Developmental Psychology Film Critique Number Two I believe the main character in the film to be Cady Heron who is played by Lindsay Lohan and is a sixteen year old girl. She was homeschooled her entire life until now. I would place Cady in the Adolescence stage of Erikson’s theory of development. It is described that the basic conflict in this stage is identity vs. role confusion. In this stage teens need to develop a personal sense of self and personal identity. If one is able to succeed it will lead them with the ability to stay true to their self.
Failure to do so leads the individual to role confusion and a weak sense of self. In the beginning of the film it shows Cady as a nice young shy and naive girl who is tries her best to fit in. She is nice to everyone around her and has a hard time finding someone who will accept her. She ends up meeting two other people who are like minded as herself. She is dared by one of her new friends to change in order to get back at a girl who she wants to get revenge on from the 8th grade.
Cady does such a good job at changing who she is that she begins to lose her sense of self and her personal identity. She realizes one day that she ditched her real friends for her new fake ones and it reminds her that she has developed a weak sense of self. At the end of the movie she is able to regain her true self and become friends with her original friends again. Yes the character named Cady did experience changes in the social role they occupied over the course of the film. When she first came to the school she wasn’t really accepted and nobody paid any attention or respect to her.
Once she sold out and joined the fake group of girls called the plastics she was only then able to gain popularity and respect from her classmates. When she became part of the plastics she lost her first and only true friends as well. Like I said earlier she did leave the plastics and became friends with her first friends again. I would place Cady in level 2: conventional mortality. Views of other people matter to the individual at this level. People at this level also try to avoid blame and seek approval.
I would also put Cady at stage 3 of this level. In this stage people have good intentions. They want to behave in a way that is considered “good behavior”. Cady definitely cares about how other people view her and it really matters to her. She changes a lot in this film just so people accept her. She joins a group of people that gets attention. People really don’t like the group of girls she joins but they continue to look up and respect them. She lies to her old friends to avoid blame several times throughout the film.
She also tries to get approval from her original friends for her to join the plastics but they do not approve. She leaves the group because she doesn’t have good intentions of being in it. The only reason why she joined the group was to help her friend get the inside on her in order to get revenge. I would say that the easiest indication of identity issues within the main character comes from her level of self –esteem. She feels bad at first that she can’t find friends. She comes home from school on the first day and doesn’t even speak to her parents because she got picked on so bad.
She also joined the plastics and became so popular but she knew it wasn’t her and she still had low self-esteem. It wasn’t until she left the plastics became friends again with her original ones was she able to gain her self-esteem back. She learned to accept everyone for who they were. I would say that in the end of the movie it does show that Cady experiences a sense of life satisfaction. She is able to find out who she truly is and is able to help others do the same as well. She destroys the prom queen tiara that she receives at the beginning of the school’s prom dance.
She breaks it into pieces and gives it to all of the students telling them that they are all special. I think that this part of the movie really shows best the sense of life satisfaction of Cady and also her classmates. I believe that this film is more of a chick flick but it does have an impression that can be perceived by anyone who watches it. It shows real life events that go on everyday throughout the high schools across the world. Students are at a time in life where they need to decide who they are and what they want to become.
I believe that it does portray the adolescence stage of Erikson’s very well in a positive way. I think it shines light on what it is really like for both the group of classmates who gets picked on and also the people who are doing the picking. It shows that people who used to not get along can learn how they can accept each other and live much happier lives. I think that the overall message the film sends about adolescence is that it isn’t an easy road to travel down and that it may take several attempts at trying new things to help someone truly find out who they really are.