VERONIKA’S WAYS IN DEALING WITH HER LIFE AS SEEN IN PAULO COELHO’S VERONIKA DECIDES TO DIE A THESIS Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain Sarjana Pendidikan Degree in English Language Education

Teks penuh




Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain Sarjana Pendidikan Degree

in English Language Education

By Polycarpus Ari Student Number : 041214039








Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain Sarjana Pendidikan Degree

in English Language Education


Polycarpus Ari

Student Number : 041214039





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.

(Jean Baudrillard)

This thesis is sincerely dedicated to

Jesus Christ and Mother Mary




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

The Writer

Polycarpus Ari





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:


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

Yang menyatakan,


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.












B. Suggestions……….………...

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………...

53 53








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 Veronikas 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



1. Character

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


3. Deal

According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, the meaning of deal

is “to manage with something”(298). This term is used to determine how Veronika deals with her life.

4. Decision




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

person” (166).

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


b) Self-Reinforcement

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

influence (249).

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

supports (254).

(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

following steps:

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




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

a. Aggressive

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


b. Stubborn

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.

c. Thoughtful

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).

d. Curious

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.

e. Attentive

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

a. Brave

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


b. Obedient

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

obedient person.

c. Careful

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.

d. Self-Awareness

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.

e. Romantic

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


1) Attentional

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

observational learning.

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).