Muhammad Arief Budiman and Hetty Catur Ellyawati
Muhammad Arief Budiman
Unaki Semarang
[email protected]
Hetty Catur Ellyawati
Semarang University
[email protected]
There are many of psychology branch in the world. In medical sector,
psychology is used to cure real people. Psychiatrists use psychology to analyze
the self of the people who suffer mental breakdown. In literature, psychology is
used to analyze imaginary people who exist in literary works. All characters in
literary works (whether it is in drama, prose or poetry) can be analyzed using
psychology. Psychology is not only for analyzing literary works which is
categorized as masterpiece, but it is also being used to analyze character in pop
literature. By analyzing pop literature, we will grasp the trend or culture in it.
Pop literature is blooming in the market because pulishers want to get maximum
profit. The market proves that pop literature is more sellable compare to classic
Keywords: psychology of literature, popular literature
Literature is individual human instinct to express idea, experience,
feeling, belief and spirit in a concrete illustration form. Some forms of literary
works which is created from artistic and creative elements are novel, drama,
short story, prose, peom etc. and some of them are fictions but occasionally they
may non-fiction. Example short story contains people character and their
problem in life, and maybe it is hard to find for the reader.
Literature presents life and most of life consists of social reality, although work
of literature also immitates subjective world and nature of human. Author is a
citizen who has special status, thus he get society’s acknowlegde and recognition
and has mass-although only theoretically. Discussion on relationship between
literature and society usually based on the Bonald’s statement “literature is an
expression of society”.
Literary works is interisting for many people to entertain themselves. It
makes us curious to find what is behind the literary works. Regarding this
question, there are many researches in literary work. The writer can classify into
two groups. The first is the mono discipline research on the literary work itself,
and the second is multi discipline research. Mono discipline research is research
which only use one field of study, for example literature. Multi discipline
research is research which uses other studies to analyze the literary works. One
of the studies that can help in analyzing literary work is psychology.
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Literature is one of the branches of art which has beauty aspect. Aesthetic
aspect in literature can be seen in the language being used, the character being
chosen, the problem being presented, the philosophy in the story etc. With its
language, the writer wants to show the beauty aspect in his work. Beside
aesthetic, there are other aspects in literary work such as: sociology, culture,
anthropology, etc. One of the aspects in literature is psychology. Psychology is an
academic and applied discipline that involves the scientific study of mental
functions and behaviors. In literature, psychology can be seen from three angles,
they are: psychology of the writer, psychology of the reader, and psychology of
the literary work itself. “The critic may ignore any correspondence between the
author’s life and his creation but adapt the psychoanalytic method to the study of
the characters in the literary work itself, trating them as self-complete entities
wholly within the context of the work.” (Greibstein, 1968: 239). If we want to
analyze the psychology of the writer, we treat the literary work the same as the
historical artifact. We should study the life history of the writer behind the
literary work because literary work is reflection and projection of the writer. In
psychology of the writer, we also study the creative process of the writer in
creating a literary work. In psychology of the literary work, we can apply
psychoanalysis to analyze the characters in the story. The researcher should
treat the characters in the story as a complete entity in a world which is
represent in the story. In psychology of the reader, the analysis can be focused on
the influence of the literary work to the reader, analyze the personal experinece
of the reader which is reflected in the story. The reader often feels that what is in
the story is like his own life. This is because there is no single experience that
one hundred percent unique.
The work of art in general and literary work can expose realty through its
characters in the story and through its techniques which is being used in creating
those characters. Fictional characters in the story are almost the same as real
people which have psysical appearances and psychological traits. Thus it is not
wrong if we analyze those characters using psychology as the psychologist
analyze his patient.
Jacqueline Reiter’s Scapegoat can be categorized into popular story. A
modern popular work of art can achieve certain position like myth in the past,
which is the position of a myth as modern religion. In the modern industrial
society nowadays most people have evolving thoughts. Some of the consider
religion as law that limits their moves. They try to find another quidance which
able to give freedom. Some of them find literature as their guidance in life.
