VERONIKA’S WAYS IN DEALING WITH HER LIFE AS SEEN IN PAULO COELHO’S VERONIKA DECIDES TO DIE
Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain Sarjana Pendidikan Degree
in English Language Education
By Polycarpus Ari Student Number : 041214039
ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION STUDY PROGRAM DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGE AND ARTS EDUCATION FACULTY OF TEACHERS TRAINING AND EDUCATION
SANATA DHARMA UNIVERSITY YOGYAKARTA
VERONIKA’S WAYS IN DEALING WITH HER LIFE AS SEEN
IN PAULO COELHO’S VERONIKA DECIDES TO DIE
Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain Sarjana Pendidikan Degree
in English Language Education
Student Number : 041214039
ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION STUDY PROGRAM DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGE AND ARTS EDUCATION FACULTY OF TEACHERS TRAINING AND EDUCATION
SANATA DHARMA UNIVERSITY YOGYAKARTA
Everywhere one seeks to produce meaning, to make the
world signify, to render it visible. We are not, however,
in danger of lacking meaning, quite the contrary, we
are gorged with meaning and it is killing us.
This thesis is sincerely dedicated to
Jesus Christ and Mother Mary
STATEMENT OF WORK ORIGINALITY
I honestly declare that this thesis, which I have written, does not contain the work
or parts of the work of other people, except those cited in the quotations and the
references, as a scientific paper should.
Yogyakarta, 15 July 2011
LEMBAR PERNYATAAN PERSETUJUAN
PUBLIKASI KARYA ILMIAH UNTUK KEPENTINGAN AKADEMIS
Yang bertanda tangan di bawah ini, saya mahasiswa Universitas Sanata Dharma:
Nama : Polycarpus Ari
Nomor Mahasiswa : 041214039
Demi pengembangan ilmu pengetahuan, saya memberikan kepada Perpustakaan Universitas Sanata Dharma karya ilmiah saya yang berjudul:
VERONIKA’S WAYS IN DEALING WITH HER LIFE AS SEEN IN PAULO COELHO’S VERONIKA DECIDES TO DIE
beserta perangkat yang diperlukan (bila ada). Dengan demikian saya memberikan kepada Perpustakaan Universitas Sanata Dharma hak untuk menyimpan, mengalihkan dalam bentuk media lain, mengelolanya dalam bentuk pangkalan data, mendistribusikan secara terbatas, dan mempublikasikannya di Internet atau media lain untuk kepentingan akademis tanpa perlu meminta ijin dari saya maupun memberikan royalti kepada saya selama tetap mencantumkan nama saya sebagai penulis.
Demikian pernyataan ini yang saya buat dengan sebenarnya.
Dibuat di Yogyakarta
Pada tanggal: 20 Juli 2011
vii Veronika Decides to Die. This study is aimed to find out the Veronika knows what
to do in her life.
There are two problems formulated to achieve the objective of this study. First, this study attempts to see how Veronika’s character is depicted in the novel.
Second, the study is intended to find out how Veronika knows what to do in her life.
In order to achieve the objective, this study employs library research for collecting data. There are two kinds of data, primary and secondary ones. The primary data is obtained from the novel itself, Veronika Decides to Die.
Secondary sources are gained from relevant books which provide theory of literature and modern psychology. Theory of literature consists of theory character and characterization. Theory psychology consists of theory of social learning and theory of decision making in complex environment.
This study also employs one approach to work over the analysis. It is psychological approach. This approach is applied as the most appropriate tool to observe and analyze character within literary works along with theory of literature and theory of psychology.
There are two findings drawn from the analysis. The first one reveals Veronika’s character. Veronika can be determined as brave, aggressive, stubborn,
curious, attentive, careful, thoughtful, obedient, self-aware and romantic.
The second finding figures out that the way Veronika knows what to do in her life is through social learning. She has accomplished two social learning processes. They are observational learning and reinforcement in observational learning. Being reinforced in social learning, Veronika decides to see her life differently in order to enjoy her life.
This study also suggests that future researchers deal with the novel focusing on the analysis of Veronika’s decision which can influence other characters’ life. It is also recommended that the novel is used as the material to
Ari, Polycarpus. (2011). Veronika’s Ways in Dealing with Her Life as Seen
in Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die. Yogyakarta: Program Studi
Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris, Universitas Sanata Dharma.
Penelitian ini merupakan penelitian yang mendiskusikan sebuah novel fiksi karya Paulo Coelho yang berjudul Veronika Decides to Die. Skripsi ini
bermaksud untuk melihat bagaimana Veronika mengetahui apa yang harus dilakukan untuk kehidupannya.
Penelitian ini mempunyai dua rumusan masalah. Pertama, penelitian bertujuan untuk melihat karakter Veronika yang tampak di dalam novel. Kedua, penelitian ini bertujuan untuk melihat bagaimana Veronika mengetahui apa yang harus dilakukan dalam hidupnya.
Metode pengumpulan data yang digunakan dalam penelitian ini adalah studi pustaka. Sumber utama dari penelitian ini adalah novel itu sendiri, novel
Veronika Decides to Die. Sumber data yang kedua berasal dari buku-buku yang
menyediakan teori kesusateraan dan teori psikologi. Teori kesusasteraan sendiri terdiri dari teori karakter dan karakterisasi. Teori psikologi yang digunakan dalam penelitian ini adalah teori pembelajaran sosial dan teori pengambilan keputusan dalam lingkungan yang komplek.
Penelitian ini menggunakan satu pendekatan dalam pelaksanaan penelitian. Pendekatan tersebut adalah pendekatan psikologi. Pendekatan tersebut diterapkan sebagai media yang paling sesuai untuk meninjau dan menganalisa karakter dalam karya sastra bersamaan dengan teori kesusasteraan dan teori psikologi.
Terdapat dua penemuan yang dapat diambil dari analisa penelitian ini. Hasil analisa yang pertama menunjukan bahwa karakter Veronika dapat digambarkan sebagai orang yang berani, agresif, keras kepala, ingin tahu, peka, berhati-hati, pemikir, penurut, sadar diri and romantis.
