Homer Simpson is the beloved patriarch of the iconic animated sitcom, The Simpsons. In over three decades on the air, Homer has become a popular and recognizable character in television history. He embodied many archetypal characteristics that viewers could relate to – from his working class everyman persona to his often bumbling behavior – which led to his immense popularity among watchers of all ages. This essay seeks to analyze Homer’s personality using one of the personality development theories covered in this chapter, specifically Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development theory.
Erik Erikson proposed a psychosocial development theory that focused on how an individual develops throughout their lifespan by navigating through eight distinct stages (Berger). Each stage consists of a crisis that must be resolved before moving onto the next stage; these crises are based around different psychological needs such as trust versus mistrust and intimacy versus isolation (Berger). While not explicitly discussed in The Simpsons, it is plausible to assume that since Homer is an adult male he falls within Erikson’s fifth stage: generativity versus stagnation. Generativity refers to “establishing goals while having concern for future generations” whereas stagnation suggests “self-absorption [which] leads nowhere” (Berger 158).