Identity


Asense of mastery known as ego strength is developed when onesuccessfully complete a given stage. The failure to develop egostrength may result in a conflict which in turn may have a negativeeffect on one’s development. The first stage of the psychosocialdevelopment is that of trust and mistrust. This stage occurs duringthe first year of birth. It is considered to be the most fundamentalstage of all. Infants are totally dependent on the caregiver. If achild develops trust he will feel secure and safe. Inconsistence inregard to the caregiver or emotional withdrawal by the caregiverleads to the development of mistrust. By extension, a child maydevelop a fear or a belief that his or her environment isunpredictable.

Whileit cannot be expected that a child will develop a hundred percenttrust, balancing between trust and mistrust will give him hope. Thesecond stage of psychosocial development is that of autonomy, doubtand shame. This stage occurs in early childhood and revolves aboutdeveloping personal control. According to the theory, learning how tocontrol his or her bodily functions result in the development of asense of independence and personal control. Included in this stagealso is the control over the choice of food, clothes and toys.Successful completion of this stage leads to confidence and feelingsof security while failure leads to self-doubt and a sense ofinadequacy. According to Erikson, achieving a balance between doubtand autonomy leads to the development of will or the belief that achild can act logically, within limits and with intention. This isclearly explicated in the Themefor English B byHunges Langston, SuicideNote byJanice Mirikitani, TheStory of an Hour byChopin Cate and TheStorm byChopin Cate. The topic regarding the identity is interesting in thatit allows one to understand the latter stages of development.

Development

Onestage of the psychosocial development is that of guilt andinitiative. This stage occurs in the preschool years when a childstarts to assert his or her control over the immediate environment.This is done by directing play and social interactions. Success inthis stage will leave a child feeling able and capable to leadothers. Failure on the other hand leads to a sense of guilt, lack ofinitiative and self doubt. A balance between guilt and initiativegives purpose to the life of a child. The fourth stage ofpsychosocial development is that of industry and inferiority. Thisstage comes during the early years of schooling mainly between 5 to11 years (Castells,13).During this period, a child begins to feel pride in their abilitiesand accomplishments. They are encouraged by those around them to haveconfidence and to believe in their abilities. Where there is noencouragement, children will develop feelings of doubt. When abalance is achieved, will result into competence.

Creatingmeaningful relationship with the child will help him or her to copewith the life threatening situations and perceive life like a normalchild. The other stage is that of identity and confusion, a stageduring which a child will explore his or her independence. The senseof one’s self is developed during this stage. Unsuccessfuldevelopment at this stage will lead to feelings of insecurity andconfusion. Success, on the other hand culminate into fidelity or theability of a child to live according to societal expectations andstandards. The sixth stage of the psychosocial development is that ofintimacy and isolation and occurs during early adulthood. During thisstage, individuals explore personal relationships. Success duringthis stage leads to committed and secure relationship while failuregives rise to emotional isolation, depression and loneliness. Theseventh stage is that of generativity and stagnation and involvesfamilies and career development. The final stage is that of integrityand despair and occurs during old age (Castells,26).During this stage, people tend to reflect back on their life and whatthey have accomplished. Failure at this stage is characterized byregrets, bitterness and despair.

Thefirst four stages of the psychosocial development theory areparticularly important in understanding how children with diseasesdevelop. Generally, Erickson’s theory of psychosocial developmentis useful in understanding how children develop during their earlieryears. It allows one to make a connection between social experienceand human development. The theory, however, fails to give the exactmechanisms involved in moving from one stage to another and howconflicts are resolved. It also does not expound on the type ofsocial experience needed in each stage of development. In TheStorm,Bobinot is seen conversing with her child who is presented as aclever and wise child. The relationship between the two is seen asbeing meaningful and that of intimacy between a mother and a child.It notes that Bibi and her mother “…sat within the door on twoempty kegs.

Bibiwas four years old and looked very wise” (Chopin). The StoryOf An Hourpresents a good example of the final stage of psychosocialdevelopment as can be seen in Mallard’s repression and strength.Though she was depressed, she did show a sign of intelligent thoughtas indicated in the story. The story notes that Mallard “…wasyoung, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression andeven a certain strength.” It goes further to note that “ It wasnot a glance of reflection, but rather [an indication of] asuspension of intelligent thought” (Chopin).

Inthe SuicideNotethe child is lamenting her failures as well as her eagerness to evadethe world and her problems. This shows a failure in feelings ofinsecurity and confusion thus the intention to commit suicide. Inline 25 of the poem, the child is quoted as saying that “…eachfailure, a gracier, each disapproval, abootprint…” (Mirikitani).In the Themefor English B,the author quotes that he is “…twenty two, colored and born inWinston Salem” (Hunges). He seems to lament that fact that he iscolored and twenty two and points out that “…being colored doesnot make [him] not like the same things other folks like who areother races” (Hunges). This indicates a loss of identity and yet arealization that racial difference does not have a big difference inone’s identity. There also seems to be a confusion in the role ofcolor in defining people and their ability.

Conclusion

Thepsychosocial development of an individual is very vital indetermining his or her orientation in later stages of life. Theability of an individual to develop ego strength is key to successfuldevelopment. Starting from the first stage to the seventh one whereadults start to look back at their achievements in life, identitydevelopment is one of the key crucial part of one’s psychosocialdevelopment. It determines how individuals perceive their lives andtheir immediate environment. As explicated in the above discussedliterature works people perceive their lives from differentperspectives and according to their experiences in life. The kind ofrelationships that people develop as they grow and with the othersignificant people in their lives determines how they perceivethemselves in their later stages of life.

Duringthe earlier years, the child is dependent on meaningful socialinteractions within the family for him or her to develop. Further,social support given to such a child is important in enabling him orher to develop a positive outlook in life. In all the discussedliterature, it is evident that different experiences have impacts onpeople lives and how they perceive their lives. Observably,individuals have a radical view of whom they are, seeminglyperceiving themselves in different contexts. For those people whofeel that a part of them is not expressed, the struggle to understandone’s identity is acute. The totality of a person or his or heridentity is a self contrual of the present, the past and how theywant to be in the future. This alone allows for the inclusion ofdifferent aspects and understanding of one’s identity, includingbut not limited to ethnic identity as expressed in the Themefor English B orsexual identity as seen in the case of the SuicideNote.

WorksCited

HungesLangston. Themefor English B(nd).Web. &lthttp://www.eecs.harvard.edu/~keith/poems/English_B.html&gt

ChopinKate (nd). Thestorm (nd).Web.&lt http://www.freewebs.com/lanzbom/The%20Storm.pdf&gt

MirikitaniJanice (2010). Suicidenote (2010).Web.&lthttp://jottedlines.com/literature/poem-analysis-suicide-note-by-janice-mirikitani/&gt

ChopinKate. Thestory of an hour (nd).Web. &lt http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/webtexts/hour/&gt

Castells,Manuel. Thepower of identity: The information age: Economy, society, andculture.Vol. 2. New Jersey, John Wiley &amp Sons, (2011).