Erin’s Characteristics Personality Traits Self-Concept Change Examples of Initial Perception Evolution Managing her Identity Self-fulfilling prophecy Confidence in spite of being misperceived Role language plays in Identity Management & Perception Problems Role language plays in relationships Other Course Concepts Conclusion
Erin was outgoing, abrupt, vocal and she knew how to use her “assets” to get what she wanted. Her public self and her private self had the same meaning. She did not have a filter on her communication; she said what was on her mind in a very direct manner.
Erin: vocal, pessimistic, sarcastic, passionate in her convictions, driven, loyal, independent George: caring, loving, good with children, emotional, free spirited Ed: Compassionate, hierarchal, a hard worker, unable to say no when pushed
Throughout the movie, Erin evolved. She started out as a very pessimistic person. She was a single mother with three small children, and had a hard time with finding a job and raising her children. She didn’t trust anyone. Her perception of herself had been decreased because of her emotional past, with her husbands leaving her and her kids to fight the battle alone. Her self-esteem was low; she didn’t have any work experience due to raising her kids. Erin was a fighter and wouldn’t give up; she had her kids depending on her.
After losing a court case that would have helped to pay her $17,000 in medical bills, she was devastated. Ed promised her that it was an open and shut case, but her attitude and forcefulness lost her the case. Even though she was pessimistic, she went to Ed’s office and confronted him. Erin needed a job and needed to feed her family. They discussed (loudly) that she would not leave his office until he said that she could work for him.
Erin was creative in pursuing ideas outside the box, she could not lay helpless and let people get the best of her. Even though she had passion all along, this job that she fought for helped her evolve. It changed her from being dependent on others to being self-sufficient. Not only that, but people needed her – they depended on her.
Erin put herself out there and was very confident in her convictions When she was discussing with Ed (her boss) about continuing with the PG&E case, she was passionate about taking the case. Ed was explaining that it would be too expense and would cost millions of dollars to continue. She swore at Ed, her passion was being vocalized with a raised voice and disrespect. The office staff would watch as Erin and Ed would have these arguments in amazement.
Erin is a perfect example of someone that does not allow “self-fulfilling prophecies” to dictate her life. Even when no one believed in Erin, she persevered and succeeded. A good example of this in the movie is when the other attorney’s office had joined with Ed’s office to help with the case. They looked at Erin with judging eyes and thought she would be better suited in dictation rather than in the field. Despite this, the community looked to her for guidance. She was able to communicate with them at their level; she was like them, a single mother struggling to get by.
When Erin and Ed went to the office to explain what they had done and it had only taken them four days to get all of them signed, the other attorneys looked in amazement. They asked how she had done this; she merely explained, “I just went out there and performed sexual favors. 634 blow jobs in 5 days...”
For Erin, she used “language”. She used both verbal and nonverbal communication, with no filter, in the way she addressed people.
Erin lived for her family – sacrificing all the time she had on work, for her kids She worked to take care of her family – but this time she had help to take care of her kids so she could focus on others that needed her. Unfortunately, that meant that she didn’t have a lot of time for a boyfriend
Erin brought her boyfriend to give Donna, one of the clients, the results of the trial. He didn’t understand why she brought him with, buy she wanted to show him why she hadn’t been home and the people needed her in the community. She did this to help his self esteem - she had worked so hard to benefit other people, and that the perseverance and dedication paid off. Even though they had sacrificed, her with work and him with the family, at the end of the day they could smile knowing it was all worth it.
Quote from the Movie: Erin Brockovich Erin Brockovich : Ya know why everyone thinks that all lawyers are back stabbing, blood sucking scum bags? cause they are! and I can not believe you expect me to go out, leave my kids with strangers and get people to trust you with THEIR lives while all the while your screwing me! You know, Ed, it's not about the number! It's about the way my work is valued in this firm... [ She looks at the two million dollar bonus check ] Ed Masry : Like I was saying, I thought that the number you proposed was inappropriate, so I increased it. [ Turns to walk away and turns around to her ] Ed Masry : Do they teach beauty queens to apologize? Because you suck at it! [ Long pause, as Erin looks at the check ] Erin Brockovich : Uh, Ed... Uh... thank you... Ed Masry Erin Brockovich When Ed is going to present Erin with her check, he tells her that it’s not exactly as they had discussed. Based on previous experiences, she assumes the worst. Ed, finding this amusing, tries to keep a straight face and then uses a line that she used on him earlier in the movie.
The Dynamic between Ed & Erin: Erin could get away with her profanity with Ed They grew to respect and value each other Towards the end, he turned the tables and used some of her characteristics back at her
Erin’s wardrobe spoke volumes in her non verbal communication
From her “assets” to her confrontations, Erin was a very abrupt but driving person, whose perceptions were not always as they seemed. She was very caring, which carried through to her convictions. The trials and tribulations of her life shaped the driving force in her. Through her interpersonal relationships, she was able to evolve and also change the course of people’s lives by providing them with hope and eventually the necessary compensation they deserved.