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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Erikson’s Stages of Development Part 7:

Generativity vs. Stagnation Ages 40-65:

The main question in this stage is, “Will I produce something of real value?” In this stage the person begins to look to the next generation. Only having children is not an expression of generativity, there needs to be more such as raising children to be responsible citizens and or working toward making society better.  In contrast when a person is self-centered and selfish thinking only of his or her self then stagnation sets in. That person becomes dissatisfied with their relative lack of productivity.

There are several tasks that fall into this stage such as expressing love through more than sexual contacts, helping children grow into healthy adults, using leisure time creatively, etc…

This stage is an interesting change to me considering the person just passed through the intimacy vs. isolation stage. It is important to understand that if a person is in the isolation stage it will be much harder for that person to go into the generativity stage. Also one question that comes to my mind is the wealthy businessman how does he feel when he has been able to swindle others out of money and has a huge empire? Does he/she feel as if they have accomplished something? Do they feel as if they are in the Generativity side?

This leads me into writing our villains and heroes at this stage. A great comment by Eagle pointed out kings and queens were in the last stage. Here I can see Kings and Queens as well. Also we can see tyrants. What are some of the challenges we could write about in this stage? How much does a person change in this stage and how do we show that change in our writing?


  1. I have come to this stage produced three children, One lives abroad, My daughter and grandson lives closeby, the eldest I despair, he no longer classes me as his mother, I am not reconised as his three children's grandmother,but I have not given up.....I can't he's my son the son who promised his dad he'd keep an eye on me when his dad knew he only had days to live, is he selfish? has he got no feelings? does he only think of his own family?
    I don't know these answers. With tenacity I'll soldier on until he realises I am the person who knows him better than anyone else.

  2. I think in a lot of instances we see this with the kings and queens, but this is also where you get a lot of the middle class misers as well. I mean, look at Ebeneezer Scrooge or even Carl in Up. This stage has a lot of archetypes. Oh and get off my lawn.

  3. Very interesting thoughts...thanks

  4. I could definitely picture someone going through this stage in a story. The character could start out either good or evil--and it might go either way. A person who has done little harm could decide deplorable actions would be a way of accomplishing something, or an evil person could look back on their life.

  5. What about the elements of detachment, denial and avoidance? I'm reading a novel where the MC is completely self-centred/absorbed and shallow, yet she is trying to connect with others and has good relationships, so I guess there must be more than one element at play in such a personality. :O)


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