Hasil analisa yang kedua menunjukan bahwa Veronika mengetahui hal yang harus dilakukan dalam kehidupannya melalui pembelajaran sosial. Veronika melakukan dua pembelajaran social. Pembelajaran social itu terdiri dari pengamatan pembelajaran dan penguatan dalam pengamatan pembelajaran. Karena memperoleh penguatan dalam pembelajaran social, Veronika akhirnya mengambil keputusan untuk memandang hidupnya dengan cara berbeda agar dia bisa menikmati hidupnya.
It is a pleasure to thank those who make this study possible to be finished. First of all, I would like to express my greatest gratitude to Jesus Christ for His blessing which become great guidance and power for me finishing this study.
It is an honor for me to present my deepest gratitude to Dr. Antonius Herujiyanto, M.A., for his uncountable helps, as my sponsor whose patience, guidance, encouragement, suggestions, corrections and supports from the initial to the final level enable me to develop a deep understanding of this study as well as to complete it.
My deepest love and gratitude are dedicated for my beloved parents, my father Bernardinus Rustamaji and my mother Maria Suharmiyatun due to their prayers, guidance and supports.
I would like to thank my older brother Thomas Ari and my younger sister
Maria Agustina for their attention, advice and supports always accompany me in sadness and happiness. I also owe my gratitude to my cousins, Putri and Dede
who always ease my weariness and cheer me up when I felt down.
I am indebted to all my friends Adven, Bertus, Gunawan, Wibbi, Wikan, Yudi, Agus and Vita for their precious moment of friendships, life sharing and motivations.
Finally, I hope this thesis will be useful for the reader. I realize that this work is still far from being perfect, any valuable critics and comments are needed
to make this thesis better.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE ...
APPROVAL PAGES ...
DEDICATION PAGE ...
STATEMENT OF WORK’S ORIGINALITY ... LEMBAR PERNYATAAN PERSETUJUAN PUBLIKASI KARYA
ILMIAH UNTUK KEPENTINGAN AKADEMIS...
CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE……….
1. Suggestion for Future Researchers………..…..
2. Suggestion for Teaching Implementation………......
Appendix 1: Biography of Paulo Coelho………...
Appendix 2: Summary of the Novel………...
Appendix 3: Lesson Plan for Teaching Intensive Reading II…….………...
Appendix 4: Learning Material for Teaching Intensive Reading II…..……. Appendix 5: Answer Key………...
This chapter is divided into five main parts. They are background of the study, objective of the study, problem formulation, research benefits and the definition of terms. The background of the study tells about why the writer chose literature, novel’s author and the novel as the topic of the study. Objective of the study determines the purpose of the study. The problem formulation presents the two problems of the study. Research benefits convey the usage of this study for readers and researchers. Last part of this chapter is definition of terms which presents some specific terms which are needed to be clarified.
A. Background of the Study
That socialization will enable people to know what to do in their life. This life issue is called social learning processes. “Social learning identifies learning as a
dynamic interplay between the person, the environment, and behavior. Social learning is also a theory of human development that says humans learn through observation of model behaviors and reinforcement for imitated behaviors”
(Bandura, 1977:237). This phenomenon of social learning is interesting to discuss. Therefore, this study chooses social learning as one of recent life issue as the topic of this study.
We can find many human phenomenons related to life issue in many forms. One of them is through literary works. According to Wellek and Waren’s Theory of Literature, “literature is a source of knowledge that is very important for everyone who wants to enrich his comprehension of the world and its society” (36). This evidence reinforces the writer to choose study on literature. It is also selected because literature serves as a mirror of self and social examination. People can see, learn, and even comprehend life phenomenon which is illustrated in literature.
a winner of numerous literary prizes. Paulo Coelho is also a prominent speaker for humanitarian causes and an international bestselling author. This evidence ensures
this study to use Paulo Coelho’s novel as the object of this study. In Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die, he presents Veronika as the main character who has willing to commit suicide due to boredom and emptiness of life. To be
failed of suicide attempt, she is sent to a mental hospital. Doctor told her that she had heart attack and there only a week remain. By living in mental hospital, which is a new environment for her, she begins to socialize and learn new things. Afterwards, she realizes the meaning of her life and knows what to do with her life. By understanding Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die, this study relates social learning as a life issue with Veronika’s life as seen in the novel. Therefore, this study focuses on researching and analyzing the ways to know the meaning of Veronika’s life as reflected in Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die. The ways to know the meaning of Veronika’s life leads Veronika knows what to do in her life.
B. Objective of the Study
The objective of this study is to explain and figure out the ways Veronika knows what to do in her life as seen in Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die.
C. Problem Formulation
1. How is Veronika’s character depicted in the novel?
2. How does Veronika know what to do in her life as reflected in Paulo Coelho’s
Veronika Decides to Die?
D. Research Benefits
This study is expected to be beneficial to the readers and researchers of Paulo Coelho’s Veronika’s Decides to Die. First, the readers can learn and enrich their knowledge about the ways Veronika’s knows the meaning of her life. It also enables the readers to reflect what the meaning of life is, moreover, they will know what to do in their life.
Second, this study can be used as a base for future researchers to appoint another study based on Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die. This study will be valuable and become researchers’ referential for future study. Considering the aspects, hopefully, by knowing the ways to know the meaning of Veronika’s life, researchers can comprehend and understand the important points that can help build another study on the novel.
E. Definition of Terms
According to Hugh Holman and William Harmon, “character is a
complicated term that includes tile idea of the moral constitution of the human personality, the presence of moral uprightness, and the simpler notion of the presence of creatures in art that seem to be human beings of one sort or another”
(81). In this study, this term is used to determine Veronika’s character in Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die.
2. Social learning
“Social learning identifies learning as a dynamic interplay between the
According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the meaning of deal
is “to manage with something”(298). This term is used to determine how Veronika deals with her life.
