We all travel through the aging process differently. Some people make mistakes and learn from them, while others move on without much thought. Regardless, everybody goes through a period where they look back on their life and reflect on our accomplishments. For most people, this time comes after we grow old, retire, and finally have the time to make those reflections. Erik Erikson describes this stage of life a time of integrity versus despair. Those who believe they have integrity tend to look back on the past and believe that they have led a successful life; while those in despair are generally dissatisfied with the life they lived. Wilma Jane is in Erikson’s final stage of psychosocial development, integrity versus despair. I believe that Wilma Jane has integrity and will realize when is reflects back upon her life. Wilma Jane seems to have a lot to be proud of in her life between her big family dinners and investment in charities. Wilma Jane’s nieces and nephews seem to think that she is reaching a stage in life where she will feel badly about herself seeing as they say that she looks like “death warmed over.” However, she seems determined to not let those things bother her because she is happy with herself and she knows that is what matters. I believe that is also why Wilma Jane seems to ignore Bernie’s comments because she wants to stay happy about her life.
Wilma Jane’s younger brother, Bernie, is also going through the stage of integrity versus despair. Although they are in that same stage, Bernie, unlike Wilma, is going through a time of despair. It seems as though he may have been a very happy man when he with his ex-girlfriend, Sheila; however, as Bernie aged he began to look back on his life and become depressed, leading to Sheila leaving him. After Sheila left, Bernie continued this time of reflection and sinked into a deeper despair. Bernie must have noticed that his mood was dropping so he began to immerse himself in his work and other...
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