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Massacre And Its Consequences In The Movie We Need To Talk About Kevin

1674 words - 7 pages

The movie “We Need to Talk About Kevin” is based flashbacks that Eva has of Kevin growing up as she deals with the aftermath of the massacre he committed, murdering fellow students in his high school. Based on Kevin’s character, one may assume that he is a psychopath for the way he acted and behaved as an individual. However, Kevin’s personality greatly contributed to him and the role he portrayed. The following theorists analyze what framed Kevin’s behavior and how their different theories contributed to the individuality of both Eva and Kevin.
Eric Fromm was a personality theorist who believed that human nature was shaped by childhood experiences. He was trained in Freudian psychoanalysis ...view middle of the document...

According to Fromm, destructive people restore lost feelings of power by destroying other people and things. Kevin did this by killing his sister’s pet by putting it down the sink and by destroying Eva’s map wallpaper with a marker when he was a child.
Another personality theorist Erik Erikson created the term identity crisis. His post-Freudian theory elaborated on Freud’s infantile developmental stages into adolescence, adulthood, and old age. According to Erickson, the ego develops throughout various stages of life relative to epigenetic development in which each stage of life develops at the right time. His stages of psychological development depict eight stages that build on the preceding stages. However, in Kevin’s case his parents, especially his mother, contributed to the underdevelopment of a competent ego, in which his ego did not develop at the right time. During Kevin’s infancy he developed basic mistrust from his mother and never gained basic trust from her. For example as an infant when Kevin cried Eva did nothing to comfort or soothe him. The balance of trust versus mistrust depends largely on a maternal relationship but this relationship never existed between Kevin and Eva. According to Erikson, hope emerges once a child is able to distinguish between trust and mistrust and if hope is never acquired it prevents the child from moving forward to the next stage. However there are other factors that contributed to Kevin’s character and that can conclude to his massacre at Gladstone High. Erikson believed that society plays a role in the development of identity. One of the constructive ego functions is to preserve a sense of identity as it is necessary to every human being. Mastery is an ego function that provides pleasures that is unrelated to the satisfaction of id impulses however its frustration can arouse intense rage. Erikson believes that we have a need to master our environment and just like identity it depends on society. Mutuality, having a mutual relationship with other people, is something that Kevin did not have. Unable to fulfill this need results in hatred because it gave Kevin confirmation that he did not exist in the eyes of others. He was confused about who he was as a person and he had this intense rage which drove him to murder his fellow classmates, dad, and sister.
Abraham Maslow’s holistic-dynamic theory assumes that that a person is being motivated by one need or another and that people are likely to grow towards psychological health that is self-actualization. His theory is based on different basic assumptions regarding motivation and that people are motivated by one need or another. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was based on the concept that lower level needs must be satisfied before the higher level needs. Kevin’s need for love fulfilled by his dad however it wasn’t unconditional love. His dad loved him for the Kevin he saw, not the Kevin he was on the inside. Since Kevin received small doses of love from his...

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