7 CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This chapter covers three main parts. The first part is theoretical review,
second is theoretical framework and third is context of the novel. Theoretical
review contains the reviews of some relevant theories for answering the problems
stated in previous chapter of this study. Theoretical framework explains the
contribution of the theories and reviews in solving the problem of this study.
Context of the novel presents contextual information when novel is written.
A. Theoretical Review 1. Critical Approach
Literary criticism is the field of study which systematizes this sort of
activity, and several critical approaches to literature are possible. In other words, it
is a tool to analyze, question, interpret, synthesize, and evaluate the literary works
in the course of pondering, analyzing and discussing them. According to Mary
Rohrberger and Samuel H. Wood Jr’s in their book entitled Reading and Writing
about Literature, “there are five critical approaches in reading literature the
critical approach” (6-15). There are formalist approach, biographical approach,
sociocultural-historical approach, mythopoeic approach, and psychological
approach. Each approach has its function in analyzing a literary work. A literary
work can be analyzed by either a single approach or even more, as long as they
limitations. Thus, the literature employs more than one approach to shape a good
literary work. In connection to analyze the subject matter of this study, two
approaches are applied. They are psychological approach and biographical
a. Psychological Background
This approach reflects the effect that modern psychology has had upon both
literature and literary criticism. According to Rohrberger and Wood, the
psychological approach pays attention to “the certain repeated structure but the
attention is from the different knowledge’s point of view” (13-14). The
psychological approach is significant in motivating people to reach out
achievements in the society where they belong as normal people. In determining
what a person thinks and why he acts that way on a particular situation, Freud
clarifies psychological approach into three parts. They are ego, id, and superego.
1) The Id
The id is the first component of human psyche. According to Ewen, ”it
presents from birth and operates based on pleasure principle. It relates to
biological functions such as breathing, sweating, and elimination” (18).The id is
the reservoir of libido, the primary source of all psychic energy. It functions to
fulfill the primordial life principle, which Freud considers to be the pleasure
principle. Without consciousness or semblance of rational order, the id is
Freud explains this "obscure inaccessible part of our personality" as "a chaos, a
cauldron of seething excitement with no organization and no unified will, only an
impulsion to obtain satisfaction for the instinctual needs, in accordance with the
pleasure principle" (103). He further stresses that the "laws of logic above all, the
law of contradiction do not hold for processes of the id. Contradictory impulses
exist side by side without neutralizing each other or drawing apart. Naturally, the
id knows no values, no good and evil, no morality" (104-5).
The id is, in short, the source of all our aggressions and desires. It is lawless,
asocial, and amoral. Its function is to gratify our instincts for pleasure without
regard for social conventions, legal ethics, or moral restraint. Unchecked, it would
lead us to any lengths to destruction and even self-destruction to satisfy its
impulses for pleasure. Safety for the self and for others does not lie within the
province of the id; its concern is purely for instinctual gratification, heedless of
consequence. Thus there is a certain psychological validity in the old saying that a
rambunctious child (whose id has not yet been brought under control by ego and
superego) is "full of the devil." We may also see in young children (and neurotic
adults) certain uncontrolled impulses toward pleasure that often lead to excessive
self-indulgence and even to self-injury.
2) The Ego
The second component of human psyche is the ego. It works based on the
reality principle. In view of the id's dangerous potentialities, it is necessary that
regulating agencies, that which protects the individual, is the ego. This is the
rational governing agent of the psyche. Though the ego lacks the strong vitality of
the id, it regulates the instinctual drives of the id so that they may be released in
nondestructive behavioral patterns. And though a large portion of the ego is
unconscious, the ego nevertheless comprises what we ordinarily think of as the
conscious mind. As Freud points out, "In popular language, we may say that the
ego stands for reason and circumspection, while the id stands for the untamed
passions." Whereas the id is governed solely by the pleasure principle, the ego is
governed by the reality principle. Consequently, the ego serves as intermediary
between the world within and the world without. The functions of ego are to make
decisions, control actions, and allow thinking and problem solving of a higher
order than the id is capable of (34). They also state that the ego plays important
roles in mediating between the instinctual requirements of the organism and the
conditions of surrounding environment and maintaining the life of individual.
3) The Superego
The last one is the superego. Cloninger (41) states that “the superego
consists of rules and ideals of society that have become internalized by the
individual.” Contrasting to the id, the superego operates according to the morality
principle and serves primarily to protect society and us from the id. Largely
unconscious, the superego is the moral censoring agency, the repository of
conscience and pride. It is, as Freud says in "The Anatomy of the Mental
impulse toward perfection, in short it is as much as we have been able to
apprehend psychologically of what people call the 'higher' things in human life"
(95). Acting either directly or through the ego, the superego serves to repress or
inhibit the drives of the id, to block off and thrust back into the unconscious those
impulses toward pleasure that society regards as unacceptable, such as overt
aggression, sexual passions, and the Oedipal instinct. Freud attributes the
development of the superego to the parental influence that manifests itself in
terms of punishment for what society considers being bad behavior and reward for
what society considers good behavior. An overactive superego creates an
unconscious sense of guilt (hence the familiar term guilt complex and the popular
misconception that Freud advocated the relaxing of all moral inhibitions and
social restraints). Whereas the id is dominated by the pleasure principle and the
ego by the reality principle, the superego is dominated by the morality principle.
We might say that the id would make us devils, that the superego would have us
behave as angels (or, worse, as creatures of absolute social conformity), and that it
remains for the ego to keep us healthy human beings by maintaining a balance
between these two opposing forces. It was this balance that Freud advocated not a
complete removal of inhibiting factors.
2. Theory of Literature a. Theory of Character
Character is one of the most important elements of a novel, because
characters. By knowing the theory of character and characterization will help this
study analyzing the character of this novel. According to Abrams, character itself
can be defined as “the persons presented in a dramatic or narrative work, who are
interpreted by the reader as being endowed with moral and dispositional qualities
that are expressed in what they say, the dialogue and what they do the action” (2).
