The final stage that Erikson had was for ages 65 years and onward. This is the Ego Integrity vs. Despair stage and is characterized by the question “Have I lived a full life?”
At this stage people tend to slow down and their productivity slows as well. They take more time to reflect on the past both accomplishments and mistakes. If the person sees themselves as leading a successful life they develop integrity. If, on the other hand, they see themselves as being unproductive they develop a sense of despair. This feeling of despair often leads to depression and hopelessness.
In class today we talked a little about cancer patients and terminally ill patients. It is interesting to see how perspective ends when we know or feel we know our life is coming to an end. We often go through different stages which can happen in different order or not at all. These stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Once again it is important to note that not everyone follows this pattern at death.
This leads me to think about our characters when they are heading into imminent danger. Think about the stages that they are going through and how they are feeling. How do they react? I like to look at Frodo for this as he is heading to Mordor. He goes through these stages and often repeats them as he begins to understand more his mission and duty.