Throughout the history of Psychology among the most interesting topics for many scholars and social analyst is the process affecting human development. Thus, there are many developmental theories formulated over the years in the pursuit to explain and confound within a logical explanation and analogy the intricacies of this process. Psychologists believe that certain factors and elements within the stages of one’s development are pivotal to providing an understanding human behavior . In fact, if reviewed and analyzed critically, psychologists believe that it can help predict behavior that is especially beneficial if one desires or saw the need for behavioral modification. This paper would like to establish the truth in these claims that every stage in the process of human development is pivotal to the formation of one’s character and personalities. In addition, this paper would also like to establish the validity in the claim made by Erikson in his psychosocial developmental theory. According to Erikson, failure to satisfy the required value or virtue determined under a particular stage would have great ramifications in one’s general wellbeing . This is done by reviewing the personality of a popular fictional character portrayed in the big screen. For this paper, the proponent decided to work on the character of Willy Wonka. Wonka is the owner of the Wonka Chocolate Factory, which was recently portrayed by Johnny Depp in a more popular film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. However, there is also a movie entitled Willy Wonka, played by Gene Wilder in a 1971 self-titled film which focuses on the story of Wonka's life.
Describing Willy Wonka
Willy Wonka is the product of Roald Dahl’s clever imagination . Wonka’s character first appeared in books. One was published in 1964 under the title Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The second book was in 1977, a book entitled Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. In both stories, Wonka’s character was portrayed as the eccentric fellow. He was very popular for being the greatest chocolatier in the world. However, amidst his popularity and his wealth, Wonka was a lonely fellow who has no heir. This prompted him to hide five gold tickets in his famous Wonka bars and whoever gets the ticket will have a chance to be included in his selection of kids who will become his heir. Physically, Wonka looks rather peculiar. He was portrayed as a man who is awfully pale, wearing a weird looking hat and dressed very odd. From the context of the story and from how his character was presented, it is clear that Wonka has kept himself secluded within the walls of his factory. He has isolated himself from the public and was evident that he was a loner.
A Pivotal Stage in Willy Wonka’s Life
In the story, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the author tried to give the audience the opportunity to know Willy Wonka’s past particularly his childhood. According to the author, Willy was a son a dentist. His father was a very strict man, who desires for perfection. Willy Wonka’s father can be described as an achiever who desperately wants to be the best in what he does that he neglects to reach out and enjoy life. He demands perfection upon himself and everyone around him especially his son. His perfectionist character was translated to his only son—Willy Wonka. As a child, Willy was forbidden to eat chocolates and candies because it will ruin his teeth. Willy’s father despise chocolates and would throw every candy and chocolate in the furnace every time he gets a hold of these sweet concoctions. This drew Willy’s curiosity, and when he had a chance to eat chocolate, he began to get addicted to the taste of it that he could not stop his craving. Until finally, it reached his father’s attention, and it causes a rift between them. Willy began to disobey his father and proceed to do exactly what his father hated till they just drifted apart.
Willy despised his father. With this, his goal was to prove his father wrong by exceeding his father’s accomplishments. The resentment of his father towards his vision significantly affected how he viewed family and how he interacts with other people. Willy grew up thinking that families are not supportive, and parents dictate their whims upon their children. This is the reason Willy Wonka could not believe why Charlie turned down his offer to be his heir in exchange for turning his back on his family.
Critical Analysis of Willy Wonka’s Development
Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Developmental theory proposed that in every stage of human development, every individual necessarily have to master and acquire a particular virtue (Allen & Marotz, 2003). This virtue is achieved only if the individual successfully conquer the stage by learning the proper insights. In a study conducted in 1984, author James Marcia stated that the identity is formed by a complex psychological process coursed through the different stages of human development (Marcia, 1966). If this statement is used in understanding Willy Wonka’s personality, it can be assumed that his identity was a product of his childhood experiences.
Utilizing Erikson’s Psychosocial Development Theory is can be assumed that Willy failed to process and learn the virtue as early as the second stage. The second stage of Erikson’s Theory is the Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt. At this stage, Erikson said that a child needs to learn personal control of the situation . This is especially necessary for learning control over food choices, clothing selection and toy preference. Children at this stage in their development needs to be given enough liberty to assume personal choices. Willy was not allowed to experience these things. In fact, his father kept insisting what he can eat and not eat. His father largely dictated Even the way he carried himself and the way he dresses. In other words, Willy was not allowed to make a personal decision. This resulted to Willy’s doubt and low-self—confidence. This was also the reason he isolated himself and refuse to be in contact with other people. Growing up, Willy felt that he was inadequate and that he would always seek his father’s approval. Although eventually Willy rebelled and ran away from home, Willy grew up carrying the same uncertainties and insecurities. His insecurities were the reason amidst his accomplishments he kept his factory locked and go to the extent of traveling to far-flung and remote places to discover something new for his factory. He fears people are out to scrutinize him and belittle his work, so he hid himself inside his factory.
In conclusion, it can be asserted that the person that people become when they mature is largely influenced by the kind of childhood they have. In this regard, parents have a big shoes to fill in ensuring that they allow their children to how a healthy and favorable environment as they mature especially during the formative years because they are most likely to carry this when they grow old.
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