Other theorists such as Hugh Holman and William Harmon also state that
“character is a complicated term that includes tile idea of the moral constitution of
the human personality, the presence of moral uprightness, and the simpler notion
of the presence of creatures in art that seem to be human beings of one sort or
another” (81). Therefore, character plays pivotal roles in novel. Thus, it
emphasizes that an author has to introduce characters in a way that allows readers
the time to take in who the characters are and what issues they have to resolve.
A novel is written to reveal character as reflection of human life. Not all
character play important role. Characters can be divided into two kindly major or
main character and minor character. Major character is the most important
character in a story.
Basically, a story is about this character, but he cannot stand on his own,
he needs other characters to name tie story more convincing and lifelike. Minor
characters are characters of less important than those the main. A character can be
either static or dynamic. A static character is one who changes little if at all.
Things happen to such a character without things happening within. The pattern of
action reveals the character rather than showing the character changing in
and experiences (83). This theory of character will help this study to determine the
main character of the novel. it also facilitated the study to analyze the object of
this thesis deeper.
b. Theory of Characterization
In order to know and reveals personality and attitude of the character, there
are several ways must be followed. According to M.J. Murphy method which is
used to know character in the novel is through several ways, they are personal
description, character as seen by another, speech, past life, conversation of others,
reaction, direct comment, thoughts, and mannerism (161-173). Personal
description means that “the author can describe a person’s appearance and clothes.
The author is able to give physical details related to skin, face and body in order to
help the reader illustrate and imagine the character” (161). Second is character as
seen by another. “The author can describe the character through the eyes and
opinions of another” (162-163). Readers will be facilitated to understand the
character by knowing other character said. Third is through what that person says.
” It means that “the author can give us an insight into the character of the person
in the book. Whenever he or she is in conversation with another, whenever he puts
forward an opinion, he is giving some clue to his character” (163-166).
Fourth is about telling the past life. “By letting the reader learn something
about a person’s past life the author can give us a clue to events that have helped
person thoughts, through his conversation or through the medium of another
Fifth is conversation of others. “People do talk about other people and the
things they say often give as a clue to the character of the person spoken about. By
acquiring other people conversation, readers are capable of illustrating the
character in the novel. Therefore, the author can also give us clues to person’s
character through (conversation of others) people and the thing they say about
him/her” (167). Sixth is reaction. “Clues given by the author by letting us know
that person reacts to various situations and events (reaction). Through character’s
reaction, the author can imply many things to the reader concern on the
character’s personality” (168). Seventh is direct comment. “The author can
describe or comment on a person’s character directly. The author can give us
direct knowledge of what a person is thinking about (thoughts). In this respect he
is able to do what we cannot do in real life. He can tell us what different people
are thinking” (170). Eight is thought. “The author can give us direct knowledge of
what a person is thinking about. The reader then is in a privileged position, he has
as it were, a secret listening device plugged in to the inmost thoughts of a person
in a novel” (171).
Last is through mannerism. “The author can describe a person’s
mannerism, habits or idiosyncrasies which may also tell us something about
his/her character” (173). This study uses this theory to find out how Veronika’s
3. Theory of Psychology a. Social Learning Theory
A person lives in a society as individual and social being. As a social
being, a person needs social learning to enter the society where he/she lives. It is a
lifelong process which starts from childhood till to the death of a person. Social
learning plays important role in the process of personality formation. The social
learning process can mold a person in particular directions by encouraging
specific beliefs and attitudes as well as selectively providing experiences.
Through social learning, a person is able to think, feel, makes decision,
respond to others, and enter into relationships. According to Albert Bandura,
social learning can be defined as “human behavior is governed by a complex
interplay between inner processes and environmental forces. This means that
behavior, personal factors, and social forces all operates as interlocking
determinants of one another that behavior is influenced by the environment but
that people also play role in creating the social milieu and other circumstances that
arise in their daily transaction” (237). Social learning itself is divided into two
parts. They are observational learning and reinforcement in observational
1) Observational Learning
a) Attentional Processes: Perceiving the Model
According to Albert Bandura, a person cannot learn much by observation unless
features of the model’s behavior. It is not sufficient for a person merely to see the
model and what is doing; rather, the individual must attend to the model with
enough perceptual accuracy to extract the relevant information to use in imitating
the model. Attention to a model is also governed by their interpersonal
attractiveness. Model who personify charismatic qualities are generally sought
while those who demonstrates displeasing qualities are usually ignored or rejected
b) Retention Processes: Remembering the Model
A person cannot be affected much by observation of a model behavior if he or she
has no memory of it. Indeed, without the capacity to recall what the model did, the
observer unlikely to demonstrate any enduring behavioral change (244).
c) Motor Production Processes: Translating Memories into Behavior
A person may have carefully formed and retained symbolic representation of a
model’s behavior and rehearsed that behavior numerous times, he or she may still
be unable to enact the behavior correctly. Observing and intentionally rehearsing
certain behaviors may facilitate learning, for one at least able to begin to perform
the necessary movements based on what had been earlier observed (245).
d) Motivational Processes: From Observation to Action
A person can acquire, retain, and posses the capabilities for skillful execution of
modeled behavior, but learning may seldom be activated into overt performance if
it is negatively sanctioned or otherwise unfavorably received. One way in which a
person’s desire to attend to, retain, and perform a modeled behavior may be
doing. The observation that another’s behavior brings about positive reward, or
prevents some aversive condition, can be compelling incentive to attend to, retain,
and later perform that behavior (246).
