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This chapter consists of related theories and concepts that are needed to
support the analysis part. There are two elements of fiction used in analyzing Trust,
which are character and characterization; and setting. Furthermore, there is also a
theory of Psychosocial by Erik Erikson that appears as a major theory in analyzing
Trust. In this case, the main focus of Erik Erikson’s psychosocial theory is
adolescence developmental stage.
Character and Characterization and setting are going to be focused on since
these two elements hold principle roles in analyzing psychosocial in Trust. Besides
that, Erik H. Erikson’s psychosocial theory is chosen since this theory deals with
people’s development on their biological progress and social interaction. Hence, this
psychosocial theory is used to analyze the psychosocial principles and the identity
crisis that are encountered in adolescence developmental stage.
Character and Characterization
Character and Characterization appears as interrelated aspects to create a
well-described literary work. Hence, these two aspects cannot be separable in
analyzing a literary work. Gill (1995) proposed character and characterization are the
aspects that play substantial role in a literary work. By having a clear description of
these aspects, it would help the viewers understand the story tells about.
To have a strong depiction of a character, it is important to notice that
characterization, a character is presented by providing narrative description to find
out the role of its character. Hence, characterization can help the viewers to find out
what is going on the character’s head.
2.1.1. Character
Gill (1995) said that character is a person in a literary work who has some
variety of identity and the role of this person does not have to be a strong one.
Character is made up by name, conversation, appearance, action and thoughts that
are going in the head. In other words, character is someone in a literary work that is
created by a writer with its own identity. In this case, the character will be depicted
based on the way this character converse to other characters and its appearance. It is
also possible for a writer to bring out the concern or idea through character’s thought.
“Fictional character is the imaginary people writers create, sometimes
identifying with them, sometimes judging them” (Rush, 2000,p.55). In this case, to
compose a literary work, a writer needs to create fictional characters. These fictional
characters are actually fictive figures that have been put particular identity.
Based on the two definitions about character, this thesis concludes that
character offers an important role in the literary works. Character is an extended
representation of a human being, the inner self that determines thought, speech and
behavior. The characters could represent the inner self through dialogue, action,
commentary and interaction with other characters and circumstances. Furthermore,
according to Rush (2000) characters in a literary work can be categorized as major
and minor, static and dynamic.
Rush (2000) identified that a major character is a significant figure that
appears as at the center of action or theme in a literary work. A major character
appears as the main focus of a story since this figure comes out as a principle
character. Based on the quotation above, it can be assumed that a major character can
be identified because in a literary work, this major character will deal with the main
conflict in a story. Besides that, another aspect that can be found is the fact that from
the whole storyline, a major character will dominate in a story.
To compose a well written of a literary work, it is inevitable that a writer
needs to create other characters besides major character. The existence of minor
character usually can support the major character in facing the conflict in a story.
However, minor character also can appear as the one who can give the conflict to the
major character in achieving the goal. Rush (2000) also proposed the definition
about minor character “the one or more secondary or minor character whose function
is partly to illuminate major characters” (p.55). In this case, the role of minor
character is to support the main or major character to smoothen the storyline.
Static character sometimes is well known as flat character. “A flat character
has only one outstanding trait or feature, or at most a few distinguishing marks. Flat
characters tend to stay the same throughout a story, become enlightened, grow, or
deteriorate” (Kennedy & Gioia, 2005, p.92). In other words, the function of the static
or flat character can help the major character to solve the problem or to create the
problems for major character. Nevertheless, in a literary work, flat characters lean to
remain the same character from the beginning until the end of the story.
In a literary work, dynamic character is usually recognized as round
character. According to Kennedy and Gioia (2005) round character portrays the great
and generous details. By looking at this statement, it can be indicated that round
character is a typical of character that has many complex details. Furthermore, based
on Arp (2006) “round characters are complex and many sided, they may require an
essay for full analysis” (p.78). That being said, a round character in a literary work is
imaginary character that has many sided that appear to be analyzed. In addition to
this, a round character also can be concluded that a dynamic character that has
complex parts that need to be discussed more deeply in analyzing a literary work.
2.1.2. Characterization
“Characterization is the means by which writers present and reveal character.
The method of characterization is narrative description with explicit judgment”
(Rush, 2000, p.56). In order the readers or the viewers understand the story, it is also
important for a writer to present the character by using some descriptions. Therefore,
to strengthen a character in a literary work, a writer can produce particular
description to show that each of the character has its own characterization.
Characterization surely assists the readers or the viewers conceive character’
personality in a story.
In making a literary work, the setting may figure as more than mere
background or underpinning the events of the story. The setting could prompt the
characters to act, bring them to realizations even cause them to reveal their inmost
natures. The setting is divided into 3 parts which are physical setting, social setting
and metaphorical setting.
