Erik Erikson 's Identity And Self Esteem Essay

1988 Words Mar 20th, 2016 8 Pages
Erik Erikson was an ego psychologist that was interested how culture, society, conflicts affect the ego. The ego refers to one’s sense of self-importance, self-esteem, and personal identity. According to Erikson, the ego develops only as well as it resolves certain social conflicts throughout life. His theory involves eight stages and a major crisis occurs in each stage that one has to overcome the ego to develop properly. Catcher in the Rye’s Holden Caulfield lacks personal identity and self-esteem. Erik Erikson’s theory helps to better understand Holden’s issues with his ego.

Stage 1 is “Trust vs Mistrust” and it occurs from birth to eighteen months of age. A newborn will look to their caregiver for stability and consistency of care. An example of this is breastfeeding, it is known to create a bond between the mother and the child. Success in this stage will lead to the culture of hope. When the infant has issues in the future, they will have hope that their caregiver will be there for them. If care is harsh or inconsistent, the infant will develop a sense of mistrust with the world around them. This may lead to anxiety and/or feel insecure about themselves and the world. “She 's really smart. I mean she 's had all A 's ever since she started school. As a matter of fact, I 'm the only dumb one in the family. My brother D.B. 's a writer and all, and my brother Allie, the one that died, that I told you about, was a wizard. I 'm the only really dumb one” (Salinger, 67).…

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