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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

1.1

Background of Study

Peoples life in this world has norms or rules to control their activity. Some people
follow or obey that rules and the others are not. There will be a punishment for
them who do not obey it, but the punishment depends on what the bad acts are.
For example, someone who does steal act in the bus will get punishment from the
community when the victim realizes it, and they will hit the robber. The societies
do it because they know that robbing is not appropriate to the norm in their
environment. Thus, they who disobey the norms are categorized as social
deviation acts. Those acts are usually done by the teenager, adult or even children.
A kind of social deviations is juvenile delinquency, such as violence, alcohol
consumption, playing truant, and homicide.
Social deviations are a serious problem for society because most of the agent is a
teenager. Sometimes they are anxious with new things so they do it without
thinking the risk. A source showed that the amounts of juvenile crimes are higher
than the amounts of the adult delinquent. FBI reports that in 1992 in the United
States made nearly 2,3 (2.3) million arrests of the juvenile under the age of 18,
with 13% of all violent crimes and 23% of all property crimes being committed by
juveniles (OJJDP in Frick, 1998:3). Furthermore, the role of parents is important
to control their activity. Moreover, when it comes to children, parents still have a

chance to help the child development be better before that bad act will continue
until teenage or even adult.
Factors that make children or teenager do those crimes are environment and
family. For example, children were neglected or abused by parents, lack of control
in a family, get insulted from siblings, victims of a broken home, or live in a
worse environment that always do social deviation. Further, the ways adult give
the punishment to children are also important to child development because a
child will tend to do deviations if they get punishment continuously. Thus, it is not
only about schoolmate, playmate or teacher who have a significant role to create
individual do that crime but also it is about how the way of parents to
communicate or interact with their children.
Children and teenager who do social deviations are categorized as Conduct
Disorder. When it occurs in adults is called Antisocial Personality Disorder, it is as
mentioned by American Psychiatric Association (1994: 85), Conduct Disorder
may be diagnosed in individuals who are older than age 18 years, but whereas if
the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder are not met. In some cases, they do
social deviation acts because of their character as an antisocial person. However, it
does not mean that all of the antisocial people are categorized as individual with
Conduct Disorder, but it is for an antisocial person who does the defiant behavior.
This situation is strengthened by Kristin Liabo statement (2007:13) who say that
Conduct Disorder is characterized by a repetitive and persistent pattern of
antisocial, aggressive, or defiant behavior. Sometimes, people with this disorder
get worse in unexpected object or situation, like a state of anxiety. Therefore, they

find something to protect themselves. This protective way is called Defense


Mechanism.
Recently, many reports or news in media showed the example of this disorder. For
instance, students fight or bully their friends, destructiveness to property,
teenagers kill their parents or children do stealing act. It not only shows in the real
world but also in the literary work like a novel. An example of a novel that takes
theme about Conduct Disorder is We Need to Talk about Kevin.
We Need to Talk about Kevin is a novel by Lionel Shriver. This novel provides
reliable information related to the ways of the main characters who get Conduct
Disorder and solve his problems. He is an antisocial person that did some bad
behaviors like insulting other people, telling something untrue, breaking important
goods, and bullying his friends. It made friends, neighbor, and teachers did not
like him. In the house, Kevin also has a bad relationship with his mother. He
always made his mother got angry, destroyed special things of his mother, and
told something untrue to her. It made his mother thought that Kevin was bad
children from born but his father never thinks about it because Kevin always
pretend to be a good boy in front of him. It made their parents often in conflicts
until they decided to divorce. At the end, he killed eleven people. This act called
as shooting tragedy. Thus, this novel is interesting to analyze because it told about
the life of individual with Conduct Disorder and how the way he overcame his
problems with some Defense Mechanism.

1.2

Research Questions

Based on the background of study, it can be formulated the research questions as


follow:
1.

How Kevins Conduct Disorder is described in Lionel Shrivers We Need to

Talk about Kevin?


2. What are Kevins Defense Mechanisms to overcome it?

1.3

Research Purposes

Based on the research questions above, the purposes of this research are:
1.

To find out Kevins Conduct Disorder in Lionel Shrivers We Need to Talk

about Kevin.
2. To know Kevins Defense Mechanisms to overcome it.

1.4

Research Significances

The result of this research is expected to inform and to give contribution as below:
1.4.1 Academically
a.

This research is expected to provide a deeper understanding to the readers of

teenagers and adults about antisocial person acts that categorized as Conduct
Disorder, and it also shows how that person solve it.
b.

This research is expected to give more insight about general strain theory and

its application in literature.


1.4.2

Practically

This research is expected to be guidance for the readers, to understand that


children need more attention because they will have rude behavior if parents never
care them. It is explicitly stated that we should respect children and teenager in
every aspect of living in order to less cruel behaviors and any other killer in our
society.

CHAPTER II
LITERATURE REVIEW

Literature review consists of theories used to get the answer to the research
question. Those supporting theories are the psychology of literature, theories
about Conduct Disorder, and Defense Mechanism. We Need to Talk about Kevin
novel is literary work which describes a psychological condition of the main
character who has a problem with his behavior. Thus, this chapter explained about
the definition of the psychology of literature and its application toward a literary
work. Then, Conduct Disorder theory is used to figure out the behaviors that
make the main character categorized as Conduct Disorder and Defense
Mechanism theory will use to comprehend the ways of the main character solve
and control his problems.

2.1

Psychology in Literature

Psychology is a study of human mind and behavior. It relates to other specific


studies like literature. In literature, psychology approach can be the authors
emotional experience and expression of authors soul, and meaning. There is a
psychological atmosphere inside, a state of mind and mood feelings (emotions).
Cuddon in Albertine Minderop (2010:53) state that psychological novel is, for the
most part, concerned with the spiritual, emotional, and mental lives of the
characters and it also with the analysis of the character rather than plot and action.
It means that novel that takes psychological aspect deals with feeling. This feeling

will influence to what the character think, how they behave and what they said.
Therefore, the characters and their behavior are more important to be analyzed
than plot and action.
In addition, Roekhan mentions three approaches of the psychology of literature.
First is a textual approach which examines the characters psychological aspects
in literary work. The second one is a receptive-pragmatic approach which
examines the readers psychological aspect as the consumers of literary work who
are formed by the influence of the literary work they read and the process of
reader reception in enjoying literary works. The last is an expressive approach
which examines the authors psychological aspect when creating his work of
literature (Suwardi Endaswara, 2003:97-98). In brief, psychology of literature
defines about how to analyze psychoanalytical of literature based view of the
author, the character or the reader. If it focuses on the character, conflicts of the
character in literary works will be easy to explore. Further, this research used the
first approach, textual approach because the characters psychological aspects in
We Need to Talk about Kevin novel are likely found in behavior or characters
mind.

2.2

Character and Characterization

According to Harmon and Holman in Kaufman (2009: 154), there are three
methods of characterization, they are: explicit presentation which illustrated by
action, presentation that showed by emotion, and representation is the impact of
actions and emotions on the characters inner self. It is simply thing, this character

is a person who acts some actions or narration in novel, short story, film, or
drama.
Moreover, Mario Klarer states that the most important elements in literary works
are: plot (what happens?), characters (who acts?), narrative perspective (who sees
what?), setting (where and when do the events take place?) (2004: 14). An
individuals character is that persons collection of character traits and these can
be defined as relatively stable dispositions to think, feel, and behave in certain
ways in certain situations (Jonathan Webber, 2006:95).
In literature, a character defined as the authors creation, through the words, the
personality who takes on actions, thoughts, expressions, attitudes unique which
appropriate to that personality and consistent with it (Edgar V. Roberts in The
Unity of the Twelve 1990:166).
Sartre objects not to the idea that humans have characters which explain their
behavior, but their idea about the characters that determine their behavior (in
Jonathan Webber journal, 2006:101). It means that someone has character based
on their behavior so behavior influence what people will be. Thus, character
comes from behavior and it defines through the words, actions, thoughts,
expressions, and attitudes. Other elements in literary works are characterization.
Characterization is the manner to know a character that is presented in the story. It
is divided into two; direct and indirect characterization. Direct characterization is
the way of author shows the personality of the character. For example, Rita was
small and weak, but she had immense courage and independence. Indirect
characterization is the way of the writer shows things that reveal the personality of

the character. It can be seen by the actual speech of the character, what the
character is thinking or feeling, the characters actions, or how other people
respond to the character. For example: Im afraid to mount a horse, but I want to
try it, said Anggoro.
In addition, Albertine Minderop (2005:22) assumes that there are two methods in
characterization, they are telling and showing methods. The telling method is a
method which the author directly tells the reader what a character like. For
example, it uses narrator or the character. On the contrary, showing method is a
method of characterization in which the reader have to figure out for themselves
what the character is like through a characters thoughts, actions, choice or words,
ways of talking, and interactions with another character. Thus, in this method, the
readers can interpret and evaluate the character.
In the other hand, character is also influenced by behavior. Everyone has different
behavior, it can be good or bad (for example antisocial behavior). Those behaviors
depend on social or environmental factors. Thus, psychology is the way to know
what elements that makes it happen.

