TEORI: Psychoanalysis

Februari 22, 2020


Oleh: Muhammad Alif Faturrachman
(Founder Mediatikusastra)
Being a part of human history along with the development of human languages, literature cannot be separated from many other fields of study. Moreover, literature itself has intertwined with many other fields such as sociology, history, philosophy, psychology, and many other fields (Goksen, 2014). Therefore, through those complex relations, it is possible to correlate literature criticism with other fields wherein languages are being used as the primary medium of those fields of study. In addition to the relationship between literature and other fields such as psychology through the use of languages, it is also acknowledged that literature is a part of human expressions, therefore, it represents human life. As such, literature can be studied using psychological perspectives (Endraswara, 2011).  

In order to gain a better understanding of literature and psychology relation, Wellek and Warren (1970:81) in the Theory of Literature stated that psychology of literature means the psychological study of the writer as type and individual, or the study of creative process or study of psychological types and laws present within work of literature, or finally the effect of literature upon the readers (audience psychology). Therefore, based on Wellek and Warren’s statement, the psychological perspective could be applied to analyze the psychological aspects of the writer, the character within the literary works, and also the readers of the works. As a result, this definition strengthens the claim that both literature and psychology are related to each other as it reflects human life by the way it describes human feeling, imagination, thought and views through the mean of written narration. Albeit the matter of whether the said literature is a fiction or non-fiction works, it does reflect on human and society psychology as a whole personal or collective mind within the literary works that can be studied through the psychoanalytic criticism theory based on many psychoanalysis methods such as Freud’s psychoanalysis method.

The concept of psychoanalysis was initially proposed by Sigmund Freud in 1896 and also initially used as a method of therapy medication. Freud began his psychoanalytic work in the 1880s while treating his patient that suffers from the behavioral disorder. He nicknamed the behavior disorders as 'hysteria' and began treating the victim of hysteria by listening to the patients talk through their problems. Based on this experiment, Freud proclaims that people's behavior is influenced by their unconscious as he believes that human beings are motivated, even driven, by their desires, fears, needs, and conflicts of which they are unaware (Tyson, 2006). In addition, according to Freud, human personality is complex and consists of more than a single component. In his well-known theory of personality, Freud stated that the human mind is divided into three components which he refers to as “the physic apparatus” (Freud, 1923). 

The first component in Freud’s theory is known as the Id, this component resides within our unconscious mind from the time of our birth. this aspect of personality is completely unconscious and includes the basic instinct and primitive behavior. The second component is widely known as the Ego, this component also lives within our mind, specifically our conscious mind and acts as the one responsible for our behavior to deal with the reality around us. Freud also stated that this part is also developed from the Id and responsible to repress the Id in order to follow the acceptable manners and norms in reality. While the last one is known as the Superego, this component presents within our mind, specifically on our unconscious mind. Superego is the aspect of personality that holds all of our internal moral standards and the ideal that we receive from both parents and the society present that developed our sense of right or wrong that guides us in judgment making. (Cherry, 2019). Therefore, these concepts of human psychology components work together to create complex human behaviors that led to the creation of Psychoanalytic Criticism theory as a tool to analyze the psychology within the literary works based on Freud’s psychoanalysis theory.

Berger, Peter. Psychoanalytic Criticism, London: Sage Publication, 2004.

Cherry, Kendra. Freud’s Id, Ego, and Superego, Web. 03 October 2019,

Endraswara, S. Metodologi Penelitian Sastra. Yogyakarta: CAPS, 2011.

Freud, Sigmund. The complete introductory lectures on psychoanalysis, trans. James Strachey. New York: W.W. Norton. 1996.

Freud, Sigmund. The origin and development of psychoanalysis’ The American Journal of Psychology, Vol 21, no. 2, pp. 181-218. 7 December 2014. Web. <www.jstor.org/table/1413001>

Wellek, R, Warren, A, Literary Theory, trans. M Budianta. Jakarta: Gramedia 1989.


Muhammad Alif Faturrachman kerap disapa dengan panggilan “Alif”, “Alep”, “Toad” adalah seorang pemuisi amatiran serta salah satu Founder dari Mediatikusastra. Ia memiliki passion di bidang desain grafis dan komputer dengan jejak rekam petualangan sebagai lulusan “terbaik” dari SMK Negeri 1 Sungailiat, sebuah gelar yang sengaja ia klaim sepihak agar terdengar prestis. Kini, takdir membawa Alif ke jurusan Sastra Inggris di sebuah universitas negeri di Indonesia, dimana ia harus meninggalkan mimpi menjadi seorang game developer atau seorang desainer grafis dan apalah itu mimpi-mimpi yang pernah ia impikan.

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