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January 17, 2013

Psychological Attributes Exhibited By the Aging in the Movie – On Golden Pond

Aging influences human psychological attributes in a number of ways. Though commonly alleged that “old is gold” there are a number of aspects that reveal that human actions or inactions are shaped by the way people interact with others, their learning capability, personality inclinations, memory wellness, and issues that motivate them among others (Mather and Carstensen 390-456; Park, Denise and Schwarz 43-67).Aging Attributes In On Golden Pond Movie
There are a number of character attributes that are revealed by Norman Thayer with regards to the attributes exhibited by people who are aging. The feeling of insecurity is a common attribute exhibited by aging members of any given society. Rather than be contended by their achievements in life and appreciate some of their failures or weaknesses, the character, Norman, reveals that emotional insecurity and mental instability is a serious challenge. Different scenes in the movie play unique roles in bringing out the varied psychological attributes of the aging people. Katherine Hepburn plays a vital role in emulating the manner in which the aging respond to the happenings in their society. The scenes articulate different aspects revealed by the gerontological theory with regards to people’s aging elements (Bass 139-144).

The scene on “making peace” clearly elucidate how crucial it is for the aged or aging people in society to make peace with their past and be objective when addressing different future concerns. As revealed by Norman when talking to Bill Ray, lose of memory is a human disorder that is associated with the aging process. This could lead to the old denying that they are indeed old and that should not be associated with youths’ way of life. This reveals that the old fear death and a life full of uncertainties. In the conversation between Norman and Bill Ray, Normal reveals that his “coming back running” was due to his feeling of insecurity. He is however assured by the fact that his wellbeing is reassured by the actions of those around him (Savage 69-81).

It emerges that while the young ones, represented by son Willy, may not like some of the behavioral patterns exhibited by the old or the aging, conceptualization of the root cause of such actions should never be ignored. It emerges that the old people in society are adventurers though not daring enough to maneuver around and venture into strange aspects of society. It emerges that different people age in dynamic ways. It is also evident that human beings have the right to respond to the different life challenges they face as they so wish. Though people do not always have the privilege to choose how they age, one can determine ire how best to deal with the issues faced while growing old (Zacks, Hasher, and Li 163-217).

Through characters such as Norman and Ethel Thayer, both positive and negative attributes of aging are explained. Palpitation and arthritis are health concerns that are common during aging. Together with slow mental decline, Normal helps to reveal the degree to which mental challenges are a core challenge facing people while aging. As a result, people who are aging become very grumpy, arrogant, and impatient. It is only through the courage of the mother that Chelsea gets the courage of telling the father that she would like them to be friends and avoid the fear, enmity, and suspicion that has continued to dominate their daughter-father relationship. This, according to Moody (13-54) is an indicator that a person needs to have an ideal mental stability so as to effectively and independently motivate oneself towards leading a self fulfilling life.

Development of a victim is a major attribute of the aging. Through Norma’s character, it is evident that aging people have the tendency to withdraw and be very conservative. Ones the aging people understand that they are no longer at the top of a number of societal issues, they withdraw and develop an inferiority or superiority complex thus leaving people focused on gauzing what their thoughts, beliefs, and desires in life are. The aging people are therefore dominated by an ever ending denial of the truths and failure to accept that one is indeed still young. Unlike the aging father, Chelsea is very strong, deeply compassionate, and flexible though fragile which indicate that people should purpose to age gracefully and understand that some physical and mental changes are inescapable while aging (Dymski 34-213; Bass 79-87).

Contrary to what Norman’s attributes while aging are, Ethel handles aging in a totally different manner. Ethel is ever optimistic of the future, energetic in her thoughts and deeds, social, loving and very caring, energetic, and mentally fit. This psychological attribute of the old is a sure proof that aging could as well be enjoyable if approached in a positive and objective manner. Ethel Thayer’s constant focus to ensure that the husband, Norman, does not become a victim of recluse also points to her denial and failure to appreciate some of the challenges that face people who are aging. Though well intended, this aging attribute could also reveal the refusal by the aging people in society to constantly focus on the past, rather than being willing to delve on the future (Katz 85-121).

Maintenance of strong relationship ties is another common psychological attribute exhibited by the aging members of our society as revealed from the On Golden Pond movie. Through the wife and the manner in Norman responds to the wife’s desire to maintain healthy relationships, it is evident that the aging members of the society are often reluctant to foster healthy relationship. While Ethel manages to approach her old age stage by maintaining healthy relationships, Norman reveals that retrogressive and conservative approach to life in which the aging members of the society prefer being on their own. As a result, the aging perceive the world in which they live as being backward, “rotten”, and lacking healthy social values necessary to foster high ethical and moral standards.

Another psychological attribute exhibited by the aging is the guilt mentality. Rather than to accept the fact that life and earthly issues do change, aging people often adopt a guilty mentality that is focused on perceiving themselves as people who are innocent and being humiliated by the ever changing social patterns. They fail to learn new social trends due to their unsteady memory and inability to quickly comprehend basic life skills and modern trends. According to Park and Schwarz (86-109), it is crucial for the aging members of the society to accept that some changes, though not very acceptable to everyone, are necessary in society.<…>

At 79 years and later at 80 years, Norman emerges as a very conservative old man. His being conservative is evidenced in the fact that he is slowly withdrawing from most leisure activities including horse riding which is adored by the wife, Ethel. Norman is therefore very reluctant to persevere in times of adversity. Norman is not very willing to let go what is not familiar to him and even struggles to claim to command the manner in which the younger ones, Chelsea and Ray should lead their lives. This negative attribute of aging seems to worsen with increase in age because unlike Norman, the wife, Ethel Thayer, who is much younger, is an outgoing, jovial, and very content person (Charles, Reynolds, and Gatz 136-151).

Based on the above critical analysis of the movie, On Golden Pond, the fact that aging poses a number of challenges to the old is very evident. In the scene in which the father and daughter makes peace with their past, it is clear that normalcy in social relationships could be restored if effective communication is enhanced. This scene plays a fundamental role in revealing the attribute of forgiveness and old people’s reluctance to acknowledge the fact that the youths should be accorded a guarded opportunity to independently make decisions. This attribute of aging emerge to be a core aspect of enhancing a strong and health family ties and family unity in the modern society.

The movie, through the use of characters such as Norman, Ethel, and Chelsea portrays the degree to which aging people demand a lot of love and understanding from the family members in spite of the fact that they are likely to remain unreasonably critical of most actions of the family members. Nonetheless, the fact that it is crucial for people to make peace with their past is very evident (Mather and Carstensen 397-421).

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