2.3 Antisocial Behavior


Behavior is the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially toward
others. It depends on the individuals who act; they tend to be good or bad.
Examples of someone act to be bad are when he or she doing aggressive behavior,

violent behavior or antisocial behavior with social deviation. Antisocial behavior


is an act that avoids connection or communication with others. It can be serious
problem when there is no person who prevents them because it may be
aggression, hostility, and continuous violations.
Antisocial behavior is usually characterized by continuous violations of socially
acceptable patterns of behavior that are expressed in aggression, hostility, defiance
of social norms, and other undesirable behaviors (Simcha-Fagan in Clarke,
2011:77).

There are several ways to know more detail about antisocial behavior, such as
child-onset pathway, adolescent-onset pathway, and the delayed-onset pathway.
First, the child-onset pathway is antisocial behavior which starts in early
childhood and becomes more severe, frequent, and intense as the child grows
older. This is expressed in noncompliance, anger, irritability, discipline problems,
and temper tantrums that appear before the age of 3, worsened at the ages of 7-10
and become established antisocial behavior by the ages of 11-13. Second, the
adolescent-onset pathway begins suddenly from ages 12-18 without prior history
of behavior problems with high levels of aggression. These children usually come
from less dysfunctional families. At Last, the delayed-onset pathway usually does
not exhibit behavioral problems until adolescence (Clarke, 2011:79). In this
research, the child-onset pathway used to analyze antisocial behavior of the main
character.

Moreover, antisocial behavior is divided into two forms: overt and covert. Overt
antisocial behaviors include physical aggression, violence, and assault. Covert
antisocial behaviors include theft, playing truant, and lying. In overt, families of
children and youth often manifest coercive act while in covert is poor child
monitoring (Hinshaw in Clarke, 2011: 78). It makes children with covert
antisocial behavior tend to hide their acts from family that may children or youth
pretend to be an obedient person when they are with family.
This behavior is categorized as mental illness because individuals cannot control
themselves, thus it is caused by internal and external factors; family and
environment. Usually, the cause of mental illness comes from the result of two
factors: genetic physiologic inheritance and the effect of the family environment
on the child during infancy and childhood (Barry, 2002:109). Furthermore, parents
should take several times to accompany children in order to know how their
development is. If they do abnormal behavior, parents can stop it before that
behavior continues until adult. Finally, when the antisocial behavior occurs in
children is called Conduct Disorder while in adults are categorized as Antisocial
Personality Disorder.
The serious antisocial behavior usually occurs in children in the context of
Conduct Disorders or in adults as a prominent feature of personality disorders
(Herpertz in Clarke, 2011:77).

2.4

Conduct Disorder

Conduct Disorder is a behavioral disorder that evolves over time. Children with
this disorder behave in an aggressive manner toward others and violate the rights
of others. It occurs to someone under age of 18 years. In the fourth edition of
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV; American
Psychiatric Association, 1994: 90-91), Conduct Disorder is a repetitive and
persistent pattern of behavior to break the rule or norm in society, for example,
they hurt someone feeling, fight, humiliate, or even kill others.
People with Conduct Disorder will show three or more criteria in the past 12
months and at least they have one criterion appears in the past 6 months. Those
criteria are included in four item, they are; aggression to people and animals,
destruction of property, deceitfulness or theft, and serious violations of rules.
Besides, the definition of aggression to people and animals include bullies,
threatens, intimidates others, and physical fights. Sometimes it uses a weapon that
can cause serious physical harm to others. It also has been physically cruel to
people or animals, has stolen while confronting a victim, and has forced someone
into sexual activity. Another criterion of person with Conduct Disorder is
destruction of property, which content has deliberately engaged in fire setting with
the intention to cause serious damage and has deliberately destroyed others'
property. The other criterion is deceitfulness or theft, like distracting someone
else's house, building, or car, and stealing items of nontrivial value without
confronting a victim. Last criteria are serious violations of rules that contain
individual often stays out at night despite parental prohibitions (beginning before
age 13), run away from home overnight at least twice (or once without returning

for a lengthy period), and often playing truant beginning before age 13 (Frick,
1998:23).
Conduct Disorder may occur because of environment or family who make them
do those acts. Some factors which can contribute to Conduct Disorder are: chaotic
home environment, child abuse, negligence, lack of supportive environment, poor
social attachments, presence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, parental
factors: (prevalence of hostility, resentment, and bitterness between parents,
parental psychopathology and substance abuse, parents who themselves are the
products of abusive homes, and parental unemployment (Barry, 2002: 341).
In particular circumstance, those factors are divided into individual, family,
school, and protective factors. First, individual factor appears because of
characteristics of individual who do antisocial behavior. Antisocial behavior is an
act when a person does not want to gather with others. He or she stays away from
other people and is not interested in making conversation. That person always
does some activities like watching television or movie by himself / herself
individually and is not interested in discussing with others because they are more
comfortable when he or she is alone. They just will talk with someone who is
close to them. Thus, person with Conduct Disorder usually has these problems,
they are uncontrolled temperament, neurological abnormalities, delayed motor
developments, intellectual ability, reading difficulties, hyperactivity, slow heart
rate and poor scores on neuropsychological tests of memory (Moffitt in Liabo,
2007:25). Those problems are caused by something wrong with their behavior.
Behavioral problems are often seen in relation to a childs temperament. In this

point, internal and external factor important to create childs personality),


attentiveness (child will not be a good person if they neglect to be helpfulness or
kindness), how they adapt to new situations (sometimes children do bad things
like hit or pinch) and levels of distress (Bailey 1997 in Liabo, 2007:22 ).
Therefore, individual factor differences in temperament emerge very early in life.
The second factor of Conduct Disorder is family factor. Family factors that may
influence the development of Conduct Disorder are the degree of parental
involvement, conflict management, and inconsistent or harsh discipline (Liabo,
2007:25). Pre-school children with difficult temperament show high rates of
motherchild conflict (Lee and Bates 1985; Thomas, Chess and Birch 1968 in
Liabo, 2007:22). Parents take important role to help child development even in
obstetrical care. In this case, mother must avoid cigarette, alcohol, and drug
because it potentially makes children be Conduct Disorder person. Mothers who
smoke more than a half packet of cigarettes each day during pregnancy are at
greater risk of having children with conduct problems than those who do not
smoke during pregnancy (Wakschlag et al. 1997 in Liabo, 2007:24).
There are four paradigms of family influence (parenting) that correlate with
conduct problems, those are neglect paradigm, conflict paradigm, deviant
behaviors/attitudes paradigm, and disruption paradigm. Neglect paradigm means
parents may spend insufficient time in positive interactions with their children.
They may be unaware of their childrens behavior, ignore behavior problems, or
be unaware of their childrens whereabouts. This lack of involvement may
contribute to the childs withdrawal from their parents. It means the lack of

fathers involvement is more influence to delinquency and aggression than a lack


of involvement of the mother. Robbin and Wadsworth (in Liabo, 2007:23) state
that employed mothers tend to have more delinquent children than those who do
not. Some employed mothers sometimes entrust their children to other people:
babysitter or their parents. If it occurs for a long time, children prefer to spend
their time with friends or other people than parents. Then, this case will become
serious problem when they make a friend with bad boys or girls. Therefore, lack
of child supervision has significantly related to delinquency.
Then, conflict paradigm is conflict between parents and their children. The
conflict may be a result of the young person disobedience but the parent may be
unable to restrict it. Deviant behaviors/attitudes paradigm is the way children
imitate bad attitude or behavior of their parents like parental nonconformity or
lawbreaking. Deviant behaviors in parents, such as dishonesty, tolerance of
childrens delinquency and encouragement of aggression, are noticeable in the
childrens delinquency or aggressive behavior. Last paradigms are disruption
paradigm. It is unusual events, such as the break-up of a marriage, that will
disrupt normal family behavior patterns. This situation may lead parents to display
irritable and aggressive behaviors which children may respond in a similar
manner or simply avoid the parents. According to Kristin Liabo (2007:25), marital
conflict will be significant predictor of childrens delinquent or antisocial
behavior, and more important influence than parental absence. Thus, parents must
think about child development before they make decision to divorce because
marital conflict has important role to make children get antisocial behavior. Health

also takes crucial problem that makes children be antisocial person especially
mothers health. Mothers physical illness is a predictor of later delinquency,
whilst the same relationship is not seen in of fathers health (Liabo, 2007:25). The
condition of mother gives more influence to child than father which there is a
strong relationship between mother depression and later antisocial behavior
(Richman, Stevenson and Graham in Liabo 2007:25).
The third factor is school. Each school has its own policy, it also has the rule to
punish their students. The school will give some punishments to students who do
bad things such as fighting, bullying, and playing truant. The worst thing is when
school takes decision to suspend or even expel them; it will make students get
more violence than before. It is because they do not have other places that can
control them. Schools that categorize pupils as deviant and failures, ignore
repeated playing truant and suspend or expel the most difficult students contribute
to the development of violent behavior (Marshall and Watt in Liabo, 2007:26).
Bullying behavior connected with aggression. In this point, if a student bullies to
others, she/he relates to delinquent behavior (Van der Wal in Liabo, 2007:26).
The last factor is protective factors. It is about how parents react to children or
teenager with deviate behavior. Children will be more aggressive when parents
give them more punishment. On the contrary, children will decrease their upset
behavior when parents also decrease the punishment. When some of the risk
factors identified above are reversed, they present as protective factors. For
example, low level of parental physical punishment of young offenders has been

associated with lowering the risk that the offending behavior persists into
adulthood (Stouthamer- Loeber in Liabo, 2007: 28).
From those criteria and factors, people with Conduct Disorder also have anxiety
feelings from unexpected object or situation. They sometimes find protection to
against what they do. This protection called as Defense Mechanism.

