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Margot Tenenbaum Psychological Analazys Essay

1380 words - 6 pages

In the film, The Royal Tenenbaum, Margot Tenenbaum is the emotionally withdrawn adopted daughter of Royal and Etheline Tenenbaum. Margot Tenenbaum’s demeanor is easily explained using Erik Eriksnon’s psychosocial stages of development. Erickson’s eight stages of development were heavily influenced by Frued’s ideas, however there are major differences. Whereas Frued believed personality was fully developed by the age 6, Erickson believed that personality continued to develop over a person’s entire lifespan. Erickson’s eight stages of development are as follows: trust and mistrust in infancy, autonomy versus shame and doubt in toddler years, industry versus inferiority during early childhood, identity versus role confusion during adolescence, intimacy versus isolation during young adulthood generativist versus stagnation in adulthood, and finally ego integrity versus despair during old age. The crisis that one faces in each of the eight stages may be resolved either in an adaptive or maladaptive manner and influences one’s personality later in life. Margot she seems to have maladaptively resolved many of Erickson’s psychosocial stages leading to the development of stoic and emotionally distant person we see in throughout the film.
Considering that Margot was given up by her biological parents and then adopted by the Tenenbaum’s when Margot was only two years old, one can easily infer that Margot’s resolution to Erickson’s first psychosocial stage of development did not have a positive resolution. That first crisis stage occurs in infancy and involves trust versus mistrust. At this stage according to Erickson, a child is dependent and at the mercy on those around them. Since Margot had been given up by the people that were supposed to care and protect her it is understandable that she would develop a sense of mistrust which would have led her to withdraw from others. The mistrust and withdrawal Margot exhibits is evident throughout the film, consider the lack of closeness towards others that Margot displays throughout the film she isn’t really close to people throughout the film. Her interactions with others throughout the film are very limited and rarely warm. Clearly this was not a good start for Margot, however rocky start on her journey through Erickson’s stages of development did not necessarily mean that all was lost for the young Margot.
The film doesn’t depict much of Margot’s life during her toddler or early childhood years which would have been Erickson’s second and third psychosocial stages of development and which deal with autonomy vs shame and doubt as well as initiative vs guilt. The film opens when Margot is 10 years old during Erickson’s fourth developmental stage which involves industry versus inferiority crisis. Unfortunately during this stage Margot is not receiving much support at least not from her adoptive father Royal. Take for example the scene where Margot is accompanying her father at a cocktail party and Royal...

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