2) Reinforcement in Observational Learning a) Vicarious Reinforcement
Vicarious reinforcement is critical to the understanding of condition
governing human behavior. Vicarious positive reinforcement is said to
occur when observers increase behavior for which they have seen others
reinforced. Vicarious punishment occurs when observed negative
consequences reduce people’s tendency to behave similar or related ways
People possess self-reactive capacities that allow them to exercise control
over their own feelings, thoughts, and actions. Therefore behavior
regulated by the interplay of self regenerated and external sources of
c) Learning Self-Regulation
People frequently learn how to evaluate their behavior in terms of how
others have reacted to it. Parent and other significant socializing figures
adhere to certain rules or standards of what constitutes acceptable behavior
d) Regulating Behavior through Self-Produced Consequences
According to Bandura, people regulate their behavior through
self-produced consequences (253).
e) Sustaining Self-Reward System
According to Bandura, four interrelated factors to serve maintain the
regulation of behavior though self-imposed incentives-negative sanctions,
predictive situational determinants, personal benefits, and modeling
(1) Negative Sanctions: The Headaches of Undeserved Rewards
Adherence to performance standards for self-reward are partly
maintained by a variety of periodic social influences.
(2) Predictive situational Determinants: Avoiding the Headaches
Most people are able to predict the probable consequences of
undeserved self reward and are thus able to deny themselves such
rewards until their performance standards are met.
(3) Personal Benefits: Getting what You Earn
The desire or reduce eliminate aversive behavior is still another
way by which self-prescribed reinforcement may be sustained.
(4) Modeling Supports: Success Thrives on Company
A final factor serving to maintain self-reinforcing behavior
involves the influences of supportive models. Since our behavior is
partly governed by modeling stimuli, it follows that seeing other
contingencies would facilitate our adherence to self imposed
f) Self-Evaluation and Self-Concept
Self evaluation and self concept have come to be more emphasized in
social learning theory. Self- evaluation and self-concept are when the individual
has his own ideas about what is appropriate or inappropriate behavior and chooses
actions accordingly. Self-evaluative and self-concept functions occupy a central
position in social learning theory. In addition to giving humans a capacity for
self-evaluation serves as the basis for feelings of satisfaction and worth, concept of
self-efficacy in a variety of contexts (256).
b. Theory of Decision Making in Complex Social Environment
Decision making is the study of identifying and choosing alternatives
based on the values and preferences of the decision maker. According to Boyd
and Richerson propose theory that show which “circumstances the capacity for
social learning can evolve and to show how adaptive different rules of thumb for
social learning like imitate a random other person or imitate a successful person
are under different informational constraints influences people’s decisions” (223).
They have investigated social learning often strongly influences people’s
decisions. Making a decision implies that there are alternative choices to be
considered, and in such a case we want not only to identify as many of these
objectives, desires and value. Importantly, the social learning rules investigated by
Richerson assume that theory developed a paradigm to investigate how people
combine learning with advice. According to Argyris, decision making should start
with the identification of the decision maker and stakeholder in the decision,
reducing the possible disagreement about problem definition, requirements, goals
and decide (153). Then, a general decision making process can be divided into the
1) Define the problem
This process must, as a minimum, identify root causes, limiting
assumptions, system and organizational boundaries and interfaces, and any
stakeholder issues. The goal is to express the issue in a clear, one-sentence
problem statement that describes both the initial conditions and the desired
conditions.” Of course, the one-sentence limit is often exceeded in the practice in
case of complex decision problems. The problem statement must however be a
concise and unambiguous written material agreed by all decision makers and
stakeholders. Even if it can be sometimes a long iterative process to come to such
an agreement, it is a crucial and necessary point before proceeding to the next step
2) Determine Requirements
Requirements are conditions that any acceptable solution to the problem
must meet. Requirements spell out what the solution to the problem must do.” In
feasible/admissible solutions of the decision problem. It is very important that
even if subjective or judgmental evaluations may occur in the following steps, the
requirements must be stated in exact quantitative form, for any possible solution it
has to be decided unambiguously whether it meets the requirements or not. We
can prevent the ensuing debates by putting down the requirements and how to
check them in a written material (74).
3) Establish goals
People are always having goals while they are doing something. Goals can
also become motivation when people do an action. In short, “goals are broad
statements of intent and desirable values. Goals go beyond the minimum essential
must have something to wants and desires” (77).
4) Identify Alternatives
Alternatives offer different approaches for changing the initial condition
into the desired condition.” Be it an existing one or only constructed in mind, any
alternative must meet the requirements. If the number of the possible alternatives
is finite, we can check one by one if it meets the requirements. The infeasible ones
must be deleted from the further consideration, and we obtain the explicit list of
the alternatives. If the number of the possible alternatives is infinite, the set of
alternatives is considered as the set of the solutions fulfilling the constraints in the
mathematical form of the requirements (81).
5) Deciding the Action
Decision criteria, which will discriminate among alternatives, must be
measures of the goals to measure how well each alternative achieves the goals.
Since the goals will be represented in the form of criteria, every goal must
generate at least one criterion but complex goals may be represented only by
several criteria. This means that people is placed in a particular direction to
choose something to do for the shake of his/her life. Essentially, the study of
decision making attempts to understand the ability to process multiple alternatives
and to choose an optimal course of action (83).
B. Theoretical Framework
To conduct this study, several theories are applied. At the beginning, this
study employs critical two critical approaches to work over the analysis. They are
biographical and psychological approaches .Those approaches are implemented to
criticize and analyze Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Dies as literary works in
biographical and psychological point of view. Afterwards, this study applies
theories of literature and theories of psychology.
Theories of literature which are applied in this study are theory of
character and theory of characterization. Theories of character and
characterization are implemented as supporting framework to analyze the main
character of the novel. By using these theories, this study can reveals character’s
behaviors and personality. It’s really useful when this study tries to analyze the
main character of the novel that is Veronika. Theories of psychology which are
implemented in this study are theory of social learning and theory of decision
Veronika’s social learning process and her decision. By using these theories, this
study can also figure out Veronika’s social learning steps which finally lead her to
know what to do in her life.
C. Context of The Novel
Context of the novel is important to investigate a work was created and
which it necessarily reflects. As the object of this study, this novel is influenced
by two contextual factors. They are context of the novelist and context of the
novel itself. First, context of the novelist tells about when and where Paulo Coelho
wrote the novel. Second, context of the novel conveys information setting and
place the main character in the novel.