2.5

Defense Mechanism

According to Freud, defense described as ego struggle to against painful or


unendurable ideas (Anna Freud, 1993:28). Thus, defense is someones way to
solve their problem or less painful influence for thing that may threaten them.
Patricia Barry (2002:173) also stated that Defense Mechanisms are protective
processes automatically developed by the unconscious mind when the conscious
coping techniques are unable to manage the anxiety or uncertainty of a threatening
event and there is a risk of ineffective coping. Someone often uses his or her
conscious mind to things that he or she can control and they will use unconscious
mind when those things cannot solve it. It spontaneously and usually applied in
anxious situation. Those ways are important to protect themselves from
unexpected cases that will threaten them.
In Mental Health and Mental Illness book (2002:171-178), Defense Mechanisms
are divided into narcissistic, immature, neurotic, mature Defense Mechanism.
First, narcissistic Defense Mechanisms include denial, distortion, and delusional
projection. Denial is a mechanism that occurs in infancy, it used to explain

situations which people seem unable to face reality or admit an obvious truth.
Distortion used to reduce anxiety and find an emotional comfort.
Second, immature Defense Mechanisms include acting out, avoidance, projection,
and regression. Acting out is the individual handling their problem by engaging in
actions rather than reflecting internal feeling. Avoidance is refusing to deal with
unpleasant objects or situations.
Acting out is the individual copes with stress by engaging in actions rather than
reflecting upon internal feelings. Avoidance is refusing to deal with or encounter
unpleasant objects or situations. Projection occurs when a person is unable to
acknowledge his or her own thoughts or feelings and attribute them to others.
Regression occurs when the mind is unable to tolerate severe intrapsychic or
environmental stress (Barry, 2002:177).

Other Defense Mechanism is projection. Projection is defense that a person does


not want to express his or her real feeling or thought and he or she relates it to
others. For example, a man loves a lady then his friend asks him about it. The man
says that he does not love her but the lady loves him. It used to reduce the anxiety.
The last Defense Mechanism is regression. It is about how a person cannot
tolerate about something that is different from his or her situation before. For
example, children rarely wet the bed but they will do it when they get a new little
brother or sister. Acting out is behavior that shows his or her expression with
action. The individual will be calmer when they do that act. For example, a child
will show his or her anger or rage when he or she gets problem with parents. The

last is avoidance. It is the way to avoid the uncomfortable situation or activities.


For example, Jovi dislikes biology. When he was senior high school, he decided to
take social-department.
Third, neurotic Defense Mechanisms can cause some forms of ineffective coping
with a significant life event, major forms of depression or anxiety may result.
Neurotic

Defense

Mechanisms

include

displacement,

identification,

rationalization, reaction formation, and repression.


Displacement occurs when feelings about person or thing move to another, safer
object. Identification is a Defense Mechanism that results in a person taking on
the thoughts, feelings, or particular circumstances of another person as if they
were his or her own. Isolation is separate the emotion associated with a thought
which the emotion is repressed. Other names for isolation are intellectualization
and rationalization. Reaction formation is used when thought, feeling, or impulse
in unacceptable to the conscious mind. As the result, the defense causes the person
to behave in the exact opposite manner. Repression causes the anxiety associated
with any distressing internal awareness to be stored away in the unconscious
(Barry, 2002:177-178).

In brief, displacement is the way to reduce anxiety by moving it to another object.


For example, a teacher scolds a student because he or she is late to submit the
assignment. Then the student moves his or her anxiety to play game in hand
phone. Identification is the way to be the same as other people. For example, Eca
truly adores her manager and she makes her body language became the same as

her manager. Rationalization is the way to find a good reason to hide the real
situation. For example, Nina said to her teacher that it was raining, when her
teacher asking her about the reason for coming late. In fact, Nina oversleeps.
Repression is the way to reduce the anxiety from feeling of frustration or internal
conflict. For example, Arifin dreams about his beloved girl who will die because
of accident. Then, he solves his anxiety to think that it was just a dream. Reaction
Formation is the way to behave the opposite manner when he or she cannot accept
something that may come from his or her experience. For example, a boy who has
corporal punishment may feel angry with the teacher, but when the teacher enters
the class he is very polite to the teacher.
Fourth, mature Defense Mechanisms contain altruism, anticipation, humor,
sublimation, and suppression. It used by the healthy mature mind when it is under
minimal stress.
Altruism is defense to satisfy ones own needs into the wish to meet the needs of
others. Anticipation is a defense by which a person intellectually and emotionally
acknowledges an upcoming situation that is expected to provoke anxiety. Humor
is a defense used when a person cannot fully tolerate a difficult situation. In
sublimation, a repressed urge or desire is expressed in a socially acceptable or
useful way. Suppression is a defense that is similar to repression; it stores thoughts
or memories in the subconscious mind where they are easily retrievable (Barry,
2002:179).

In short term, anticipation is defense that use to prevent something that may threat
person, it makes him or her less stressful when the event that expects to provoke
anxiety to come. Sublimation is the way to change the unwanted things to positive
ways. Humor is person ways to use joke to amuse her or himself. It is a good way
because it will not damage her or himself and even others.
This research will not take all of those kinds of Defense Mechanisms. It just will
use one or more from narcissistic, immature, neurotic, or mature Defense
Mechanism.

CHAPTER III
RESEARCH METHOD

This chapter is going to discuss several issues related to research method. This
research uses qualitative method. Several steps that are related to the research
method are: collecting the data, technique for collecting data, and technique for
data analysis. Collecting the data is the process to collect sources of data that are
related to the research. The technique of collecting data is the way for collecting
the appropriate data. Finally, technique for data analysis discusses the steps to
analyze the data.

3.1

Research Method

The appropriate way to analyze the novel is descriptive qualitative method.


According to Nyoman Kutha Ratna, qualitative method includes interpretation

manners by providing the description (2004 ). It means qualitative is the way to


analyze the data with descriptive data both written and spoken.
This research focused on words, sentences, and paragraph as the content of the
novel about certain character in We Need to Talk about Kevins Lionel Shriver
named Kevin and his behavior. It concentrates to Kevins antisocial behavior that
makes him categorized as Conduct Disorder and the way he overcomes his
problem with Defense Mechanism. For this reason, descriptive qualitative method
is appropriate to apply to this research.
3.2

Source of Data

The source of data in this research used two kinds of sources, they are primary
and secondary data.
3.2.1

Primary Data

The primary data is novel by Lionel Shriver entitled We Need to Talk about
Kevin. This novel published in 2003. From this novel, some evidence from
dialogues and narratives related to the Conduct Disorder and Defense Mechanism
will take to analyze the research.
3.2.2

Secondary Data

The other source and references will be used to support the research are secondary
data. It will be taken from books, journal, essays, the internet, film, and articles
associated with psychological approach, Conduct Disorder, and Defense
Mechanism theory. In the film, which has the same title with the novel, the image
of the character and the story was needed to help illustrate the plot of the novel.

3.3 Technique for Collecting Data


The data collection is taken from books, essays, the internet, film, and articles
were done as data sources. In collecting data, the comprehensive reading was
done. We Need to Talk about Kevin was read repeatedly to get deep understanding
about the cases of the character. It was conducted to search the data for the
research in the form of narrations, utterances, and dialogues. The secondary data
like books, essays, the internet, journal, and articles were looked for and read. The
activity of compared the film as the secondary data and novel in order to get the
image of the story also done. Finally, after the data collected, they were analyzed.

3.4

Data Analysis

Data analysis is a process of organizing and putting the data. In this part,
descriptive qualitative method applied to analyze the data. In analyzing data, it
started to sort the behavior of Kevin by reading We Need to Talk about Kevin.
Then, the data sorted was reread to separate between significant data from
insignificant data. The significant data include specific information about
antisocial behavior, Conduct Disorder and Defense Mechanism theory which its
forms are words, phrases, and sentences. The insignificant data were reduced.
Next, the significant data examined according to its context and related theory,
some quotations related to Conduct Disorder and Defense Mechanism were taken
and analyzed.

