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Stages of Child's Development by Freud

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For a child to meet the predetermined normalities of a society, an individual will go through certain stages of development throughout their life. Robert Dale Parker, the author of How to Interpret Literature, explains that:

In Freud’s model, the child typically moves through a series of stages from polymorphous perversity to desires that focuses on the oral (as infants approach the world through their mouths), then on the anal (as they take pride in learning to control their bowels), and then on the phallic, finally leading, for most people, to the adult, heterosexual, genitally focused sexuality that Freud saw as the goal of healthy sexuality (117).

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In other words, your personality and motives start developing from the early years of your childhood. If you miss one of the stages or do not pass them, you can get stuck in one stage for the rest of your life. Through your actions, it becomes clear which stage you are stuck in. For instance, people who are stuck in the oral stage chew gum super loudly. If stuck in the anal stage, they will have a messy room. An infant gains satisfaction through the mother’s breast, and the comfort stops around the same time that the baby passes the oral stage. People who are stuck in the oral stage, may not feel food’s safe when they needed it, or a warm caring mother to offer her life-giving supplement. Subsequently, people who are stuck in this stage are more likely to drink, smoke, and even have a loss of control when it comes to eating whether it is overeating or undereating. The main character in “Strangler Bob” is not an exception from this equation as he describes that “I was constantly drunk, treated myself as a garbage can for pharmaceuticals, and within a few years lost everything and became a wino on the street, drifting from city to city, sleeping in missions, eating at giveaway programs” (Johnson 65). Obviously, the main character is a repetition that fails to thrive, and cannot survive addiction and recovery and moves on to a new life. While Dink is still high, he explains that “I studied him surreptitiously over the edge of the bunk, and soon I could see alien features forming on the face below me, Martian mouth, Andromedan eyes, staring back at me with evil curiosity. It made me feel weightless and dizzy when the mouth spoke to me with the voice of my grandmother: ‘Right now,’ Strangler Bob said, ‘you don’t get it. You’re too young.’ My grandmother’s voice, the same aggrieved tone, the same sorrow and resignation” (Johnson 64). Dink’s grandmother’s ventriloquism Strangler Bob, but she does not have any moralistic message and Dink does not pay attention to Bob’s warning. The majority of men in the county lockup are “rowdies and thugs” who cannot see how bad the path that they have chosen is and continue ruining their lives the minute they get out because they did not go through the psychosexual stages of development properly.

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