Parenthood Character Analysis

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The movie Parenthood displayed parental challenges faced by four siblings. The main character, Gil Buckman, is a prime example of what characterizes Erik Erikson’s stage of generativity versus stagnation in middle-aged adults. This seventh stage characterizes generativity as an adult’s desire to leave behind legacies of themselves to the next generation. On the other hand, stagnation occurs when adults sense they have done little to nothing for the next generation (Santrock, 2012, p. 322). Although the changes in Gil are progressive throughout the movie, he ultimately reaches generativity through providing nurture and guidance to his children. This is especially apparent in his relationship with his son Kevin, who’s school expressed concerns of his emotional problems and wanted to transfer him to a special education school the following year. It is obvious that Gil desperately wanted to leave a legacy of himself behind to Kevin, yet gets…show more content…
I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it” (Parenthood, 1989). By telling this story, Grandma defines not only life, but also parenthood as something that makes you “so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled altogether.” It is obvious that Gil prefers the merry-go-round; he prefers stable. Otherwise, he is too tense when life has too many surprises. When Gil is at his daughter’s play and his youngest son runs up to the stage messing up the set, Gil has a brief moment where you can hear the sound of a rollercoaster, and he seems to be in vertigo with what seems like chaos. Yet, when he turns to see his wife smiling at the scene, he comes to relish that moment- chaos and everything included. Gil sees that the worrying never ends in parenthood. Only when he stops letting his worries get the best of him all the time, he can truly enjoy

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