According to Gill (1995) setting is the places where characters in a literary
work appear in particular locations of events. In other words, setting provides
distinctive places to describe the events on the story. Furthermore, Kennedy and
Gioia (2005) stated that “the idea of setting includes the physical environment of a
story: a house, a street, a landscape, a region. But besides place, setting may involve
the time of the story – hour, year, or century” (p. 124). Hence, it can be concluded
that physical setting in a literary work describes the time and place in which the
characters of the story take place. By presenting physical setting in a story, it will be
easier for the readers or the viewers to have an obvious illustration.
“Setting is the social context of characters, such as their families, friends, and
class. Setting is also the customs, beliefs and rules of behavior that give identity to a
society” (Gill, 1995, p.148). In other words, social setting shows the social
background that is in the story. A writer can elevate distinctive customs or beliefs in
a certain area in a society by presenting social setting in a literary work. Besides that,
social setting usually depicts social class as a form of social background in a story. In
this case, the social class or social background in a story can be presented from the
role of characters to their social environment, customs, behavior and many other
Gill (1995) argued that setting is taken place when the atmosphere, mood,
and feel are created. Metaphorical setting cannot be separable with characters’ mood
and feeling in a story. In this case, characters’ mood and feeling will generate certain
atmosphere during the story occurred. Consequently, the atmosphere in a
metaphorical setting is presented by looking at characters’ mood and feeling from the
story line in a literary work itself. By noticing metaphorical setting in a literary work,
the viewers would get character’s mood and feeling throughout the storyline.
Psychosocial as a Branch of Psychoanalysis
This thesis discusses psychoanalytic criticism. “Psychoanalytic criticism is a
form of literary criticism which uses some of the techniques of psychoanalysis in the
interpretation of literature” (Barry, 2009, p.92). That being said, psychoanalytic
criticism is a branch in literary criticism that uses the techniques of psychology to
criticize literary works, such as film, drama, poem, short story and many more. There
are several branches in psychoanalytic criticism. One of the branches is psychosocial
development by Erik Homburger Erikson (1902). He was one of the important
figures and was noticed as the father of psychosocial development.
Erik Homburger Erikson was a psychoanalyst who was born on June 15th
1902 in Karlsruhe Germany. “Erik was actually Freud’s students who extended the
Freudian psychoanalysis rather than opposed Freud’s assumptions and to offer a new
“way of looking at things”. His post-Freudian theory extended Freud’s infantile
developmental stages into adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Erik H. Erikson
suggests that at each stage a specific psychosocial struggle contributes to the
formation of personality” (Feist & Feist, 2013, p. 218). In other words, it can be
assumed that Erik H. Erikson convinces that in every single stage of human life,
there was a specific psychosocial fight that appeared as a turning point to form the
Palombo (2009) proposed that Erikson psychological development appears to
extend the Freud’s theory, not to defy Freudian theories. Eriksonian’s study believes
that personality is not fixed in early childhood since development continues over the
entire lifespan, from infancy to old age. By this, it surely can be assumed that
Erikson’s study does not attempt to oppose Freudian’s theories. On the contrary,
Erikson regarded that someone’s development does not cease in early childhood;
indeed, the development in someone’s personality will continuously grow in his
entire lifespan.
According to Papalia & Feldman (2012) psychosocial development refers to a
study that deals with individuals’ personality, minds or emotions with social
environment they live in. This thesis focuses on psychosocial development in which
this development concentrates to the pattern of change in internal relationship and
external relationship. Consequently, based on the quotation above, it can be
concluded that psychosocial development points at a research that focuses on the
connection between people’s minds and emotions and the way they get along with
other people in their social environment.
Erikson has eight developmental stages during human lifespan. Each of these
eight developmental stages is interconnected one another to build someone’s
personality. The eight developmental stages are infancy, early childhood, play age,
school age, adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood, and old age (Feist & Feist,
2013). On this chance, the writer is going to emphasis on the fifth developmental
stage in a human lifespan, namely adolescence.
2.3.1. The Ego in Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory
Feist & Feist (2013) explained that Erikson saw the ego as a partially
unconscious organizing agency that synthesizes our present experiences with past
self- identities and also with anticipated images of self. In this case, Erikson
convinced that the ego appears as the significant attention in relation to someone’s
development during lifespan.
Furthermore, based on Feist & Feist (2013) Erikson brought up three
interrelated aspects of ego in a human life, which are the body ego, the ego ideal, and
the ego identity. The body ego represents a way of seeing physical self as different
from other people. In this case, the body ego enables individuals to feel satisfied or
dissatisfied with the body looks and functions. Then, the ego ideal refers to the
impression in response to the comparison of seeing physical self and entire personal
identity. The ego ideal allows individuals to have the patterns of ideal in their lives.
