Analysis Of The Circumplex Model In On Golden Pond

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The Circumplex Model: Adaptability and Flexibility Throughout On Golden Pond, it is apparent that Chelsea, Norman, and Ethel are rigidly enmeshed. According to Olson’s circumplex model, rigidly enmeshed families have authoritarian leadership, strict discipline, roles rarely change, there is too little change. Additionally, enmeshment in families is illustrated by very high closeness, very high loyalty, high dependency, and a lack of individuality (Sanders & Bell, 2011). Although Chelsea is distant with her family in the number of visits it is an artificial distance of time and space. They are strongly emotionally entangled as demonstrated through the ability of the family to emotionally affect one and other. Slightly like the characters in On Golden Pond, the family in Stepmom appear to be chaotically enmeshed. The circumplex model claims families who are chaotic present with a lack of leadership, erratic discipline, dramatic role shifts, and too much change (Sanders & Bell, 2011). Chaos is present in the structure of the two living environments of the children: one environment is structured and the other one is disorderly. This leads to confusion for the children because the system lacks consistency. Enmeshment is personified through the children's emotional fusion with their mother. When Jackie is upset with Isabel, the children are upset with Isabel. The children and the mother’s emotions are intertwined. On the other hand, Rita slightly contrasts the two families above as she appears to be rigidly disengaged instead of enmeshed. Rita and Denny are not intimately close. This is illustrated as Rita responds to a question by saying, “loyalty? I [have] you know, I [have] tried to explain it to my husband … I think he [is] thick” (Gilbert, 1983). Rita’s family lacks the flexibility to change. People get married and have kids. There is no self-exploration, enlightenment, and adaptability is absent. The Concrete Content and Abstract Process Norman characterized several content and process issues throughout On Golden Pond. The first part of the movie exposes Norman’s fixation on his age and pending death. From his confrontation with the kids, while refueling his boat to his efforts about getting a job,

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