This Tim Burton classic is about a young man called Edward who was created by an inventor in his own laboratory as he was a robot specimen with the mannerisms of a human being. The inventor died before completing Edward hands, he left him with metal scissors instead of hands and he remained incomplete. Edward was left alone in the castle of the inventor where he was created and relied on his own, then a kind woman who is a sales representative for a cosmetics company discovers him and welcomes him into her house. Initially, the whole neighborhood welcomes him and he felt special and lovable but then as times passed things began to turn sour.
Edward faced an array of hierarchy needs in his life as any other individual. He kept moving into those levels but didn’t get what he always wanted. His physiological need was already fulfilled as he had access to food in his castle and he sought refuge in the castle providing him his basic need for shelter, so the next level of needs is what is relevant for discussion. he lived alone in the castle before but then a woman came in contact with him and felt sorry for him and his living conditions and provided him with a proper shelter and people in the house made him feel like family and provided him with that well-deserved comfort. He lived with a lovable and caring family even their neighbors were very welcoming in nature and interacted with him from time to time as helped them out in chores like cutting their plants and doing hairdressing chores for their dogs and also his neighbors. This depicts hat his needs for safety and security in an environment are fulfilled.
The stay with his new family and the warmth he felt around them made him feel secure and he started having a sense of belonging to his family. Even though he roamed around the town helping people out, he would eventually want to return to his own new family where he was welcomed. He had a father figure who advised him about what he should do in life and the woman cared for him like a mother and nurtured him with care and believed in him being special even apart the disability of not having a hand. All of this made an impact on him and made him feel a sense of belonging and love for his family.
The next part to focus is the event where he becomes famous in his town and is called for an interview which is telecasted on television. This is due to the fact that he has generated interest among the people in town and everybody is curious regarding how he lives and his opinions about several things in life. This even shows him well dressed and answering the interviewers questions on TV with an audience which makes him and his mother feel proud about him. This event symbolizes his fulfillment of his needs for self-esteem as he feels proud about his life even despite his humble and friendly nature.
Following the series of events, he also fell in love with the women’s daughter but sometimes he felt rejected by her friends he also felt that he doesn’t belong with them as he feels alienated from the group of friends. When the woman’s daughter asked Edward to help her friends break into her friend’s house to steal money he couldn’t refuse as he had developed feelings for her so they went there and the reason why they asked for his help was that they discovered that Edward had the ability to break into doors without damaging it. Sadly, he got caught due to an anti-theft system which was installed in the house. All of his friends ran away and left him inside the house which leads to the police arresting him. The family misunderstood him and they assumed that he is the one who needed the money but didn’t know that he was just there to help because their daughter asked him. He came back to the neighborhood but everyone was scared of him and they started thinking that his intentions can be sinister and lost all trust towards him.
Edward went to the next level which is the self esteem need. He is a confident young man as he tried to make efforts and make himself productive to lead a normal life like everybody else. Every action following this one was an attempt to fit in with the society and have a normal life and he wished that he could adjust well with people. Firstly, he started to cut trees in the neighborhood and everyone was surprised about his work, then he started to use his hairdressing skills on dogs and ladies. He became famous he also got interviewed about his work he was happy about it and his self-esteem went higher, but sometimes he get nervous around people he also get angry out of jealousy when he sees the girl that he fell in love with dating another guy. The ending of the movie was sad because Edward didn’t get to his self-actualizing moment it was mysterious he got rejected by the neighbors and family but that girl who he loved stood by his side and he faked his death because everyone hated him he felt that he doesn’t belong out there, and that life isn’t always fair.
As the ending approaches and he faces the tragic turn of events where he faces the distrust in the eyes of the people that loved him and cared about him, feeling left alone just after he had all his earlier needs fulfilled is indeed tragic in the sense that story of his life didn’t lead to self actualization but destruction due to his helpful nature which led him to help his friends which didn’t help him back when calamity struck and he ended up being arrested and lost the love of his surrounding people and was shunned as if he was a criminal and a freak. This tragic turn of events shows that his form of self-actualization didn’t arrive and he was left with the conclusion that he is unwanted by people and left the town.
In conclusion it can be said that Edward Scissorhands is a tale which depicts how the image of a person can change due to even a single even and gives us an insight on the human nature towards strangers. It masterfully portrays the hierarchy of needs for a person who is abandoned and self reliant but has his need for food and shelter sorted. His whims of leading a happy and normal life did not see a completion and was left with his lonesome self back again in the end with a hateful opinion about people which he would never trust again in his remaining eternal life as he was a robot with a heart but ends up with hate and distrust for people. It is a Tim Burton classic with eerie environments but normal emotions with a deep insight on human beings. It was interesting to observe this masterpiece with a different perspective related to fulfillment of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs of the central character of the story but it is independently also a great movie a person of any age and this movie has aged really well with and still remains a fantastic piece of cinema till date.
Edward Scissorhands. (1990). Hollywood.
Jerome, N. (2013). Application of the Maslow’s hierarchy of need theory; impacts and implications on organizational culture, human resource and employee’s performance. International Journal Of Business And Management Invention, 2(3), 39-45.
Kaur, A. (2013). Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory: Applications and Criticisms. Global Journal Of Management And Business Studies, 3(10), 1061–1064.