Understanding Anxiety: Critical Analysis of a Central Character in the Movie, Parenthood

1739 Words May 11th, 2012 7 Pages
The emotion of anxiety is experienced by the youngest child to the oldest adult. To a healthy degree, anxiety is in fact critical to the learning process. Experiencing and dealing with the discomfort of anxiety allows the child to prepare for and cope with unsettling and often challenging life situations. Research indicates that some individuals experience a more chronic, constant state of anxiety in response to a wide variety of stimuli, whereas others have more infrequent bouts that tend to vary in both frequency and length. Utilizing the character of Kevin Buckman in the film Parenthood, the author examines the young boy’s pervasive sense of anxiety and the ways in which it manifests. Throughout the essay, the author highlights …show more content…
Kevin’s thought processes are plagued with anxiety and he often resorts to avoidance as a means of dealing with his problems. During a scene in which his change is stolen by another child and his father asks if he wants help getting his money back, Kevin responds: “Can we just go? I want to go!” Instead of tackling the problem head-on, Kevin’s natural proclivity is to avoid (Schroeder, 2002). Further, Kevin experiences a degree of separation anxiety and often relies on the parental unit as a means of coping rather than utilizing more adaptive, self-soothing techniques. During the night of his ninth birthday, Kevin asks his father “when I grow up, can I work where you work…that way we can still see each other every day.” Kevin often relies on his parents as a security net and struggles to effectively deal with problems on his own. Clinging to his parents may prevent Kevin from gaining control over his anxiety and adapting to his environment. Throughout the film, Kevin has difficulty coping with setbacks, whether it be Cowboy Dan not being able to attend his birthday celebration or a missing retainer. Research studies predict that anxious

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