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Mrs Edna Pontellier is a woman without an identity and a woman without any fidelity to either her relationships or her ideals This of course means that she has not successfully completed Eriksons fifth stage of psychosocial development the stage of identity versus identity confusion Edna is a grown woman who has the mind of an adolescent and this eventually leads to her downfall as a person and the premature termination of her life Eriksons fifth stage of psychosocial development takes place during adolescence and as previously stated is the stage of identity versus identity confusion During this stage of development teenagers begin to sense their individuality and examine who they are as individuals At this point adolescents begin to realize that they are the ones who have the control over their lives and their futures but along with this realization comes a sense of responsibility for ones own actions and the awareness that decisions may have long-term consequences These realizations aid in bringing about identity confusion which is defined by an individuals internal conflict about who or she actually is Identity confusion is often caused by a discrepancy between a persons ideal self-image and his or her perceived self-image The discrepancy leads to potential feelings of unworthiness which may cause an adolescent to adapt a negative identity Once a negative identity is developed teenager usually deal with it in one of two ways The first method of coping is the employment of the ego-defense mechanism known as projection In this case the individual projects his or her negative image onto others by viewing them as the ones who are bad and unworthy The second way of coping with a negative identity is by embracing it and searching for an identity in countercultural movements that adhere to values which are opposed to the values the individual was originally brought-up with If an adolescent positively resolves his or her identity crisis he or she develops the
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