The two girls waited for the coast to clear. Sarah sat on the closed toilet
seat and cuddled her stockinged knees to her chest. Through the dark hair that
fell about her face she could see Kay propped againts the cubicle door, arms
crossed and head slightly inclined. “What if we get caught? “We won’t,’ Kay
replied. She nibbled the nail on her right index finger, a sure sign that she was
deep in thought. “When the time comes just keep close. You’ll be fine. “Her school
uniform was impeccable, her blonde hair pulled up into a neat ponytail. Kay was
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always so self-possessed: she seemed to know everything, and always made even
the riskiest of pranks appealing. Sarah, small, dark and slightly plump, had never
been part of the popular crowd, so it was flattering when Kay asked her to be
involved in her schemes. She had let Kay copy her homework, raided the store
cupboard for her, even graffitied one of the school climbing frames in return for
an approving smile. Disloyal as it seemed, Sarah couldn’t help having her doubts
this time. Yes, assemblies were dull; and yes, it was true few teachers bothered to
check that all their pupils came in and out of the great hall. Sarah wriggled her
toes in her scuffed black shoes and stared up the cracks in the white ceiling.
School bathrooms were always the same: bleak and characterless, they reeked of
disinfectant and cheap toilet paper. “Maybe this isn’t such a good idea…” “I think
it’s time. Are you ready?” “Yes, Sarah lied. “Then follow me. Remember: keep
close.” They slipped out of the bathroom into the broad, high-ceilinged corridor.
Kay moved with sinuous grace; her rubber-soled shoes hardly made a sound.
Sarah left clumsy in comparison, but followed as surreptitiously as she could
manage. “What are you doing?” Mrs. Davis repeated, her fury echoing in every
long vowel of her Welsh accent. The relief flooded Sarah’s body. Of course: how
could see have been so stupid? She had forgotten that she and Kay were in this
together. Kay had such a wonderful way with words. She could explain away
anything. Surely once she had apologised to Mrs Davis everything would be all
right. They would not get away without punishment, but with any luck coming
clean would ensure it would be mild. Sarah lost sight of Kay at the corner of the
corridor as Mrs Davis marched her to the headmistress’s office, like a tall greyhaired prison guard. Kay still stood with her hands gripped together in her skirts,
the expression of the terrified pity firmly soldered to her face, playing her part to
the last.
In analyzing Jacqueline Reiter’s Scapegoat, the writer uses Freud’s
psychoanalysis. If the research of the literary work only focuses on the autonomy
of the work itself, there will be many weaknesses. This is because literary work
cannot be separated from the supporting elements which shape the work. Thus
here the writer also uses another discipline to analyze Jacqueline Reiter’s
Scapegoat. The other discipline is psychology as psychology aspect also exists in
the literary work. Here the writer uses Freud’s psychoanalysis.
In Freud’s psychoanalysis, the personality structure is divided into three;
id, ego, and superego. “The most well known of Freud accounts of the structure and
operation of the mind is the model of the id, the ego, and the superego.” (Green:
1996: 148). In Freud’s psychoanalysis, unconsiousness is divided into three: id,
ego, and superego. Those three parts are connected each other and connot be
Beside personality structure, Freud also discussed ego defense
mechanism. Beside using personality structure, for analysing Jacqueline Reiter’s
Scapegoat the writer also uses Freud’s ego defense mechanisms. Ego defense
mechanisms are extreme methods to erase pressure which sometimes must be
performed by ego. There are nine ego defense mechanisms mentioned by Freud.
They are repression, projection, reaction forming fixation, regression,
introjections, displacement, sublimation, and rationalization. Those nine
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mechanisms have different techniques in facing the pressure. Between one
mechanism and the other is not the same.