CHAPTER IV

DISCUSSION

In this chapter, the results of the data analysis are presented. The way to
answer problem that is mentioned in chapter 1 by collecting and processing the
data. This step of answering is important to figure out the problem of the main
character and at which he solves is presented as Conduct Disorder and Defense
Mechanism portrayed in Lionel Shrivers We Need to Talk about Kevin. The steps
will be presented into two sub-chapters, they are disorder issue of the main
character and the way he overcomes the disorder with defense mechanism.
There are some characters in the novel and the main character is Kevin
who always makes some troubles. The other characters are his mother and teacher
as the witnesses who knew Kevins odd things. In the novel, the story was applied
in indirect characterization. Its proved from the statement:
So we [Eva and Kevin] stared at each other in silence.
Kevin's expression was placid. It still displayed remnants of
resolution, but determination was already sliding to the
quiet, self-satisfied complacency of a job well done. His
eyes [Kevin] were strangely clearunperturbed, almost
peacefuland I [Eva] recognized their pellucidity from that
morning, though breakfast already seemed ten years past.
This was the stranger-son, the boy who dropped his corny,
shuffling disguise of I [Eva] mean and I [Eva] guess for the
plumb carriage and lucidity of a man with a mission.
(Shriver, 2003: 446)
The evidence shows Kevins description through another character, Eva. It
talks about his expression and feeling. The word Kevin's expression was placid
and His eyes [Kevin] were strangely clearunperturbed, almost peacefuland I
[Eva] recognized their pellucidity from that morning, though breakfast already

seemed ten years past. described characterization of Kevin as a person who lack
of empathy after he killed eleven people. Hence, evidence comes from another
character; Dana Rocco, his teacher. She explained about characterization of Kevin
through Kevins action. And he [Kevin] rebels by doing everything he's [Kevin]
supposed to. It's very clever. But I [Dana Rocco] look in his eyes [Kevin], and
he's [Kevin] raging. Why?" (Shriver, 2003: 391). This quotation proved that
Kevin does not have any respect to others. It is in line with Jonathans idea that
indirect characterization shows personality of the character through the actual
speech of the character, what the character thinking or feeling, the characters
actions, or how other people respond to the character (Jonathan Webber journal,
2006:101).
Disorder issue as the first sub-chapter describes Conduct Disorder which
was drawn in Kevins behavior as the main character in the novel. Then, Defense
Mechanisms as the second sub-chapter explains Kevins behavior the way he
overcomes his anxiety. Further discussion of those sub-chapters are discussed
below.

4.1. Conduct Disorder Portrayed in Lionel Shrivers We Need to Talk about


Kevin novel
We Need to Talk about Kevin is a teenage life novel, mystery, and
relationship of the family. In particular, it explains of how a child and
adolescent interact with family and environment. In this novel, Kevin has
problem with his mother and environment that is categorized as Conduct

Disorder. Conduct Disorder is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior


to break the rule or norm in society, for example, hurting someones feeling,
fighting, humiliating, or even killing others. Its also supported with Kristin
stated that Conduct Disorder is characterized by a repetitive and persistent
pattern of antisocial, aggressive, or defiant behavior. (Liabo, Kristin 2007:13).

4.2. Types and Characteristic of Conduct Disorder Associated on Kevin


In the novel, the way Kevin creates relationship with others is most
depicted when he was with his family. In the same way, as person with
antisocial behavior, Shriver created character of Kevin as an individual who
did some activities and had different behavior from other children at the same
age. For example, when Kevin did not like something, he would do several
harmful behaviors like lost a temper, did aggressive behavior, and hurt others
feeling in which those acts are different from normal kids.
As the research suggests four items about individual criteria with
Conduct Disorder that was mentioned in chapter 2, they are aggression to
people and animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness or stealing, and
serious violations of rules. From those points, Kevin showed two items:
destruction of property and aggression to people and animals. Those items
will be explained more detail as follows.

4.2.1. Destruction of Property

We Need to Talk about Kevin is a novel mainly explained the conflict


between Kevin, the boy with Conduct Disorder, and his mother. This disorder
causes the main character, Kevin, who could not make a good relationship
with others. Some troubles were found in some places like house, school, and
restaurant. From this case, the author, Shriver, tried to explain to the readers
about the character of person with Conduct Disorder, the way the character
communicated to others and controlled it. This kind of writing is called
psychological writing.
At the beginning of the story, Eva, Kevins mother, was the first person
who realized Kevins odd act. In his childhood, Kevin used to lie to Eva. For
example, he behaved as if he was a good son in front of his father but he did
differently when he was with his mother. Moreover, Eva also felt that Kevin
was cold and liked to intimidate her. Those behaviors made Eva thought that
he was a wicked boy, it is supported with her utterance: "With a wicked and
dangerous little boy." (Shriver, 2003: 405) and "He's had a keen sense of the
absurd since he was a toddler." (Shriver, 2003: 390).
In the letter to Franklin, Eva told something that Franklin did not know
it before. In this point, Shriver showed the reader about a strong relationship
between mother and son through their daily life. It proved with the statement:
Our son. Who is not a smattering of small tales but one long? And though the
natural impulse of yarn spinners is to begin at the beginning, I will resist it. I
have to go further back. So many stories are determined before they start.

(Shriver, 2003: 14). Eva wrote the letter to his husband whom she wanted to
tell her thought, feeling and experience about Kevin.
One symptoms of individual with Conduct Disorder is destruction of
property. Eva found one of those symptoms on Kevins acts and those acts are
discussed below.
I [Eva] refrained from adding, like the way you [Kevin]
ruined my [Eva] favorite caftan, that's part of your [Kevin]
personality. (Shriver, 2003: 183)
That paragraph told about Kevin who destructed a caftan, his mother
favorite thing. The bolded word showed that Kevin acted was one kind of his
characters. That condition occurs when Kevin asked about the meaning of
personality. It was on Evas room when she made her own room to create
special art of maps.
The countries the maps signified, but he [Kevin] did
understand that they signified something to me [Eva].
(Shriver, 2003: 182)
Kevin left nothing to my [Eva] deduction: He [Kevin] was
still draining the last of the red ink into the barrel of his
[Kevin] squirt gun. Just as he'd [Kevin] posed in the process
of retrieving the gun from the top of our kitchen cabinet, he
[Kevin] seemed to have saved this last tablespoon for my
[Eva] arrival. He [Kevin] was standing on my [Eva] study
chair, bent in concentration; he [Kevin] did not even look
up. The filling hole was small, and though he [Kevin] was
pouring intently, my [Eva] burnished oak desk was awash in
spatter. His [Kevin] hands were drenched.
"Now," he [Kevin] announced quietly, "it's special."
(Shriver, 2003: 184-185)

On that situation, Shriver through Eva explained about Kevin, who


destructed Evas favorite maps. Eva told the real accident to Franklin through
letter and Kevin was really understood that the maps are important to his
mother. It proved with the bolded words. Unfortunately, Kevin found some
equipment to break and it means that he did it deliberately. The evidence
explains with the expression Now, its special. Shriver wants to convince
the reader about the word special which refers to ruin an important thing of
other persons special. That word could be meant that hurting others feeling is
special. It supported to criteria of individual with Conduct Disorder that
Conduct Disorder is destruction of property, which content has deliberately
engaged in fire setting with the intention to cause serious damage and has
deliberately destroyed others' property (Frick, 1998:23).
Those above accidents took place in the house when he was three years
old. Another case, occurred in school when Kevin was in kindergarten.
One morning some delicate slip of a thing nicknamed
Muffet brought a tea set for show-and-tell. It wasn't any
ordinary tea set, but an ornate, ...
Her mother [Muffet mother] later huffed that it was a
family heirloom that Muffet was only allowed to bring out
on special occasions. No doubt the set should never have
been taken to a kindergarten, but the little girl was proud of
the many matching pieces and had learned to handle them
with care, painstakingly laying out the cups in their saucers
with china spoons before a dozen of her classmates as they
sat at their knee-high tables. After she'd [Muffet] poured a
round of "tea" (the ubiquitous pineapple-grapefruit juice),
Kevin hoisted his [Kevin] cup by its tiny handle in a
salutary toastand dropped it on the floor. In rapid
succession all eleven of his [Kevin] fellow tea-sippers
followed suit. (Shriver, 2003: 212)

Based on the evidence above, Kevin broke Muffet, his classmate, tea
set. The word of it wasnt any ordinary tea set and little handle with
care mean that they are important thing. Muffet even did not want it to break
by handling it carefully. In the other hand, Kevin broke it deliberately. It
showed with the word dropped it on the floor. As the characters of
individual with Conduct Disorder, Kevin did it without any remorse, this
proved with the evidenced below.
"How would she [Miss Fabricant] know?" He [Kevin]
yawned.
"How would you [Kevin] feel, kiddo, if you [Kevin] had
something that you [Kevin] cared about more than anything,
and you [Kevin] brought it to show to the class, and then
someone smashed it?"
"Like what?" he [Kevin] asked, innocence tinged with selfcongratulation. (Shriver, 2003: 213)
I [Eva] clutched at ancient history. "Remember your
[Kevin] squirt gun?"
He [Kevin] shrugged.
"Remember when Mommer lost her temper, and stamped on
it, and it broke?"
"You [Kevin] didn't like that, did you [Kevin]?"
"I [Kevin] didn't care," said Kevin. (Shriver, 2003: 215)
The bolded word showed that Kevin was bored with the topic and he
wasnt interested in it. It also could be meant that he has no remorseless from
something he did because he did not care about it. It is supported with
American Psychiatric Association (APA) stated that individuals with Conduct
Disorder might be lack appropriate feelings of guilt or remorse (APA DSMIV, 1994: 87). The second statement, which explained about Kevin who broke

his mother maps, occurred in three years old means that he was in preschool.
It is supported with the statement of White in Liabo stated that having
behavior problem at preschool age has been identified as the single best
prediction of later antisocial behavior (Liabo, 2007 : 22).
However, it was just Eva who realized Kevins behavior was different
from other children. Shriver explained it by the way Kevin responded to
Evas question with innocence and self congratulation and it included on
Evas letter. The way Kevin showed that he was good boy in front of his
father was not making his father suspicious. This way later made Eva said
Getting stuck with Dad the Dupe (Shriver, 2009: 410) because Kevin
always made a success of untruth statement. Another characteristic of
antisocial behavior is lying that explained as covert antisocial behavior, which
a bad result of covert antisocial behavior is continually existing in individual
until adolescent (Hinshaw in Clarke, 2011:78).