1. Context of the Novelist
Paulo Coelho wrote Veronika Decides to Die in Brazil. It was the era of
Military Regime when Paulo Coelho lives in Brazil. Actually, this novel is written
based on his experience when he was young. His parents had him to a mental
institution three times (1966, 1967 and 1968). He was sent to lunatic asylum due
to his desire who wanted to become a writer against his parents who wanted him
studied law in one of Brazil’s University. Paulo Coelho was imprisoned three
times for political reasons and was kidnapped and tortured by paramilitaries
during that era.
2. Context of the Novel
The novel is takes place in Slovenia. Slovenia is place which has economical
defined as a young girl who lives in Slovenia. She lives a small apartment lonely.
She has a steady job as a librarian at the library in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Next
setting is a lunatic asylum in Villete, a famous hospital for the mentally ill. She is
25 CHAPTER III
This chapter covers three main parts. They are object of the study,
approach of the study and method of the study. Object of the study describes the
description of the work analyzed and what the study is generally about. Approach
of the study reveals the way taken in analyzing the subject of this study is
described. Method of the study explains the sources, steps and the processes
conducting this study.
A. Object of the Study
The object of this study is Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die. The
novel was written by Paulo Coelho. The novel is originally presented in
Portuguese language and published by Harper Collins in 1998. It was translated
into English by Margaret Jull Costa in 1999. It consists of 210 pages. Veronika
Decides to Die tells the reader about a young twenty four year old woman named
Veronika who decides to kill herself due to her emptiness of life and she could not
stand for it. She tries to commit suicide by taking sleeping pills overdose. She
tried but then she fails. Afterwards, she is sent to mental hospital in Villete. She is
told by the doctor that the suicide attempt results a failing heart. She is warned
that she only had a week to live. When she goes through her medication in
Villete, she meets many people there. She starts to learn and realize new things
brought her to a final decision and starts to live and enjoy her life even though
only few days were remaining.
Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die is not merely offer real life
weariness but also put up the appropriate solutions to the readers. Furthermore,
this novel also proposed social learning aspects, life choices and decision towards
people’s life. Here, readers could see Veronika’s social learning processes which
bring her to a decision in her life which ultimately made her knew what to do in
her life. This process will enrich readers to have their rights to select and decide
which path of life to be undergone like what Veronika had been done.
B. Approach of the Study
This study applied the psychological approach. Based on a book A Study
and Research Guide by Lewis Leary, psychological approach can be determined
as “an approach that applies principles of modern psychology to characters or
situation within literary work or to the person who wrote that work” (57). Since
Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die is one of literary works which promotes
psychological issue, this study used psychological approach to go through with
the analysis of the main character. This approach would empower this study to
implement several theories of literature and theory of modern psychology while
C. Method of The Study
Library research served as the method of the study for gathering the data.
This study uses books, internet and other writings related to the object of the study
as the material. Act upon library research method, this study had several steps to
be done. As a first step, this study took Veronika Decide to Die, Paulo Coelho’s
novel as primary source. Reading the story many times in order to get a clear idea
and good understanding of the story is the next step of this study. This was also
done in order to find the topics to be discussed. When reading the novel, the writer
focused on social learning as recent life issue which was reflected in the novel. By
understanding the story, this study formulated two research questions, they were
how Veronika was depicted in the novel and how did Veronika know what to do
in her life.
Furthermore, this study collected supporting theories from other books to
start analyze the novel. There were many sources used in analyzing the
Veronika’s ways to know what to do in her life as seen in Paulo Coelho’s
Veronika Decides to Die. They were theory of critical approach, theory of
literature and theory of psychology. Theories of critical approach consist of
psychological approach and biographical approach. Those approaches were used
to give basic knowledge and understanding the elements of literary works, in this
case Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die. Theory of literature was comprised
of theory of character and characterization whereas theory of psychology was
derived from theory of social learning and theory of decision making in complex
Next, theories of character and characterization are applied in order to get better
understanding toward main character which existed in the novel. It was also done
to answer the first research question that was how Veronika is depicted in the
novel. Theory of social learning was used to analyze Veronika’s social learning
processes. Next, theory of decision making in complex environment was used to
consolidate the Veronika’s social learning processes to decision which addressed
her to know what to do in her life. It would also answer the second research
question that is the ways Veronika knows what to do in her life as seen in Paulo
Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die.
As the final step, the conclusion is drawn from the output of the analysis.
The conclusion helps the study to find the answer of the problem formulation.
Hopefully, the answer of the two questions formulated in problem formulation
may lead the readers to gain some values of life that can be applied in reader’s
This chapter covers two main parts. First one describes how the character
of Veronika’s is depicted. Second is explains how Veronika knows what to do in
her life as reflected in the character of Veronika.
A. The Characterization of Veronika
This part describes how Veronika is depicted within novel. In finding
Veronika’s characters, this study applies theory of character which is proposed by
Hugh Holman and William Harmon and theory of characterization which is
proposed by Murphy. Veronika is characterized as dynamic character. A dynamic
character is one who is modified by actions and experiences (83). Veronika is
seen to have changed her character before and after social learning. In the other
side, Murphy explains that “characters in the novel can be seen in nine ways.
They are personal description, characters seen by another, conversation of others,
reaction, direct comment, thoughts and mannerism” (161-173). However, this
study only uses some of them to do the analysis which is appropriate to reveal
Veronika’s character which can explain the changing character of Veronika.
1. Before Social Learning
In the first day in Villete, a week after in unconscious condition, she is
She saw the woman bending over her bound body, which was full of tubes and protected against her will. She openly expressed desire to destroy it. She moves her head from side to side, pleading with her eyes for them to remove the tubes and let her die in peace. (15)
Those quotations above thus states she show When Veronika talks to Eduard, she
shows that she is such an aggressive woman. Aggressive person is defined that a
person ready or likely to attack or quarrel.
