An Analysis Of Children’s Emotion In Privratsky’s Conversations With My Daughter Through The Freudian Psychoanalysis Theory (PBING-24)
1.1 Background of the Study
It is obviously understood that in our lives,family is so worthy.Family, as a child’s first environment, sets the pattern for her/his attitudestoward people, things and life in general. As Teagarden (1946),has pointed out that “all manners ofattitude deviations can be and often are, accounted for by the subtleties of family relationships”. Therefore, the writer concludes harmonious family relationship depends on the attitudes settled between them.
Freud as cited by Hurlock (1956: 499) statesthat “there have been marked changes in attitudes toward children”. Freud contents that too much “parental tenderness” accelerates sexual maturity,“spoils” the child and makes him unable to be satisfied with a smaller amount of love in later phase of life. This attitude toward too much love and interest in and affectionfor the child was echoed by one of American Psychologists, J.B. Watson (1928: 499). He was the one who sounded the loudest warningsto parents to beware of too much mother love because of the harmful effects on the personality development of the child.
There are many kinds of parental attitudes established by researchers, and the most commonplaceare permissiveness, overprotectiveness, submissive, rejection, domination, acceptance, and submission to a child (Hurlock: 1956). Those parental attitudes influencechildren’s emotion. According to Warga (1983: 219), there are five basic emotions, i.e. fear, love, anger, sorrow,and joy. In line with Warga, Ekman and Friesen (1971: 5) suggest that “there are six basic biologically programmed emotions:happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust”. To be more specific, Hurlock (1956:226) in his book ChildDevelopment divides children’s emotion into seven, i.e. fear, anger, worry, jealousy, joy, affection and curiosity.
As cited from Serayawati’s book, Reading Poetry (2000:1), Murdoch defines literature as “a sort of disciplined techniquefor arousing certainemotions”. The writer concludes that by reading any kind of literaryworks, the reader will also learn about the emotion that comes up through its characters. Furthermore, Rees defines literature into two, broad (general) and narrow (limited) sense. The former means anything written, e.g. newspapers, travel brochures, literature about washing machines/computers, advertisements, textbooks, etc. The later means writing expressing a writer’sfeelings/emotions, thoughts,ideas, attitudes towards life and the world, and having permanent values. The examples are poetry, dramas, prose fictions,essays, and auto/biographies. Short story itself is a kind of prose fictions.
Like any other prose fictions, there are many elements of short story,i.e. setting, plot, characters, point of view,and theme. One of them is character. As cited from an article Short Story Elements in the Internet online on http://hnsbstaff. ednet. ns.ca/ engramja/elements.html, there are two meanings for the word character. First, it means the person in a work of fiction,and the second, the characteristics of a person. Characters themselves can simply mean people told in a story created through an author’s imagination. Accordingto Eller (1963:5) as quoted by Zaedasih(2000: 2), “throughunderstanding characters, readers become more tolerant and are able to satisfy curiosityabout others”. Here, understanding the characters aimed to learn more aboutchildren’s emotion as reflected by the character of daughter in the story.
Mother and daughterare the main characters told in this story. Both of them havedifferent kinds of emotionalcharacteristics. Mother, as one who cares for the daughter much, seems to be a perfectmother. Her full attentionand care are not only shown by her gesturesbut also by her powerful sentence “I love you”, said in every condition that they both had, even when they were in conflict. Malek in his article Family Conflict accessed on http:// v4.crinfo. org/ CKEssays/ ckfamilyconflict. jsp?nid=2207, states that “no matter how loving a family is, all families go through conflict”. As happens to both of the characters, the conflict is aboutthe different point of view between the mother and the daughter in the age of dating and the dating partner itself.
The mother wants her daughter not to have a date before sixteen.
“You could have been killed!And who is this Joe? You know you’re not allowed to date until you’re sixteen,and that’s still four months away! You could have been killed” (p.3)
The mother also refuses when her daughter proposesher dating partner, Joe, to be her future husband.
“Honey, can’t we talk about this? You know we don’t entirely trust Joe; he’s been in trouble with the law…” (p.4)
As the daughter does not get what she wants, it makes her to protest against her mother,
“No, no boys, Mother.For your information, I’m practically the only girl in the whole universe that doesn’thave a steady boyfriend. It’s all becauseof your stupid rules, not letting me date until I was sixteen and having a stupid curfew and being forced to tell you exactly where I’m going to be at any given moment.”
“AAAAAAH! Fine, fine! Probably around midnight! Geez, I’ve gotta be the only girl on the planet who still has a curfew!”(p.4)
and even does something rude to her.
“I hate you.” Door slams. (p.4)
Both of the examples above show the daughter’s emotion, which are reflected in her behavior. The daughter’s climax behavior is when finallyshe prefers to chooseJoe and decides to flee from home. From the conditionabove, it can be inferred that the daughter is a rebelliousperson toward her mother. She likes to be against what her mother wants and says.
“I’m getting the hell out of here and Dad can’t stop me!”
“We’re not trying to, we just want to know whereyou’ll be so we can call you.”
“So you can keep tabs on me? NO THANKS! You’re done calling the shots, Mom. Joe’s taking me out of this stupid town and I’ll be the one deciding if I call or not.” (p.4)
Despite all of the conflicts told in previous, in fact, the writer sees that the tie relationship between the mother and her daughter positively occurs. It is showed when the daughter has lost her baby. She wants her mother to come along.
“Mom, could you come?” “What is it, what’s wrong?”
“Mom, I need you. I lost the baby.” (p.4)
Based on the story above, in this study, the writer feels interested in analyzing daughter’s emotion, as being a rebellious person against mother also happens to us sometimes. By using Freudian psychoanalysis theory,the writer is expected to find the daughter’s id, ego, and superego reflected in her behaviortowards her mother, so that the characteristics of the daughter’semotion in this short story can be caught easily.
Hence, the writer uses a shortstory entitled Conversations with my Daughter as the object of the study, which tells the core of human’s experience, especially the mother’sexperience in treatingchildren by understanding their emotion. It is worthdiscussing for anyonewho wants to be involved more in their family relationship, especially for a mother and a daughter,based on children’s emotion as well.