4.2.2. Aggression to People and Animal


The second criteria of people with Conduct Disorder are aggression to
people and animals. This behavior stand by Kevin on some scenes as
described in We Need to Talk about Kevin. In this novel, Shriver wanted the
readers reviewed and compared Kevins character when he spent time with
his father, and the time he was with his mother and other people.
The examples of aggression below are Kevins bullying behaviors, the
way he has forced someone into sexual activity, and Kevin behaviors of being

cruel to people. In these criteria, Shriver drew on other characters like Eva,
the waitress, Kevins teacher and Celia (Kevins little sister) in order to prove
the readers about how Kevins relationship and his environments were
displayed on his behavior.

4.2.2.1. Kevins Bullying Behavior


Bullying behavior is one examples of aggression of people and animals.
According to ICD-10, one kind of Conduct Disorder symptom is frequent
bullying others (e.g. deliberate infliction of pain or hurt, including persistent
intimidation, tormenting, or molestation) (Liabo, 2007: 102). Bullies are the
act of person who wants to dominate others. It is done continually. It can be
physical, verbal, social, cyber or electronic. The examples of physical acts are
hitting, kicking, and impelling. Examples of verbal are mocking, threatening,
and intimidating. Another bullying is social, the examples are gossiping,
rumor, humiliating, and using some tricks. The other kind of bullying is
cyber, the examples are embarrassing other people with untrue gossip in
internet (twitter, facebook, email), opening out a private photo without owner
permission, and letting into other people secret through short message.
In the novel, Kevin did some bullies to other. It occurred when he was
child and it continued until adolescent. According to Frick and Loney, many
boys with the childhood-onset pattern of conduct disorders continue to show
antisocial and aggressive behavior of increasing severity into adolescence and

even into adulthood (Frick, 1998: 16). Some bullies showed by Kevin are
following below.

"That lady has poop on her [waitress] face." Kevin was


pointing at the birthmark on our waitress's left cheek, three
inches across and roughly the shape of Angola. She'd [The
waitress] slathered beige concealer over the big brown
blotch, but most of the makeup had worn off.
Like most disguises, the cover-up was worse than honest
flaw, a lesson I [Eva] had yet to register on my [Eva] own
account. Before I [Eva] could stop him, Kevin asked her
[waitress] directly, "Why don't you clean your face? It's
poopy."
I [Eva] apologized profusely to the girl [waitress], who
couldn't have been much more than eighteen and had no
doubt suffered from that blemish her [waitress] whole life.
She [waitress] managed a dismal smile and promised to
bring my [Eva] dressing.
I [Eva] wheeled to our son [Kevin]. "You [Kevin] knew that
spot wasn't 'poop,' didn't you [Kevin]?"
"Nyeh NYEE nyeh nyeh nyeh-nyeh nyee, nyeh-nyeh
nyeh?"
Kevin skulked in the booth, his [Kevin] eyes at half-mast
and glittering. (Shriver, 2003: 149)
The first evidence above is about bullying that take place in restaurant
when Kevin and his parents had dinner. Eva tried to stop Kevin when he
whispered it to his parents. In this evidence, Shriver portrayed Kevins
character as person who said spontaneous. The other characters, Eva
portrayed as mother who care to children and others feeling. The word nyeh
nyeh nyeh is such kind of the way Kevin mock his mother. Kevin used this
word on a few scenes when his mother talked to his father. This behavior is
including in bullying when someone want to dominate others. Bullying action
that Kevin applied is categorized as verbal bullying. It could be seen from the

way Kevin mocked the waitress spontaneously, and the waitress drew on
intimidated person. In contrast, Kevins father said that let it go because it just
children acted and they will give Kevin advice when he is adult. From that
conversation, Kevin showed as an individual with Conduct Disorder, which
includes in aggressive behavior when he mocked others. He did not have any
remorseless to do that, it captured in expression nyenyenye when his mother
warned it. It supported with American Psychiatric Association stated that
individuals with Conduct Disorder might be callous and lack appropriate
feelings of guilt or remorse (American Psychiatric Association DSM IV,
1994: 87).
The second evidence below strengthens the statement that Kevin did
verbal bullying to his mother when she warned him and even in every his
mother talk. The way he answered or imitated his mother statements by
mockery is categorized as person who could not respect to others.
"ALL right, Kevin. But remember: You [Kevin] only get to
sit like an adult if you [Kevin] act like one."
"NYEE nyee, nyeh nyeh. Nyeh nyeh-wyee-nyeh: Nyeh
nyehnyeh nyehnyeh nyeh-nyeh nyeh nyeh-nyeh nyeh-nyeh
nyee nyeh nyeh."With waltzing mockery, he [Kevin] had
captured my [Eva] stern cadence and preachy inflection
with such perfect pitch that he [Kevin] might have a future
singing covers as a lounge singer. "Cut it out, Kevin." I
[Eva] tried to sound offhand.
"Nye-nye nyee,nye nye!"
I [Eva] turned to you [Franklin]. "How long has this been
going on?"
"Nyeh nyeh nyeh NYEE nyeh nyeh-nyeh nyeh?"
"A month? It's a phase. He'll [Kevin] grow out of it."
"Nyeh nyeh? Nyeh-nyeh nyeee. Nyeh nyeh nyeh-nyehnyeh."
"I [Eva] can't wait," I [Eva] said... (Shriver, 2003: 147-148)

From that situation, Shriver tried to present the conflict between parents
and children. A child who did not respect his parents, to a mother in this case,
and how mother responded to it. However, Shriver also created a character of
mother who did not want her child to be worst in the future. It proved with the
statement, Hell grow out of it. Its in line with an American Psychiatric
Association that stated individual with Childhood-Onset Type usually have
some symptoms that meet full criteria for Conduct Disorder prior to puberty
(American Psychiatric Association DSM IV, 1994: 86). Unfortunately,
Kevins behavior in bullying act made him to be someone who like to irritate
others.
In other situation, Shriver displayed other Kevins behavior in different
places; in school. The aim of this may show the relationship among Kevin,
friends and his teacher. The example of Kevin with criteria of Conduct
Disorder showed as he was fourteen years old. Kevin did bullying activity to
his teacher. Eva knew it from Dana Rocco, Kevins teacher, who complained
about Kevins behavior. Dana declared that she was not the one who felt there
was an odd thing on Kevins behavior, yet other teachers also felt the same. In
this part, Shriver tried to convince the readers about Kevins wrong behavior
through another characters, Dana Rocco and other teachers.
The third evidence below shows an example of Kevin when he hurt his
teacher feeling by humiliating her in front of other students. This kind of
bullying is categorized as social bullying which he used to mock his teacher
by asking question that he knew the answered earlier.

"Your son [Kevin] is anything but a hopeless case. That's


what I [Dana] most wanted to tell you [Eva]. He's [Kevin]
sharp as a tack. Some of his papers [Kevin]did you [Eva]
read the one on the SUV?
It was worthy of Swift. And I've [Dana] noticed that he
[Kevin] asks challenging questions merely to catch me
[Dana] outto humiliate me [Dana] in front of the class. In
fact, he [Kevin] knows the answer beforehand. So I've
[Dana] been playing along. I [Dana] call on him [Kevin],
and he [Kevin] asks what logomachy means. I [Dana]
gladly admit I [Dana] don't know, and bingo, he's [Kevin]
learned a new word because he [Kevin] had to find it in
the dictionary to ask the question.
It's a game we [Dana and Kevin] play. He [Kevin] spurns
learning through regular channels.
But if you [Eva] get at him [Kevin] through the back door,
your young man has spark." (Shriver, 2003: 392)
The bolded word shows that Kevin applied bullying behavior, which is
social bullying. This kind of bullying is grown from childhood until
adolescent, which at first he just used verbal bullying then adds with social
bullying. It presented with the statement He'll [Kevin] grow out of it"
(Shriver, 2003: 147-148). Therefore, that behavior occurs continually, which
means that he never feels guilty to do that. Its in line with American
Psychiatric Association that stated individuals with Conduct Disorder might
be callous and lack appropriate feelings guilty or remorse (American
Psychiatric Association DSM IV, 1994: 87).
Again, Shriver, through Eva, showed Kevins Conduct Disorder through
Evas experience during she was with him. Her opinion about something
worse with Kevin was true. It is proved with some cases found. She realized
that some events became worse as a result of his behavior.