All human’s behaviors can be classified into two groups: prosper
behaviors and malign behaviors. Those two behaviors are motivated by two
instincts which are contrast to each other (libido and destrudo). Libido is the
energy which makes people behaves to benefit themselves. Libido is the
combination of death and born instinct. (Cahplin, 2004: 32). “Libido is a
quantitatively variable force related to sexual excitation. The totality of mental
energy at the disposal or eros, the instinct of live.” (William, 1973: 42). Destrudo
is destroying energy. Most people do not realize that what they do is ruining
themselves. Self destroying is always be seen from other’s point of view.
Destrudo is energy which relate to death. (Chaplin, 2004: 14). “Destrudo is the
emotional energy of ares, a primitive, archaic, destructive energy which is normally
fused with libido. When libido fails in a state of regression, the destructive energy
takes over.” (Wolman, 1973: 24).
From the analysis which has been done, the writer finds that most of
human’s behaviors is based on the purpose for getting fun. This is in accordance
with the concept of hedonism. Some of the people in this world live only for
acquiring fun. They do not want to be burdened in their live. Hedonism is
psychology term which says that individuals behave in certain way to always
getting fun and avoiding sadness and painfulness. (Chaplin, 2004: 28).
Beside motif for searching fun, there are other motivates which
background all human’s behavior in this world. The writer uses theory pf motif
to find supporting elements on behaviors which are done by the main character
in Jacqueline Reiter’s Scapegoat. The word motif comes from Latin “movere”
which becomes “motion” which means move or impulse to move. Every action
done by a person is based on the impulse inside him. This impulse is called motif.
“Motive is a state within an organism which energizes and directs him toward a
particular goal.” (Wolman, 1973: 243). Motif in a person is base of all the actions
he performs in this world.
The most-well known of Freud’s accounts of the structure and operation
of the mind is the model of the id, the ego, and the superego. The ID applies to
the instinctual drives that relate to the needs of the body, the id is primitive and
needy, incapable of denying itself. Sarah’s wish is to be accepted by Kay. She will
do everything in order to be liked by Kay. This is the basic of human need which
implies that people cannot live alone. People need other human to live with.
The EGO develops out of the id and it pacifies the drives, by offering itself
as a substitude for what must be denied the id (a kind of psychic equivalent of a
baby’s soother). Sarah asks to Kay what will happen if they caught on their
conduct. Sarag realizes that what they do is wrong. But she cannot control
herself to be associated with Kay. For Sarah, Kay is symbol of popularity. If she is
accepted by Kay, she will have a wonderful school life.
The SUPEREGO is representative of external, social influences upon the
drives, and is formed in the image of the earliest identifications of the ego with
the father. The contrast between two instinct mentioned above (instinct of afraid
to be caught doing something wrong and instinct to be accepted socially) is in
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Sarah’s mind. The id is against the ego. But Sarah’s ego wins the battle. Sarah
does not care about the voice within her that tells her about her wrongdoing.
What is important at the moment is that associated with Kay thus she can climb
the ladder of popularity.
Ego defense mechanism is a tactic developed by the ego to protect
against anxiety. Ego defense mechanisms are thought to safeguard the mind
againts feelings and thoughts that are too difficult for conscious mind to cope
with. In some instances, defense mechanisms are thought to keep inappropriate
or unwanted thoughts and impulses from entering the conscious mind.
For example, if you are faced with a particularly unpleasant task, your
mind may choose to forget your responsibility in order to avoid the dreades
assignment. In addition to forgetting, other defense mechanism include denial,
rationalization, repression, projection, reaction formation, intellectualization,
regression, displacement, sublimation.
Repression is another well-known defense mechanism. Repression acts
to keep information out of consious awareness. However, these memories don’t
just dissapear; they continue to influence our behavior. For example, a person
who has repressed memories of abuse suffered as a child may later have
difficulty forming relationships.
Sometimes we do this consciously by forcing the unwanted information
out of our awereness, which is known as suppression. In most cases, however,
this removal of anxiety-provoking memories from our awareness is believed to
occur unconsciously.