Besides, the ego identity appears as the image that individuals have in get along with
variety of societies (Feist & Feist, 2013). In addition to this, Erikson proposes the
definition of ego identity (as cited in Cance, Ennet, Antonio, Morgan, & Vangie,
2012) which is a condition when adolescents interact and fit into the boarder society.
In other words, the ego identity lets individuals have their own images as well as role
in the society they live in.
2.3.2. Adolescence Developmental Stage - Identity Versus Identity Confusion
According to Gestsdottir & Lerner (2008) adolescence is a period of changing
in which individuals develop their physical, psychological and social development in
getting along with other people. This quotation shows that adolescences appear as the
time when individuals are having great changes in their lives. They would physically,
psychologically and socially undergo many changes during this stage. In addition to
this, United National Children’s Fund (2006) concluded that adolescence is a
transitional stage between childhood and adulthood, individuals between the ages of
10 to19 years old, when there are some multi-dimensional changes, which are
biological, psychological, and social. Biologically, adolescents are experiencing
pubertal changes, sexual interest and many more. Then, adolescents are also
increasing their psychological capacities to be more mature. Adolescents are
experiencing social changes through family, school, and their environments.
Based on the research from United National Children’s Fund above, it can be
deduced that adolescence comes out as one of the most crucial developmental stage
in human lifespan. This stage usually takes place when the individuals are in around
10 until 19 years old. During this time, adolescents are biologically, psychologically
and socially experiencing some changes, which enable them to create their own
identity. In this case, adolescents would meet their puberty time that makes them
undergo some changes biologically. After that, adolescents also would grow up
psychologically during their stage; moreover, when they are interacting with their
social environment such as their family, school, and the people around them.
Furthermore, Santrock (2013) stated that adolescence based on Erikson’s fifth
developmental stage occurs during the time in which individuals are faced with
deciding who they are, what they are all about, and where they are going in life.
Hence, it can be summed up that during this adolescence developmental stage,
individuals will encounter several choices that enable them to choose who they want
to be and what they want to do in their lives. In addition to this, Vogel (2009) stated
that in this fifth stage, many adolescents may look for support and socialize from
their peers in creating their identity; however, some adolescents may avoid from their
peer. It indicates that adolescents, generally needs support from their peers or their
social environment in shaping their true identity, nevertheless, there is still a
possibility that some adolescents withdraw themselves from their social
Moreover, based on the term that is introduced by Erik H. Erikson (as cited in
Papalia & Feldman, 2012) adolescents are likely to encounter the identity versus
identity confusion. According to Feist & Feist (2013) confusion is one of the
extensions of crisis during this adolescence stage. Crisis does not signify something
threatening but this word represents as “a turning point or a crucial point of
individuals in increasing their vulnerability and potential” (p. 232). Furthermore, it is
important to be noted that based on Erikson’s concept (as cited in Papalia &
Feldman, 2012) identity was defined as a coherent conception of the self to create
goals, values, and beliefs. The adolescents who have identity are densely committed
during the teenage years.
During this period, Feist and Feist (2013) argued identity enables adolescents
to be able to battle in finding out who they are and who they want to be by
discovering their sexual and ideological things. Nevertheless, most of adolescents
tend to find their identity by experiencing sex, drug or many other bad things. In this
case, it is inevitable that adolescents are also encountered with identity confusion in
searching their true identity. Feist and Feist (2013) also added that identity confusion
is a syndrome of problems when adolescents are faced up with inability to establish
intimacy, a rejection of family or community standards or many other doubts. By
this, it can be deduced that identity confusion is a situation in which adolescents are
not able to build their intimacy with their family, friends, or their surroundings.
According to Hatfield (as cited in Heler, P.E., & Wood, B., 1998), intimacy is often
defined as a process in which people try to become close and explore their
similarities and differences in feelings, thoughts, and behaviors with the people
around them. That being said, intimacy deals with people’s effort and attempt in
trying to find out what they share in common and different things they have in order
to be familiar each other. Intimacy is not limited to two people of different genders
sharing affection and love for each other, but the term applies to the relationship
between a person and her family, friends and people who are in the social circle.
However, the inability to build this process causes adolescents to undergo rejection
from their social environment. At this time, it is not surprise when adolescents
experience identity confusion, they might withdraw from the society, experience
with drugs or sex and many more.
2.3.3. Basic Strength of Adolescence Developmental Stage - Fidelity
It is principle to notice that fidelity appears as the basic strength of
adolescence as a result of a conflict between identity versus identity confusion (Feist
& Feist, 2013). In other words, from the statement above, fidelity come out as the
defense when adolescents encounter identity confusion in facing up their problems.