It was no mystery to me [Eva] how a hit list turned up in


Miguel Espinoza's locker, and though I [Eva]took full
responsibility for spreading one to my own [Eva] company,
I [Eva] couldn't see the hobby of collecting computer
viruses as anything but disturbed and degenerate. I [Eva]
remained firmly of the view that Vicki Pagorski had been
persecuted in a show trial of Kevin Khatchadourian's
personal contrivance. Granted, I'd [Eva] been mistaken
about our [Eva and Franklin] son's responsibility for
chucking chunks of bricks at oncoming cars on 9W, and
until ten days ago I [Eva] had chalked up the disappearance
of a treasured photograph from Amsterdam as yet another
victim of my son's [Kevin] unparalleled spite. So I have, as
I [Eva] said, always believed the worst. But even my
unnatural maternal cynicism had its limits. When Rose told
me [Eva] there'd been a vicious assault at Kevin's high
school and some students were feared dead, I [Eva] worried
for his [Kevin] well-being. Not for an instant did I [Eva]
imagine that our son [Kevin] was the perpetrator. (Shriver,
2003: 431)
From that paragraph, Shriver displayed some Kevins behaviors on his
adolescent, which refers to crimes. Those crimes were collecting computer
viruses, completing with a hit list, being mixed up with persecuted act,
chucking chunks of bricks on the road, thieving, and assaulting. Some boys
are commonly done some of aggressive actions, yet they seldom to do
assaulting act. However, their aggressiveness behaviors are including in
Conduct Disorder that the amount of individual with that disorder rise
continually. According to American Psychiatric Association, individuals with
Childhood-Onset Type frequently displays physical aggression toward others
and have disturbed peer relationships. (American Psychiatric Association,
1994: 86)

4.2.2.2. Kevin Force Someone to Sexual Activity

Other examples aggression definition is forcing someone to sexual


activity. It stated by Frick that this definition of aggression to people and
animals include bullies, threatens, intimidates others, and physical fights.
Sometimes it uses a weapon that may cause serious physical harm to others. It
also has been physically cruel to people or animals, has stolen while
confronting a victim, and has forced someone into sexual activity (Frick,
1998:23). Kevin as an individual with Conduct Disorder once did in front of
his mother. Shriver looked like wanted to explain the readers that boys in the
same age of Kevin are seldom to show these activities in front of their
parents. Its proved what Kevin did was different from other normal boys and
this means that Kevins behavior was not a common. This activity should not
do in public because it annoyed others and certainly impolite action.
Therefore, this behavior is categorized as an aggressive behavior.
"He [Kevin] leaves the bathroom door open," I [Eva]
reported reluctandy in our bedroom late one night, at which
point you [Franklin] began to brush the hairs from your
[Franklin] electric shaver intently. "And you [Franklin] can
see the toilet from the hallway."
"So he [Kevin] forgets to close the door."You [Franklin]
were clipped.
"He [Kevin] doesn't forget. He [Kevin] waits until I [Eva]
go to the kitchen to fix a cup of coffee, so I'll [Eva] see
him [Kevin] on my [Eva] way back to my study. It's very
deliberate. And he's [Kevin], ahloud."
"At his [Kevin] age, I [Franklin] probably jerked off three
times a day."
"In front of your mother [Franklins mother]?"
"Around the corner, behind the door. I [Franklin] thought I
[Franklin] kept it secret, but I 'm [Franklin] sure she
[Franklins mother] knew."
"Behind the door," I [Eva] noted. "The door. It's important."
My, that shaver was really clogged with stubble tonight.

"Knowing I [Eva] can seeI [Eva] think it excites him


[Kevin]." (Shriver, 2003: 350)
I [Eva] reach in and pull the door shut, hard.
The hallway rings with a dry chuckle. I [Eva] clip back to
the kitchen. I've [Eva] spilled coffee on my skirt.
(Shriver, 2003: 352)
The bolded words portrayed that Kevin did it consciously. He was
really understood to what he did and aware of the presence of his mother but
he was shameless to do it. Shriver showed it with expressions deliberate,
excites, and chuckle, in which those words refer to Kevins behavior on force
someone to sexual activity. The author also compared Kevin with other
character (his father) that did same activity in order explained the reader that
Kevin was different from other teenage. According to ICD-10, one symptom
of individuals with Conduct Disorder is forcing another person into sexual
activity against their wishes (Liabo, 2007: 102). For that reason, the readers
knew that characterization of Kevin was lack of empathy because he did not
care with his mothers feeling. It supported with statement of ICD-10 stated
that individuals with Conduct Disorder is often, apparently deliberately, does
things that annoy other people (Liabo, 2007: 101).
4.2.2.3. Kevins Cruel Behaviors toward People
Another Kevins behavior which include in aggressive behavior is cruel
to people. These behaviors are shown when Kevin lost his sisters eye and kill
several people. At first, it came from childhood and continued until
adolescence. It even worse compared with activity that he did before. In this
part, Shriver brought other characters (Kevins sister and father, his friends

and teacher) became victims of his antisocial behavior. Therefore, it proved


that characterization of Kevin was uncaring. He never understood how to
create good relationship with people surrounding him. It was appropriate with
the criteria of Kevin as child-onset pathway, which starts in early childhood
and becomes more severe, frequent, and intense as the child grows older. This
is expressed in noncompliance, anger, irritability, discipline problems, and
temper tantrums that appear before the age of 3, worsened at the ages of 7-10
and become established antisocial behavior by the ages of 11-13 (Clarke,
2011:79).

4.2.2.3.1. Kevin Vanish Celias Eye


When Kevin was seven years old, he got little sister. She was Celia. If
Kevin has antisocial behavior, Celia grew out of normal person. She was
cheerful, full of love with parents and other people, and careful on things that
she loved. It proved that Kevin has antisocial behavior was not caused by
inheritance but from biology factor. Celia loved Kevin while he never felt the
same feeling. For example when Celia lost her pet, Kevin said that she was
stupid whereas in the next day Eva knew that it was Kevin act killed the
animal. One day, Celia got accident. Her eye was poured by the Liquid-Plumr
and it could not be saved. In this situation, Kevin took a part as person who
called his father and became person who gave first aid. Franklin blamed Eva
with his statement that she was careless and wanted Eva to say apologies to

Kevin. However, in the end of the story, Eva knew that it was really Kevin
fault.
"What is that?" I [Eva] asked. "What have you [Kevin] got
there?"
With a small, crafty smile, he [Kevin] opened his palm,
displaying his talisman with the shy pride of a boy with his
prize shooting marble. I [Eva] stood up so quickly that my
chair clattered backward onto the floor. It isn't often that
when you [Eva] look at an object, it looks back.
The fact that Celia's glass eye has remained out of my
[Eva] sight since can only mean (Shriver, 2003: 461).
From that scene, the readers knew that the characterization of Kevin hid
the actual story which means that he lied and lack of empathy. Moreover, that
statement also evidenced that Kevin did aggressive behavior to his sister. He
broke Celias eye with pour the Liquid-Plumr on his fourteen years old. Its in
line with American Psychiatric Association (APA) that stated an individual
over age 18 years, a diagnosis of Conduct Disorder can be given only if the
criteria are not fit to Antisocial Personality Disorder (APA DSM IV, 1994:
90). By this, diagnosis of individuals with Conduct Disorder gives to
individuals under age 18 years. Hence, Kevin did it without any guilty feeling
which proved by the word crafty smile. It is appropriate with the criteria of
Conduct Disorder which person with this disorder may feelings guilty or
remorse (American Psychiatric Association DSM IV, 1994: 87).

4.2.2.3.2. Kevin Killed Several People


From several examples of Conduct Disorder of Kevin that mention
above, the important one is the last aggressive behavior: Kevins behavior to

kill several people. It becomes important because Shriver looked like to


showed the readers about the most dangerous effect of individual with
Conduct Disorder is he or she turn out to be murderer. Shriver portrayed it
with presented the character of Kevin, his behaviors, and the way he
interacted with other characters.
Conflict between Kevin and his mother is the main theme that the
author wanted to explore. It portrays the important role of parents on child
development. Unfortunately, the novel explained about character of Franklin
never believed to Eva who always thought that there was something worse
with Kevin, the different opinion made them always deal with conflict. It
brought impact on child development; in this term, Kevin. The conflict gets
bigger until they decided to divorce. Kevin knew about it and shocked.
Kevin took a deliberate step into the light. One glance
confirmed that he'd [Kevin] been eavesdropping. He
[Kevin] looked different. Those sordid afternoons with the
bathroom door open notwithstanding, this was the first time
in years I [Eva] had seen him naked. Oh, he [Kevin] was
still wearing the normal-sized clothes from the hearing. But
he'd [Kevin] lost the sideways skew; he [Kevin] stood up
straight. The sarcastic wrench of his [Kevin] mouth
dropped; his [Kevin] features were at rest. I [Eva] thought,
he [Kevin] really is "striking," as his drama teacher
purportedly remarked. He [Kevin] looked older.
But what most amazed me [Eva] were his [Kevin] eyes.
Ordinarily, they [Kevins eyes] glazed with the glaucous
film of unwashed applesflat and unfocused, bored and
belligerent, they shut me [Eva] out. Sure, they glittered with
occasional mischief, like the closed metal doors of a
smelting furnace around which a little red rim would
sometimes smolder, from which stray flames would lick.
But as he [Kevin] stepped into the kitchen, the furnace
doors swung wide to bare the jets.

