Childhood and Society - Part III, The Growth of the Ego, Chapter 6, Toys and Reasons Summary & Analysis

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Part III, The Growth of the Ego, Chapter 6, Toys and Reasons Summary and Analysis

The infantile ego aims at synthesis; now Erikson will turn to illustrate cases where child egos find self-cure in play. He begins with an illustration from Tom Sawyer. After the discussion, Erikson argues that play is a function of the ego attempting to synchronize the bodily and social processes within the self. It is a swing between fantasy and reality. Erikson then illustrates the extension of play into various areas of society. He then argues that those who do not work do not play. The child is nobody yet, and his play is nonsense as a result. Erikson discusses the case of a patient of Freud's as illustration.

When traumatized, children choose to play with material that is manageable at their...

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