Moreover, according to Erikson (as cited in Santrock, 2005), fidelity also be
identified as a set of values, ideology or religion to sustain loyalty, or a sense of faith.
Therefore, fidelity, in this case, can be defined as an extension of trust in which
adolescents extend their trust to have intimate love in sharing thoughts, feelings.
Furthermore, Markstrom (2005) argued that fidelity is the ego strength that
appears as an outcome of interplay between adolescents and social environment.
Fidelity is defined as the result of identity crisis of adolescents and this ego strength
enables adolescents to have a sense of loyalty and commitment. Therefore, it can be
concluded that fidelity is the ego strength as a value in correspondence to identity
crisis that takes place in adolescence developmental stage. In this stage, adolescents
tend to build an ideology to remain loyal to certain people as the extension of trust in
their lives.
Previous Study
The first research is about “Ego Virtue of Fidelity as A Psychosocial Rite of
Passage in the Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood” by Carol A. Markstrom.
This research discusses Erik Erikson’s psychosocial developmental stage in
corresponding the ego virtue or strengths in adolescence. The presence of ego virtue
enables a great relation between individuals and their environment. Besides that,
Erikson argued that each of stages in the lifespan has its own crisis. In adolescence
stage, adolescents are encountered with their crisis in shaping their identity. This
identity crisis appears in a form of identity confusion when they have to find their
true identity before enter to adulthood stage. In this case, a successful transition from
adolescence to adulthood is observed in fidelity. Fidelity is defined as the ability to
sustain loyal freely pledged in spite of the inevitable contradictions of value systems.
Fidelity is also a successive stage in life because adolescents also offer their loyal to
the certain people. Erikson also states that the major task for young people in their
adolescence stage is the identity in developing the intimacy and mutual love with
other people. Hence, fidelity and the ability to remain loyal and faithful are aspects
that can be found in how far adolescents offer their intimate relationships to others.
The second research is about “Psychosocial Crisis in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The
Namesake” by Nur’aini Khairi Mustofa from Islam Negeri Malang University. This
thesis discuses a Gogol’s character who is disappointed with his name. He is actually
an Indian who lives in America. However, because his father has his favorite author
from a Russia, Gogol is named Nikolai Gogol. Therefore, this thesis presents an
analysis of Nikolai Gogol from the psychosocial developmental stage by Erik
Erikson. There are two developmental stages that are discussed in this thesis, which
are adolescence and young adulthood. In the adolescence stage, Gogol’s character is
depicted when he has to face identity versus identity confusion. In this part, Gogol’s
character is analyzed when he gets his identity confusion because of his name. Gogol
does not have a clear understanding about his true identity. He actually wants to have
an Indian’s name because he is actually from India’s Bengali family, yet at the same
time, he also wants to have an American name because he lives in America. Finally,
he decides to change his name to be Nikhil or Nick. Yet, once he has a new name,
some people also call him Gogol, instead of Nick. Besides that, at this stage, Gogol
fails to get the ego virtue since he does not find his suitable place in which he can
remain loyal to the place he belongs to.
The third research is a thesis that is entitled “Reflection of Crisis Adolescence
in Main Character of novel The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole through Erik H.
Erikson theory”. This thesis was written by a philosophy student of University
Indonesia, Anita Yanuari, in 2009. Briefly, this thesis discusses Adrian Mole who
encounters the identity crisis in Adolescence stage. He undergoes some debates with
his parents. This condition gets worse after he has a little sister. In this case, Adrian
feels annoyed by his parents because his parents’ attention is focused on his little
sister. Besides that, he also gets some pressures from his social environment. This
situation causes Adrian to fell rejected from all people around him. This thesis
provides clear explanations about problems and pressures that Adrian encounters.
Furthermore, this thesis also relates Adrian’s problem with the psychosocial theory
by Erik H. Erikson. Then, this thesis analyzes the identity crises that are encountered
by Adrian during his adolescence developmental stage.
The fourth research is a journal, entitled “Linking Academic Social
Environments, Ego- Identity Formation, Ego Virtues, and Academic Success” by
Marie Good and Gerald R. Adams. This journal discusses about Eriksonian’s
conceptual model that is related to the social environments. In this journal, Erikson
believes that adolescence is considered as the most crucial period of identity
formation in human life. During this stage, most of them tend to experience periods
of exploration to discover their identity. Hence, this situation causes adolescence to
undergo identity crisis in coping up with their problems. At this time, the result of
identity crisis creates an ego virtue in the adolescence developmental stage. In this
view, the ego virtue, which is fidelity, appears as the defense when they are
encountering identity crisis.