“I could fall in love right now and give everything I have to you,” she said,
knowing that he couldn’t understand her. “all you ask from me is a little
music, but I am much more that I ever thought I was, and I would like to share other things with you that I have only just begun to understand.” Eduard smiled. Had she understood/ Veronika felt afraid-all the manuals of good behavior say that you should never speak of love so directly, never to a man barely know. But she decided to continue, because she had nothing to lose. (130-131)
According to the quotation above shows that Veronika tries to express her
feeling to Eduard even though Eduard doesn’t give any reactions. No matter how
Eduard gives reactions, she has intention to continue expressing her feeling to
Stubborn refer to not to change about one’s attitude or position or
sometimes determined as have a strong will. Veronika is illustrated as a stubborn
person. “What’s all got to do with me? Thought Veronika, unable to say anything.
I’m not your aunt and I haven’t got a husband (14).” Based on the quotation, her
reaction to what the nurse saying implies that she is still in her intention to commit
stubborn and what Veronika has done. She still holds on to her desire to commit
suicide. It shows that she has a strong will, which is to commit suicide.
In another occasion in the hospital, she seems to be a stubborn person in
front of Dr. Igor. “Please, Dr. Igor, let me live a little of the time remaining to me,
because we both know that tomorrow will be too late (141).” The quotation
illustrates Veronika stiff-necked to stay awake of her remaining time even though
doctor command her to take a rest.
In addition to be careful, Veronika is also seen as a thoughtful person.
Thoughtful refers to thinking deeply about something. In the beginning of the
story, Veronika is illustrated to put several thoughts while she is committing to
suicide. Veronika begins with taking the time to give full attention to the matter at
her hand. It's about taking a breath before acting, allowing for a moment of
awareness before making a decision. Veronika always think deeply and review of
what is happening and before doing something.
After the incident with the fraternity, she had sometimes thought: If I had choice, if I had understood each earlier that the reason my days were all the same was because I wanted them like that, perhaps…. (46)
This quotation determines that Veronika always put deep consideration on
something before it leads her to a decision. In another occasion, Veronika is seen
to think about what she has experienced in the asylum. “She could almost touch
regardless of whether it was good or bad; she was sick of self-control, of masks,
of appropriate behavior” (67-68).
Veronika hated everything, but mainly she hated the way she had lived
her life, never bothering to discover the hundreds of other Veronikas who lived
inside her and who were interesting, crazy, curious, brave, bold (68).
Curious is eager to know or learning to something. Veronika is seen as a
curios person. A curious person is a person who has high desire to know and learn
about anything. Veronika is illustrated as a person who has big curiosity in her
mind. She always asks a lot about everything. She always asks something she
doesn’t know or about something that she doesn’t understand. She asks people
around her, but sometimes she puts herself to be asked.
“What does it mean to be crazy? Insisted Veronika” (31). Veronika asks
this question to Zedka to know what is meant by crazy. That quotation explains
that Veronika has willingness to know about everything. It also places her in the
similar position as a curious person.
Her curiosity not merely shows by her words of asking, but also can be
seen in her actions toward other people. “She tried to disguise her intention as best
as she could, but whenever she came close, they all fell silent and turned as one to
look at her” (41). Her action to get close to the community not only shows that she
is an aggressive person but also she is a curios person. She wants to figure about
seen to be curious and want to know by joining one activity in the mental hospital
which is invited by Zedka.
Do you want to watch? Insisted Zedka. She was going to step outside the routine, thought Veronika. She was going to discover new things, when she didn’t
need to learn anything more---all she needed was patience. But her curiosity for the better of her and she nodded. (47)
The quotation above moreover consolidates Veronika as a curious person.
By letting her to join the activity, she will discover new thing she hasn’t got
I want to leave here so that I can die outside. I need to visit Ljubljana castle. Its always been there, and I’ve even never had the curiosity to go and see it
at close range. I need to talk to the woman who sells chestnut in winter and flower in the spring…..I want to find out what extreme cold feels like, I , who was always so well wrapped up, so afraid of catching a cold. (139)
She is told by the doctor that her death is about to come. She asks the
doctor’s permission to go outside. Her curiosity to find out situation outside
Villete puts her as a curios person.
Attentive refers to giving close attention to somebody/something (66).
Veronika is found to be an attentive person. It can be seen in from below
quotation as follows. “ while she was waiting for death, Veronika started reading
about computer science, a subject in which she was not the least bit interested, but
then that was in keeping with that she had done all her life, always looking for the
(2).” The quotation implies that Veronika tries to read magazine and put attention
to it even she doesn’t really like about computer science.
She had overcome her minor defects only to be defeated by matters of
fundamental importance. She had managed to appear utterly independent when
she was, in fact, desperately in need of company. … She gave all her friends the
impression that she was a woman to be envied, and she expended most of her
energy in trying to behave in accordance with the image she had created of
Because of that she had never had enough energy to be herself, a person
who, like everyone else in the world, needed other people in order to be happy.
But other people were so difficult. They reacted in unpredictable ways, they
surrounded themselves with defensive walls, they behaved just as she did,
pretending they didn’t care about anything. When someone more open to life
appeared, they either rejected them outright or made them suffer, consigning them
to being inferior, ingenuous. In the another occasion she is seen to put attention
about all that she have done.“She might have impressed a lot of people with her
strength and determination, but where had it left her? In the void. Utterly alone. In
Villete. In the anteroom of death” (67).
2. After Social Learning
Veronika can be defined as a brave person. Brave which is described as a
beginning of the story, Veronika tries to commit suicide by swallow sleeping pills
overdose. “Veronika had been trying to get hold of the pills for nearly six months”
(3). Moreover, if it doesn’t work, she plans to slash her wrist. “Thinking that she
would never manage it, she had even considered slashing her wrist” (3). This
quotation shows her intention to slash her wrist puts Veronika in the same position
as a brave person. Furthermore, she plans another ways to make her suicide
attempt do succeeds that is by slashing her wrist.
When she is inpatient in Villete, she also shows courage in her action there.
She gives resounding slap toward the leader of the group fraternity.