"I [Kevin] need a drink of water," he [Kevin] announced,


somehow managing to hiss without pronouncing any S s,
and strode to the sink.
"Kev," you [Franklin] said. "Don't take anything you
[Kevin] might have overheard to heart. It's easy to
misunderstand when you [Kevin] hear something out of
context."
"Why would I [Kevin] not know the context?" He [Kevin]
took a single swallow from his glass. "I am [Kevin] the
context." He [Kevin] put the glass on the counter, and left.
I'm [Eva] certain of it: That moment, that hard swallow,
is when he [Kevin] decided. (Shriver, 2003: 408-409)
From that sentences, the bolded words proved Kevin decided something
on the day his parents decided to divorce. Shriver explained through the
action of Kevin some days after that conversation that the decision was
shooting tragedy. It is appropriate with DSM-IV stated that individual has
used weapon that could cause physical harm and has been physically cruel to
people (Liabo, 2007: 102). The victims are eleven people includeconsists of
seven students, a teacher, a cafeteria worker, his father and his sister. He did it
in fifteen years old, two days before he was sixteen. Individual over age 18
years, a diagnosis of Conduct Disorder can be given only if the criteria are not
also met for Antisocial Personality Disorder (APA DSM IV, 1994: 90). It
means that diagnosis of individuals with Conduct Disorder give for
individuals under age 18 years.
Laura Woolford and Dana Rocco were killed by the trauma
of the arrows themselves. Ziggy, Mouse, Denny, Greer, Jeff,
Miguel, and the cafeteria worker all bled to death, trickle by
drop. (Shriver, 2003: 444)
But you've [Kevin] never told me [Eva]. So please, look
me [Eva] in the eye.

You [Kevin] killed eleven people. My husband [Franklin].


My daughter [Celia]. Look me [Eva] in the eye, and tell me
why." (Shriver, 2003: 464)
Shsh-thunk. Not yet struggled to his [Miguel] feet, Miguel
took one in the gut. Shsh-thunk. Jeff was nailed between the
shoulder blades as he bent over Laura Woolford. I [Eva] can
only conclude that for those many hours Kevin spent in our
[Eva and Franklin] backyard, the litde black bull's eye in the
middle of all those concentric circles was in his [Kevin]
mind's eye a perfect circle of Versace viscose. Struck
perfectly through the heart, she [Versace viscose] was dead.
(Shriver, 2003: 439)
Shsh-thunk. As he [Jeff Reeves] pounded on the main doors
calling for help while the arrow stuck in his back quivered,
a shaft sank into the nape of Jeff Reeves's neck (Shriver,
2003: 439)
From those statements, Shriver tried to display the process when Kevin
killed his friends. The archery was chosen as the weapons to hurt them; it
proved with Shsh-thunk word that refers to sound of arrow and the word
arrow. Individual with Conduct Disorder has used weapon that could cause
physical harm and has been physically cruel to people (Liabo, 2007: 102). At
first, Kevin invited them to gather in the gym. Those students have certain
talents. He lied to the students, Kevin pretended as Ron, the headmaster and
sent letters to them. Hence, the official missive sent to Greer Ulanov, for
examplein sufficient advance to allow for Nyack's lackluster postal service
exhibits the same keen ear for authenticity that Kevin displayed in playing
R o n Howard to you and the shy, flustered victim to Alan Strickland (Shriver,
2003: 432). It is fit with one kind of symptoms stated by ICD-10 that
individual frequent and marked lying (except to avoid abusive treatment)
(Liabo, 2007:101). Those students actually his friends but Kevin never made

good relationship to others in his school. From that cases, Dana Rocco, as his
teacher and victim shout him to stop that act but Kevin kept doing it. It was in
line with symptoms of individual with Conduct Disorder that he or she often
argues with adults (Liabo, 2007: 101). Therefore, those acts proved that the
characterization of Kevin lied continuously, egoist, temper tantrum, and cruel.
It's surprisingly difficult to kill people with a crossbow.
Kevin knew that. And so he waited.
When at last at 5:40 a security guard jingled by to lock up,
was dismayed by the Kryptonite, and peeked through the
crack of the door to see red, Kevin waited. When the police
arrived with those massive but useless cutters (which the
chain merely dented) and at length were driven to secure an
electric metal saw that shrieked and spit sparksall of
which took timeKevin put his feet up on the alcove rail
and waited. (Shriver, 2003: 444)
So we [Kevin and Eva] stared at each other in silence.
Kevin's expression was placid. It still displayed remnants of
resolution, but determination was already sliding to the
quiet, self-satisfied complacency of a job well done. His
eyes were strangely clearunperturbed, almost peaceful
and I [Eva] recognized their pellucidity from that morning,
though breakfast already seemed ten years past. This was
the stranger-son, the boy who dropped his corny, shuffling
disguise of I [Eva] mean and I guess for the plumb carriage
and lucidity of a man with a mission. (Shriver, 2003: 446)
The statements explained about Kevin behavior that was cold-hearted.
The words It's surprisingly difficult to kill people with a crossbow. Kevin
knew that. And so he waited proved that Kevin is person who lack of
empathy, he did it to make sure that his victims totally hurt and would die. It
was appropriate with characteristic of Conduct Disorder that may have little
empathy and little concern for the feelings, wishes, and well-being of others
(American Psychiatric Association DSM IV, 1994: 87). Then, Shriver

described Kevins characterization that he was cruel. It showed through his


expression that Eva wrote on Kevin's expression was placid and His eyes
were strangely clearunperturbed, almost peaceful. That evidence explained
that Kevin did not have any guilty feeling to kill them. It supported with
American Psychiatric Association (APA) that there might be callous and lack
appropriate feelings guilty or remorse (American Psychiatric Association
DSM IV, 1994: 87).
In the novel, Kevin was described as boy who never thought of his
friends, familys victim or even his sister and fathers feeling. In contrast, He
just considered about revenge.
"You [Kevin] mean leaving me [Eva] alive was the best
revenge." We [Kevin and Eva] were already way beyond
revenge-for-what. (Shriver, 2003: 460)
The word revenge above showed that Kevins problem is that he could
not control his anger. The revenge itself was a conflict between Kevin and his
mother. American Psychiatric Association (APA) stated that individuals with
Conduct Disorder are poor frustration tolerance, irritability, temper outbursts,
and recklessness which are frequent associated features (APA DSM IV, 1994:
87). In addition, ICD-10 also describes this individuals with symptoms often
feels angry or resentful and often spiteful or vindictive (Liabo, 2007: 102).
In brief, the way Kevin make a revenge to Eva by killing several people
which included his father and sister. From this case, Freud categorized it as
self-esteem. This self-esteem or defense mechanism applied in Kevin to have
less anxiety.

4.3. Defense Mechanism of Kevin


There are three kinds of Defense Mechanism of Kevin, which used in
this research in Lionel Shriver novel. First, the way Kevin exploded his anger
to other object with displacement. Second, Kevin covered up his feeling with
the smart intellectualization. Those two kinds of Defense Mechanism will be
explained below.
4.3.1. Displacement
According to Straker (2000:2), displacement is the shifting of actions
from a desired target to a substitute target. Freud also stated that it occurs
when the Id wants to do something of which the Super ego does not permit.
The Ego thus finds some other way of releasing the psychic energy of the Id.
The displaced hatred was a source of much suffering. As time went on, it was
plain that this first displacement was inadequate as a mean of mastering the
situation (Anna, 1937: 29). In the novel, Kevin did some displacement actions
towards other characters. Those evidences explained below.

