Psychological Analysis: Arsat's Behaviors and Thoughts in “the Lagoon”

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Psychological analysis of literary works is an approach to understand the truth in human's mind and behavior in different aspects. This kind of analysis uses characters in stories as representatives of human beings under circumstances motivating human to react mentally and physically. As characters in literary work reflects what in their minds through their actions and thoughts, analyzing literatures using psychological theory is a realistic and reasonable method. To understand motives of Arsat's, a character in “The Lagoon” thoroughly, we need to analyse “The Lagoon” by applying the literary interpretation with a psychological theory; Sigmund Freud's “Structural Model of Psyche”.

In “Structural Model of Psyche”, Sigmund Freud divided our minds into three parts; Id, Ego and Superego. They describe mental and physical activities and interactions in life theoretically. According to this theory, “Id” is the unorganized part of our minds. Id acts on the basis of avoiding pain or unpleasure evoked by instinctual tensions. While “Id” cannot take a “no” to block its yearning, “Ego” is an organized part of mind that drives Id in practical and realistic ways that benefit life in long term. Work in opposition to the Id, “Superego” controls all of our actions and notions toward socially appropriate manners and acceptable ways.

I am going to interpret and analyse actions and motives of a specific character, Arsat, in “The Lagoon” applying Sigmund Freud's “Structural Model of Psyche” as an approach of getting the full understanding of this character. Divided into three parts; Id, Ego and Superego, this essay covers all aspects of Arsat's behaviors and the reasons behind those behaviors deeply and clearly in psychoanalysis angle.

Firstly, Id deals with wants unconsciously in only one rule, the pleasure principle. Arsat's Ids are divided into two parts; minor Id and main Id. The minor Id can be seen in the quote “I could see nothing but one face, hear nothing but one voice” which portrays the desire of Arsat that wants Diamelen, a servant of Rajah's wife, to flee and to be with him. He is completely in love with her and is totally commanded by the Id to do anyway to get Diamelen. Furthermore, the quote “You came to the cry of my heart, but my arms take you into my boat against the will if the great” suggests that Diamelen comes to his protection from the Rajah's great army coming. His minor Id accomplished even though it means that he has to break the society's rules and betray his Ruler.

Apart from the minor Id, “My love is so great, that I thought it could guide me to the country where death was unknown” shows the main Id comprehensively. Not only having Diamelen to be the important Id that plays significant role of pushing his actions but it can also drives Arsat to the main goal of his life which is to be in “a country where death is unknown”. He believe that his great love is going to lead him to the country. Again, Id plays its role effectively by not being concerned, even the character needs to sacrifice his family bond, about anything but to achieve the goal it is aiming. Moreover, From the quote “I pushed the canoe! I pushed it into deep water...I never turned my head, my own name!...My brother! Three times he called-but I was no afraid of life, Was she not there in the canoe? And could I not with her find a country where death is forgotten-where death is unknown!”, conveys that Arsat, influenced by Id, unconsciously uses his intimate persons as his tools to reach his main goal. First, He uses his brother to help him get Diamelen from the ruler, from the quote “I went to him and told him that I could see nothing but one face, hear nothing but one voice”, as he knows surely that his physical strength could definitely not made him survive from the escape, from when Arsat was so exhausted from paddling for along time, then ask his brother to get some rest and his brother answer firmly with no sense of fatigue in his...
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