In the story Sarah represses this thought about her guilty feeling. She feels
guilty to abandon the class. But she represses this thought and ignores the
warning from the voice within her. She just wants to do what is right for the
Projection is taking your own unacceptable impulses and attributting
them to someone else. The impulses are still judged unacceptable but they
belong to someone else, not you. At that point you are free to criticize that person
for not having such terrible impulses. The final result is that you no longer feel
threatened and you can maintain your self-esteem by ignoring an objectionable
aspect of yourself.
Sarah’s projection can be seen when she admires Kay. She considers Kay
as a perfect student. Kay is popular, while she is a nerd. She wants to change her
own character to be the same with Kay’s.
Reaction Formation is the defense which goes a step further than
projection to the point of not even acknowledging unwanted impulses or
thoughts and convincing yourself you are not one of “them” who do engage in
those patterns. For instance, because a person totally rejects the idea of war, he
may become a pacifist. Because he is afraid of war, he is changing his hatred of
war into exactly the opposite-a love for peace. Freud called this “going
overboard.” One example might be of a man who is secretly gay, but engages in
many heterosexual affairs in an attempt to disguise his homosexuality. He feels
his secret is safe, cloaked in his outgeous promiscuous behavior.
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Sarah’s reaction formation can be seen when she is staring the ceiling of
the bathroom. When her mind is full of strom, she tries to soothe herself by
looking at the plain object surround her. She hopes the plainness of the object
will make her mind calm.
Fixation is when the personality development stops at early stage
because the next stage is full of anxiety. A person unconsciously stops his
development because he thinks that the next stage is full of difficult challenges
which hard to solve. By stopping his development, he expects not to meet heavy
Sarah’s fixation can be seen when she acts as if she is a child who cannot
decide what is good for herself. When Kay asks her to follow every step she
makes, Sarah does it willingly without hesitation. Sarah’s thought approves every
decision Kay makes as if Kay is her mother and will give a very good decision for
her life.
Introjection is mechanism which is in contrast with projection. The other
name of introjection is identification. Here the person insert into himself the
aspects of the object and person outside himself. As an adult we often introject
the aspect of our environment thus they become integral part of our life.
Sarah’s introjection can be seen when she is very calm when the teacher
catch her. She introjects Kay’s character into herself. She wants to be as tough as
Kay in facing the problem. She does not want to be seen as a nerd and weak
Regression is when people having traumatic experience and he goes
back to the early stage of his life. When people go back to early stage, he expects
to find comfort. He wants to avoid all the problem which appear in the next stage.
Sarah’s regression can be seen when she is dependence toward Kay. Sarah
does not say anything when the teacher catches her. She hopes Kay will give
explanation that will save her. She puts all the sollution into Kay’s hand without
thinking anything.
Displacement is mechanism of directing the feeling from the source into
the subtitution. Displacement has two main functions. The first to replace the
depression feeling into other object. The second is to satisfy the feeling which
cannot be expressed due to the circumtances.
Sarah’s displacement is when she is stupified after hearing what Kay said.
Kay blames her for what happen. And the teacher believes what Kay said. Thus
Sarah feels extremely uncomfortable. She cannot express the storm in her mind.
Thus she stay silent when the teacher drags her to headmaster’s office.
The motif of the main character (Sarah) in her wrongdoing is to get a
certain position in the school. Implicitly the writer describes that Sarah is a nerd
that does not belong to the popular group (Kay’s group). To beautify her school
life, Sarah does what the other will do. She is willingly following Kay’s suggestion
to skip the class in order to be considered as a cool person. She does not want to
think that Kay bullies her as Kay is copying Sarah’s work.
Sarah ignores the voice within her that tells her that what she does is
wrong. By ignoring the voice, Sarah is running herself. For the sake of popularity,
Sarah is willing to do everything although it will damage her school life.
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