Essay on Documentary How to Survive a Plague

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  927 Words
Date:  2021-04-08

Under the psychological theory of development by Eriksons (1959), he states that there that person passes eight states from infancy to adulthood. The five first stages are up to the age of 18 years, and the other three stages occur in adulthood. From the theory, there is always room for continuity as the individual grow. The most important and challenging stage the fifth stage the identity stage. At this stage, the person is trying to identify himself. In this stage, the child attempts to do a lot of exploring his or her beliefs. In this paper, we will be analyzing the stage of development of the character in the how to survive a plague. From in this analysis, we will discuss the challenge faced in this development stage.

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The story of how to survive a plague illustrates how innovation and activism turned AIDS from a death sentence disease to a condition, which can be managed. Although the activists have no the scientific training, they infiltrated pharmaceutical companies and helped in identifying the drug for the epidemic. They used the experiment to test the medicines in the patient. The movie describe activist who has seen their peers die of the HIV-AIDS epidemic yet there have not seen any attempt by the government to solve the situation (Sullivan 2016).

The how to survive a plague movie is acted by young men and women who are infected, and they do not want to die without fighting. At this time, Peter Staley the leading activist on the cure of HIV and other LGBT rights is at the sixth stage of development. At this stage together with his fellow activist, pass emotion and social development. Peter Staley feels that the young women and men with AIDS are isolated in the society, and nobody seem to care about them. On the other, the old people in the government assume that these people are stubborn and only need attention.

Under this stage of development, people require relationship and sense of belonging. There are many developmental conflicts, which needs solving. In the movie how to survive a plague, the government is not willing to listen to this young activist. We see Peter saying he is ready to be arrest for his fight for HIV positive men and women. The activist wants the government to listen to them. The police on the other hard arrest them for causing disorder to the public.

The main dominance issue in the movie is all about the AIDS. From my point of view, the film does not just capture the activities of the person involved in the movement but it more than that. The film establishes the activism paradigm. The title of the movie gives the larger issue more than AIDS activism. The play how to survive a plague is a demonstration of how the actors we able to attack AID and not how the disease attacked the activists (Caro 2016). At the end of the play, we can conclude that everything it is possible no matter what the challenge. It requires only determination and passion to achieve the set goal.

Under the family system theory, it is said they cannot understand the individual in isolation should be treated as part of the household. It is the role of the government and policy maker to understand the activist and dialogue with them to know the issues affecting them (Johnson and Ray 2016). In this movie, the character wants to be part of the family which gives the solution to the AIDS epidemic.

The development process on an individual is contributed by different entries including the family, community, political, peer group and the global forces. The characters in this movie needed the person who could stand with them during the activism period. Peter Staley speak of how he was arrested more than ten times, but he ends up thank pro bono lawyers who they could hold dialogue now and then to know the way forward. It is also good to note the activist did not the scientific knowledge about the new drug needed. Therefore, they require experts from the pharmaceuticals industry to help in the development of the drugs.

As Peter Staley explain, parents were removing their children from school due to fear that their student would be infected with HIV. Therefore, the family member of the infected people played a significant role by taking care of the positive individual within the family since there was a lot of stigmatization outside. The activist also says that there was a burn of positive immigrants from entering United State hence this required the support of global intervention who would offer mediation.

In conclusion, the ACT UP, movement played a significant role in ensuring that no one should be stigmatized just because or she is positive. It brought with it a significant change in the health care not just in America but the entire world. It also demonstrates that anyone can play a role in bring change in the society since those in authority may be seeing things to be okay while things are going wrong while the nation is suffering. It is the role of the government to listen to the people who are willing to bring change in the society instead of demonizing them.


Caro, S. "How To Survive a Plague: ." The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS, 2016.

Johnson, B. E.,, and W. A. Ray. "Family Systems Theory. ." The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Family Studies., 2016.

Sullivan, A. HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS. 2016.

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