Literature, according to Moleong as quoted by Spadlex (2000:13), is the knowledge which is earned by human beings arise conduct and it is used to reflect and express experience. Another opinion said that literature is one of the great creative and universal means of communicating the emotional, spiritual, or intellectual concerns of mankind (The Encyclopedia of Americana, vol. 22:559). It seems that something human being does deals literature, especially in communicating. To communicate to each other may be done by a means, such as by a letter, speaking directly, by phone etc. Even something they wrote or said, no matter what its content, could be called a literature. Well, in this life, in purpose or not in purpose, they have involved in a literature.
By using their mind they produced an expression of their feeling, emotion and thought to communicate with others. And this result of literature is called a literary work. Literary work consists of two types, namely imaginative and non-imaginative. Both literary works are basically the same, that is both are expressed aesthetically, but they have a different in expression. Imaginative type is commonly using connotative sentence to express an idea, while non-imaginative type is more realistic than the imaginative one. It uses denotative sentence.
Non-imaginative type consists of essay, criticism, biography, autobiography, history, memoir, diary, and letters. And imaginative type consists of poetry, fiction, and drama. In this paper, the writer takes a drama as an object that will be further analyzed. Drama may be defined as a work of literature or a composition which delineates life and human activity by means of presenting various actions of – and dialogues between – a group of characters (Reaske, 1966:5).
Drama was firstly introduced by a Greek philosopher Aristotle. He also identified six elements of drama that enhance not only the story telling, but also the instructive and aesthetic values of a play. The first four of the elements is plot, character, thought, and diction (relate to drama / written script). And the last two elements are music and spectacle (relate to theatre / the play in performance). (http://www.appendix%20C%20elements.html, accessed on December 21st 2004).
To analyze a drama in a study or paper there must be minimally two elements that support each other, such as plot and character. Plot and character are two significant elements and very needed in a story. Plot is the arrangement of the incidents or events in a story, which are interconnected each other, that makes a story more interesting and easy to be comprehended. Meanwhile, character is the player in the story; it may be humans, animals, or other imagination creatures created by the author. The story contains problems appearing within the actions that make the character struggle to overcome the problems. Therefore, the writer takes a topic “The Influence of the Main Character’s Conflicts towards Plot in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest”. The writer utilizes the characteristic of the main character and is supported by the plot to find out the influence the character’s conflicts towards the plot in the play.
1.2 Objective of the Study
After reading the story of the drama, the writer concludes that there are many conflicts found which dealing with the main character. And of course the conflicts may influence the main character. Therefore, the writer can illustrate the objective of the study into four objectives. First, to find out the Earnest Worthing’s and Algernon’s characteristics and their characterization in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Second, after analyzing the main characteristics, the writer tries to find out the conflicts dealing with them, either internal or external conflicts. Then third, the writer will try to elaborate the plots one by one. And finally, the writer will try to find out how far the influence of the main character’s conflicts toward the plots in The Importance of Being Earnest.
1.3 Scope of the Study
As there are many aspects in the Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, the writer makes a limitation of discussion to assure the theme of this thesis’ analysis, namely the main characters, Earnest Worthing and Algernon, and the characterization of the main characters by Oscar Wilde; the internal and external conflicts which deal with the main characters; the plots; and the influence of the main character’s conflicts toward the plots.
Methods are needed to analyze the drama. In this paper the writer applies library research as the method of the study and applies psychological approach to analyze the main characters’ characteristics in order to find out the conflicts and then relate them to plots, hence the influence of the main characters’ conflicts toward the plots will be revealed.
1.4.1 Method of the Study
The library research was applied to support the analysis of the drama, collecting some data and information needed from the relevant books or other resources. Then reading and comprehending the data, making some notes until making conclusion. According to Atar Semi, library research is a method of doing a research in a working room or library, where the needed data and information about the subject matter are required through books or other audiovisual means. Library research is done to collect the data by finding some books related to the research as references (1993:8).
1.4.2 Method of Approach
Semiotic approach is employed in analyzing the drama. As Nurgiyantoro said that semiotic is a science or analysis method to examine signs. The signs could be a body language, mouth, eyes movement, color, and other things around our life (2000: 40). In this paper the writer utilizes psychological approach to analyze the main characters in the Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. It seems those approaches very close to analyze the aspects, especially the main character’s conflict and the plot, found in the main characters’ characteristic and the setting which influences the main characters. The analysis of the main characters is made by unfolding the character through actions and dialogue.
Literary works manifest social life and have a close relation with social community, as commonly literary works discuss the human life. Based on that statement the writer uses psychological approach to analyze the main characters. Psychological approach is an approach that is applied since literary works are frequently study events or phenomenon about human’s life (Atarsemi, 76:1993). Psychic conflicts are caused by psychological problems. It is natural, as humans’ character that desire something more and more which actually their ability and capability are limited.
Therefore, humans’ life is just like a drama, which containing plots of life that may be due to humans’ characteristics and their interaction to surroundings in their social life or interaction to them selves, their mind or heart, in this case is internal conflicts. The psychological approach here includes the main characters’ characteristics and is used to analyze the main characters’ conflicts. The psychological approach is appropriate, because it can be used to explain the plot aspect and the characteristic of the main characters.