She went straight over the oldest man, who seemed to be the leader. Before anyone could stop her, she gave him resounding slap in the face. Aren’t you going to react? She asked loud, so that everyone could hear her.
Aren’t you going to do something? (45)
The quotation above thus shows that Veronika is a brave woman. A brave
woman can do anything she wants. She doesn’t know the leader of the fraternity.
But, her action to slap the leader of the group in one thing that expresses that she
is a brave person. Once again, in front of Dr Igor, Veronika expresses her desire
about her will which is want to live. She also states that she isn’t afraid of
anything. It also implies that she is a brave person.
“You can tell me,” she said.” I’m not afraid of indifferent or anything. I
want to live, but I know that’s not enough, and I’m resign to my fate” (138). This
quotation, moreover, presents Veronika not afraid of anything which is mean that
Obedient is defined as an action which is done by people according to
what one is told. Veronika is depicted as a good daughter in her family and always
follows what her mother tells her.
Forget about being pianist, and go and study law, that’s the profession
of the future. Veronika did as the mother asked, sure that her mother had enough experience of life to understand reality. She finished her studies, went to university, got a good degree, but ended up working as a librarian. (94)
Above quotation defines that Veronika is an obedient person. She obeys
her mother’s order to forget about her idealistically of being pianist and finish her
study in law. In Villete, Veronika sometimes seems to be such an obedient patient.
“She always follows what the nurse is said. Veronika got up, went back her bed,
and allowed the nurse to do her work” (36). This quotation shows that Veronika
brings about the nurse’s order. Moreover, it also consolidates that Veronika is an
Veronika is found to be a careful person. She bewares of anything she
does. It explains that careful refers to giving a lot of attention and thought to doing
something properly. She always well prepared before doing something. “She was
prepared to do all she could do so that her death would cause as little upset as
possible” (3). The quotation puts Veronika in the same position to be a careful
she has preparation on it in order to make it done well. It determines that she is
careful on her actions.
Another situation shows Veronika behaves carefully is occurring when she
tries to enter fraternity in Villete. “She tried to disguise her intention as best as she
could, but whenever she came close, they all fell silent and turned as one to look
at her” (41). In order to enter the community, she tries to disguise her intention.
Self-awareness is having a clear perception of our personality, including
strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self awareness
allows us to understand other people, how they perceive us, our attitudes and our
responses in the moment. In this case Veronika is seen to be person who has high
self awareness each time she does something. “She knew she was going to die
soon, why be afraid? It wouldn’t help at all, it wouldn’t prevent the fatal heart
attack; the best plan would be to enjoy the days and hours that remained, doing
things she had never before “(102). This quotation shows that Veronika aware of
her life. She knows that she has only few days remain. Due to her awareness, she
wants to enjoy the days and hours remain.
How could she asked me that? What does she want, to understand why I was crying. Doesn’t she realize I’m perfectly normal person, with the same
desires and fears as everyone else, and that a question like that, now that it’s all too late could throw me into panic. (66)
The quotation above shows that Veronika realized that she is a normal
person like the others. She is really knows what is said by the women about her
In the other occasion, Veronika met Eduard. Again, she realized about
her death. She wanted to express herself freely standing naked in front of Eduard.
Veronika was disconcerted at first and then realized that she had nothing to lose. She was dead; what was the point of continuing to feed the fears of preconceptions that always limited her life? She took off her blouse, her trousers, her bra, her panties, and stood before him naked. (132)
The quotation above confirms Veronika who aware about what she is
doing in front of Eduard. She is aware that dead is about to come and she had
nothing to lose about what she is doing in front of Eduard. This quotation, thus,
determines Veronika as a person who has high self-aware.
Veronika can be depicted as a romantic person. She dreams and imagines
beautiful thing in her minds. “When she used to getting married, she imagined
herself in a little house outside Ljubljana, with a man quite different from her
father-a man who earned enough to support his family, one would be content just
to be with her in a house with open fire and to look out at the snow-covered
mountains” (44). This quotation shows that she is a romantic person, having a
beautiful dream that she wanted to realize.
In the other occasion while facing with Eduard she had the same things.
“She imagined herself queen and slave, dominatrix and victim. In her imagination
she was making love with men of all skin colors-white, black, yellow-with homo
sexual and beggars. She was anyone’s, and anyone could do anything to her”
things usually bring happiness and peace toward people. This quotations,
moreover, confirms that Veronika is a romantic person.
B. Veronika’s Social Learning and Decision
To be failed of attempt, Veronika is sent to lunatic asylum in Villete. She
feels strange, even she doesn’t recognize herself. She starts to conform to people
in Villete. People who have different backgrounds and cases which finally lead
them to same place, lunatic asylum, a place that she doesn’t imagine before. Each
person she met, represent a unique concoction of knowledge, beliefs, and
experiences. They are Dr. Igor, Zedka, Mari, Eduard and the fraternity
community. Veronika started to conform and learn new things from them when
she realized her death is about to come. In this section, the writer would like to
describe her social learning processes.
1. Veronika’s Social Learning
According to Bandura, “learning through modeling processes, observers
extract common features from seemingly diverse responses and formulate rules of
behavior that enable them to go beyond what they have seen or heard” (243). This
means that modeling processes takes important role on acquiring and learning
a. Observational Learning
In this novel, Veronika is seen to have done social learning processes when she
lives in Villete. Veronika is presented to have observational learning and
Attentional process is the first step which is shown in observational
learning. Veronika is seen to do this step in several occasions. Being characterized
as an attentive person, it is easier for Veronika to put attention toward people
by Mari. Remembering attentional process in the previous chapter defines that “a
person cannot learn much by observation unless she or he attends to, or accurately
perceives, the salient cues and distinctive features of the model’s behavior” (243),
this quotation also confirms that Veronika had been done the first step of
In the previous analysis, Veronika has been stated as an attentive and a
curious person. These characterizations provide sufficient motivation to do the
next step of social learning in the attentional process which is “the individual must
attend to the model with enough perceptual accuracy to extract the relevant
information to use in imitating the model” (243).