not pass the 2nd stage of personality development of Erik Erikson which is ‘Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt’. He says he does not want to go to school because he will be the “new kid”. This attitude shows pressure and compulsion as being the new kid in the school.

To cite, the second stage of Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development takes place during early childhood and is focused on children developing a greater sense of personal control (Erikson & Erikson, 1950; in Chapman, 2006). Children who passed this stage shows confidence while those who do not shows self doubt and compulsion. Though Billy showed confidence later in the movie it must be because he overcomes this stage of “self-sufficiency”. Billy accepting Joe’s bet shows the personality stage of integrity vs. despair.

Billy is experiencing honor against misery; the actualization and standing in the society add a big part in this stage. According to Chapman (2006), if a person did not pass a certain stage of personality development it will affect his behavioral pattern and personality. Moreover, experiences, fears and taming from the earlier stages have already shaped many of the person’s feelings and attitudes and these will re-surface in the next stage (Chapman, 2006). To summarize, there will be issues on personality that will develop after passing or not passing each stage.

Billy also showed the urge to explore his ability and skills and prove someone that he is something to be respected. His life stage at this movie is his schoolchild days and the time where he wants to accomplish something. This part of life according to Erik Erikson’s theory is “stage 4” which is industry vs. inferiority. Billy portraying as a competitive new kid is the basic good feature in this stage. Billy is surrounded by peers and is pressured to finish the bet. In here he is experiencing stage 5 of the theory which is “Identity vs.

Role Confusion”. He has to realize his purpose as kid and learn to have faith in his own skills. If a person does not able to succeed in this stage a child will develop Fanaticism and repudiation (Chapman, 2006). Later in the movie he reached the stage of “Generativity vs. Stagnation” where even if he wins the bet, he still shares the consequence with Joe by putting worms in his pants. Joe is also one of the major characters in the movie. He is the bully in the school where every student feared. Joe is experiencing “autonomy vs. shame and doubt”.

He is superior and shows will power. He makes a bold statement that he is the boss of all, of which fall under the stage of “Initiative vs. Guilt”. His ruthlessness to Billy is a sign of “maladaptation” in this stage. Another major character in this movie is Erika, she seems to be quiet but and have passed the stage of “Intimacy vs. Isolation”. Erika is the one taking care of Woody who shows attachment to work and healthy social life. She also shows helping and contributing a lot to Billy which fall under the stage of “Generativity vs. Stagnation”.

To cite, it was implied that those who passed the stage of “Generativity vs. Stagnation” feel they are contributing to the world for actively participating their activities at home and community (Erikson & Erikson, 1950; in Chapman, 2006). Other concepts of developmental psychology depicted in the movie The “superiority and compensation theory” by Alfred Adler (1870-1937) was depicted in the movie. To cite, the striving for superiority is seeking the way which is falling short of aspiration to influence” (Adler, 1937; in Boeree, 1997).

Reflective of the movie, Adler’s “superiority and compensation theory” reflects that a bully in the class is merely hiding an inferiority complex which he is striving hard to cover up by acting superior. Like for instance, Joe portrayed a very realistic personality of a bully experiencing issues in his superiority and inferiority complex. Another concept attributes the “behavioral theory” of John Whiting (1917–1963). This theory presumes that a few essential constrain acquired in early infancy multiply into behavior systems in later life in which many kinds of behavior are influenced by this general motive (Whiting, 1959; in Chasdi, 1994).

It shows that society and people interactions plays a significant influence in a child’s behavioral pattern, in which exemplified by Billy’s personality development in the new environmental setting. Reaction to the film The movie showed how children usually react on their environment. The movie provides analysis of developmental stages of personality. The movie depicts the realities on how children cope up with personality development crisis. The four major character portrayed stages in learning and overcoming the stages, like Erika who can handle things calmly and unaffected while she takes care of Woody.

In my opinion, Joe portrayed those who are afraid to show their inferiority side and acted as the boss among his peers. On the other hand, Billy has proved to be respected, although he was a “new kid” in the environment. However, fear of being rejected was the difficulty to adapt. The movie also depicts diversity of life in children who experience social adjustments. The movie has portrayed that personality development of a child could be like “eating fried worms”, wherein could be referring to the social criteria of interaction in the community. Conclusion It may be said that we can develop our personality through life experiences.

We all learn from our experiences and from there we develop our scheme of personality. Life helps us grow by letting us experience serious lessons and struggles. In Erik Erikson’s theory it shows that parents and environment are major factors in shaping children’s personality. He theorized eight developmental stag that human should pass in order to have a healthy personality. If one stage is unsuccessfully passed, the effects in behavior and personality will appear in the future. In conclusion, the theories show that all has to develop self confidence in order to pass the next stage.

Thus, a good personality must have a happy life. References About. Com (2009). ‘Theories of Personality Development’. Retrieved 21 May 2009 from http://psychology. about. com/od/theoriesofpersonality/Theories_of_Personality_Development. htm. Boeree, C. G. (1997). ‘Personality Theories: Alfred Adler’s Superiority and Compensation Theory’. Retrieved 21 May 2009 from http://webspace. ship. edu/cgboer/perscontents. html. Chasdi, E. H. (1994). ‘Culture and Human Development: The selected papers of John Whiting’. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521435153, 9780521435154. Retrieved 21 May

2009 from http://books. google. com. ph/books? id=c1M8SwVb-wsC&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=Whiting+and+Child+behavioral+theory&source=bl&ots=5EIn5lGGMu&sig=xtiA09EvKEYp24yMuSh9_8Ricbg&hl=tl&ei=iB8WSoaQJ4OMkAWG3eXnDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5#PPR12,M1. Chapman, A. (2006). ‘Erik and Joan Erikson Psychosocial Development Theory, 1950’. BusinessBalls. Com. Retrieved 21 May 2009 from http://www. businessballs. com/erik_erikson_psychosocial_theory. htm. Internet Movie Database (2006). ‘How to Eat Fried Worms’. Retrieved 21 May 2009 from http://www. imdb. com/title/tt0462346/trailers.

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