You will have the opportunity to provide theoretical insight on adult development, by applying the adult development theories and concepts to a character from a film or T.V. show. Please use less than 250 words as a description/background of the character and focus most of the writing on the analysis. Again this entire post needs to be a minimum of 800 words. Book: Berger, Kathleen Stassen. (2019). (4th Ed.). New York, New York: Worth Publishers.
In this assignment, we will explore adult development theories and concepts by applying them to a character from a film or television show. This exercise will allow us to gain theoretical insight and analyze the character’s developmental trajectory through the lens of adult development theories.
Before we delve into the analysis, let us provide a brief description and background of the character we have chosen for this assignment. The character we have selected is Don Draper from the television series, “Mad Men.” Don Draper is a complex character who serves as the creative director of an advertising agency in the 1960s. He is portrayed as a talented and successful professional with a mysterious past. Throughout the series, we witness his personal and professional struggles, his tumultuous relationships, and his journey towards self-discovery.
Now, let us focus on the analysis of Don Draper’s character using adult development theories and concepts. One theory that can be applied to Don Draper’s development is Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. According to Erikson, adults go through a series of psychosocial crises, each impacting their sense of identity and their ability to form meaningful relationships. Don Draper’s journey can be understood in the context of Erikson’s stages.
During the early seasons of “Mad Men,” Don Draper appears to be in the stage of “identity versus role confusion.” He is not only struggling with his true identity but also grappling with the various roles he plays in his personal and professional life. This can be seen in his constant reinvention of himself and his tendency to assume different personas. His mysterious past and the lies he tells about his identity further demonstrate the unresolved conflict he experiences during this stage.
As the series progresses, Don Draper moves towards the stage of “intimacy versus isolation.” He forms relationships with various women throughout the show, but most of them end in dissatisfaction and isolation. This can be attributed to his inability to establish genuine connections due to his unresolved identity issues. Despite his external success, Don Draper struggles with feelings of emptiness, suggesting a hindered progress in Erikson’s psychosocial stages.
Another theory that can shed light on Don Draper’s character development is Daniel Levinson’s theory of adult development. Levinson proposed that adults go through a series of transitions and stages, referred to as seasons, as they progress through their lives. Each season presents new challenges and opportunities for growth.
Don Draper is depicted as being in the stage of “transition to middle adulthood” during the early seasons of the show. Levinson explains that individuals in this stage often experience a midlife crisis, questioning the choices they have made and seeking a sense of fulfillment. Don Draper’s extramarital affairs and excessive drinking can be seen as manifestations of his midlife crisis and his search for meaning and purpose in his life.
As the series progresses, Don Draper undergoes a transformative journey that can be seen as a transition to a new season. This stage is characterized by a search for authenticity and reevaluation of one’s values and goals. Don Draper’s visit to the retreat center in California can be seen as a pivotal moment in this transition, where he confronts his past and begins to search for a deeper understanding of himself.
To conclude, analyzing Don Draper’s character through the lens of adult development theories provides valuable insights into his developmental trajectory. Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development and Levinson’s theory of adult development both contribute to understanding the challenges and conflicts Don Draper faces during his journey. By applying these theories to fictional characters like Don Draper, we gain a better understanding of adult development in real-world contexts.