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The comedy film Mr Mom stars Michael Keaton who plays Jack Butler a recently laid-off Dad who must stay at home with his kids while his wife begins a new job Jack must learn to deal with his new role as a household husband accept his wifes new role as the breadwinner and balance the identity transformations that come along with a life change The films introduction reads Jack and Caroline Butler are perfectly happy with their roles in lifeuntil a layoff makes him a househusband and her a working wife And while she wrangles with charts graphs and an all-to-eager-to-be wrangled boss he has to contend with their hyper kids a ravenous vacuum cleaner an angry washing machine and an oversexed neighbor From late nights in the boardroom to lonely nights in the bedroom the biggest challenge for both Jack and Caroline is learning to trust one another with their reversed rolesMGM 1983 Jack is a typical forty-something male struggling to maintain his identity and to do so he uses a variety of defense mechanisms to relieve his internal anxiety Jack has many concrete beliefs on gender roles and it is difficult for him to overstep his masculine boundaries The theories of Freud and Erikson can be applied to Jacks situation and actions throughout the film In the text Personality Theories the author identifies the defense mechanism theory by Freud as procedures that ward off anxiety and prevent our conscious perception of it Engler 1999 p50 There are nine dominant defense mechanisms and Jack Butler uses many of them during the course of the film He had just learned of his job loss when he first uses a mechanism Jack began rationalizing with his co-workers to help himself and the others feel better He said to his co-workers when your down your not necessarily out and keep that sense of humor--its critical MGM 1983 Jack was dealing with his emotions analytically
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