"Ms. Khatchadourian, I [Dana] don't want to put you [Eva]


on the spot. But has anything happened in your family that I
[Dana] should know about? I [Dana] was hoping you [Eva]
could help explain why your son [Kevin] seems so angry"
"That's odd. Most of his teachers have described Kevin as
placid, even lethargic."
"It's a front," she [Dana] said confidently.
"I [Eva] do think of him [Kevin] as a litde rebellious"

"And he [Kevin] rebels by doing everything he's [Kevin]


supposed to. It's very clever. But I [Dana] look in his
[Kevin] eyes, and he's [Kevin] raging. Why?" (391)
First evidence explained about the teacher, Dana Rocco, who suspicious
about Kevin action that looked like angry. In this part, Shriver tried to show
the readers through others character who witnessed Kevins anger. The words
has anything happened in your family that I [Dana] should know about?
Proved that Dana felt what Kevin did was not related to situation or condition
in school. Shriver convinced the readers that its related to Kevins family.
The other words I [Dana] was hoping you [Eva] could help explain why your
son [Kevin] seems so angry and I [Dana] look in his [Kevin] eyes, and he's
[Kevin] raging showed that it was about Kevin anger. From this case, Kevin
anger was caused by his family that expressed on other characters. These
other characters were not only Dana but also teachers in Kevins school. It
proved on the words Most of his teachers have described Kevin as placid,
even lethargic." "It's a front," she [Dana] said confidently. Further, Shriver
described about Kevin act with the words he [Kevin] rebels by doing
everything he's [Kevin] supposed to which means that Kevin shifted his anger
on the surrounding school. Its in line with Straker (2000:2) stated that
displacement is the shifting of actions from a desired target to a substitute
target.
Second evidence of displacement is Kevins behavior killing eleven
people. He did it because he could not control his anger.

"You [Kevin] mean leaving me [Eva] alive was the best


revenge." We [Kevin and Eva] were already way beyond
revenge-for-what. (Shriver, 2003: 460)
Shriver put term revenge which refers to action of repressed a
moment emotion then expressed it on other situation. From that case,
displacement of Kevin was shooting tragedy which the source target was
actually his mother but he shifted to other people. This defense mechanism
was the way to less anxiety due to his anger to his mother. It is in line with
Straker (2000:2) stated that displacement is the shifting of actions from a
desired target to a substitute target.
Moreover, the displacement of Kevin was explained by Shriver through
some parts on the novel. This part is related to Kevin emotion after he heard
about his parents divorce.
Kevin took a deliberate step into the light. One glance
confirmed that he'd [Kevin] been eavesdropping. He
[Kevin] looked different. Those sordid afternoons with the
bathroom door open notwithstanding, this was the first time
in years I [Eva] had seen him naked. Oh, he [Kevin] was
still wearing the normal-sized clothes from the hearing. But
he'd [Kevin] lost the sideways skew; he [Kevin] stood up
straight. The sarcastic wrench of his [Kevin] mouth
dropped; his [Kevin] features were at rest. I [Eva] thought,
he [Kevin] really is "striking," as his drama teacher
purportedly remarked. He [Kevin] looked older.
But what most amazed me [Eva] were his [Kevin] eyes.
Ordinarily, they [Kevins eyes] glazed with the glaucous
film of unwashed applesflat and unfocused, bored and
belligerent, they shut me [Eva] out. Sure, they glittered with
occasional mischief, like the closed metal doors of a
smelting furnace around which a little red rim would
sometimes smolder, from which stray flames would lick.
But as he [Kevin] stepped into the kitchen, the furnace
doors swung wide to bare the jets.

"I [Kevin] need a drink of water," he [Kevin] announced,


somehow managing to hiss without pronouncing any S s,
and strode to the sink.
"Kev," you [Franklin] said. "Don't take anything you
[Kevin] might have overheard to heart. It's easy to
misunderstand when you [Kevin] hear something out of
context."
"Why would I [Kevin] not know the context?" He [Kevin]
took a single swallow from his glass. "I am [Kevin] the
context." He [Kevin] put the glass on the counter, and left.
I'm [Eva] certain of it: That moment, that hard swallow,
is when he [Kevin] decided. (Shriver, 2003: 408-409)
From that sentence, the evidence of Kevin anger depicted from his
changing behavior based on Evas description in her letter. The bolded words
proved that it was the day when he decided to do something, which Shriver
means here is that it was shooting tragedy. It seemed that Kevin was enraged
because of parents decision to separate. In fact, Shriver showed that it was
just an anger to his mother. It described from the statements "You mean
leaving me alive was the best revenge" (Shriver, 2003: 460). What Kevin
acted was the way he took his self-defense from anxiety, which includes on
displacement. Displacement explained Kevin anger to his mother and shifted
to other people. He did not kill her as the source trouble instead killing others
who have no relation with his emotion. Its in line with Straker (2000:2)
stated that displacement is the shifted actions from a desired target to a
substitute target.
Last evidence about Kevins losing temper showed when he got a sister.
At first, he said to his mother that he did not want to have sibling while his
mother explained that it would be nice to have some company or someone to

play with. In fact, Kevin could not accept it. Thus, he stole precious photo of
her mother.

"Well, you [Kevin] are going to have some company. A little


baby brother or sister. And you [Kevin] might find out that
you [Kevin] hke it."
He [Kevin] glared at me [Eva] a long, sulky beat, though he
[Kevin] didn't look especially surprised. "What if I [Kevin]
don't like it."
"Then you'll [Kevin] get used to it."
"Just cause you [Eva] get used to something doesn't mean
you [Eva] like it." He [Kevin] added, snapping the magenta,
"You're [Eva] used to me [Kevin]."
"Yes!" I [Eva] said. "And in a few months we'll [Kevin and
Eva] all get used to someone new!"
As a crayon piece gets shorter it's more difficult to
break, and Kevin's fingers were now straining against
one such obdurate stump. "You're [Eva] going to be
sorry."
Finally, it [crayon] broke. (258)
Badly creased from having been folded small enough to fit
in a pocket or wallet, it was a photograph of me [Eva]. Jesus
Christ, it was that head-shot on an Amsterdam houseboat,
which disappeared when Celia was born. I [Eva] was sure
he'd [Kevin] torn it to pieces. (413)
From those bolded words, Shriver created Kevins character as person
who exploded the anger to his mother. Hence, his behavior to break crayon
and tear precious photo of his mother proved that he was using displacement.
He did not do any violence or cruel to Eva instead changed it to other objects.
It is in line with Straker (2000:2) statement that displacement is the shifted
actions from a desired target to a substitute target.

4.3.2. Intellectualization

Second Defense Mechanism that was applied by Kevin in We Need to


Talk about Kevin is Intellectualization. Intellectualization is a kind of
response used by individuals in logical way to face the source problem.
According to Straker (2000: 3), intellectualization is a 'flight into reason',
where the person avoids uncomfortable emotions by focusing on facts and
logic. It also supported with Anna Freud (1937: 87) stated that
intellectualization is instinctual processes which are translated into terms of
intellect. In the novel, intellectualization of Kevin will explain below.

"What about your mother [Eva]?"


"What about her [Eva]?" Kevin snapped, though untd now
he'd [Kevin] been affable, expansive.
"Well, there was that civd suit brought for parental
negligence"
"Totally bogus," said Kevin flatly. " R a n k opportunism,
frankly. More culture of compensation. Next thing you
[Marlin] know, geezers'll be suing the government for
getting old and kids'11 be taking their mommies to court
because they came out ugly. My view runs, life sucks; tough
luck. Fact is, the lawyers knew Mumsey had deep pockets,
and that Woolford cow can't take bad news on the chin."
(413)
"But whether or not your mother [Eva] was legally remiss,"
Marlin proceeded, "maybe she [Eva] paid you [Kevin] too
litde attention?"
"Oh, lay off my mother." This sharp, menacing voice was
alien to me [Kevin], but it must have been useful
inside."Shrinks here spend all day trying to get me to trash
the woman, and I'm [Kevin] getting a little tired of it, if you
[Marlin] wanna know the truth."
Marlin regrouped. "Would you [Kevin] describe your
relationship as close, then?"
"She's [Eva] been all over the world, know that? You
[Marlin] can hardly name a country where she [Eva] hasn't
got the T-shirt. Started her [Eva] own company. Go into any
bookstore around here, you'll [Marlin] see her [Eva] series.

You [Marlin] know, Smelly Foreign Dumps on a Wing and


a Prayer? I [Kevin] used to cruise into Barnes and Noble in
the mall just to look at all those books. Pretty cool."
"So you [Kevin] don't think there's any way she [Eva] might
have"
"Look, I [Kevin] be kind of a creep, okay? And she [Eva]
could be kind of a creep, too, so we're even. Otherwise, it's
private, okay? Such a thing in this country anymore as
private, or do I [Kevin] have to tell you [Marlin] the color
of my [Kevin] underwear? Next question." (414)
Answering Marlin question, Kevin prefers explained about his
experience and company than talked about his deep sad feeling to her.
Intellectualization is used to cover his anxiety to his mother. Its in line with
Straker (2000: 3) stated that it occurs on the person to avoid uncomfortable
emotions by focusing on facts and logic. For this evidence, Shriver choses
some expressions to describe Kevins feeling: flatly, menacing voice,
expansive and snapped. Those expressions mean that he never wanted to
show his real feeling instead choosing different words to hide it. It is as if
Anna (1937:87) stated that the instinctual processes that translated into terms
of intellect. The different words that was applied by Kevin was the terms of
intellect. In this situation, Shriver displayed Kevins real feeling that he killed
those people because of the revenge to his mother. "You [Kevin] mean
leaving me [Eva] alive was the best revenge." We [Kevin and Eva] were
already way beyond revenge-for-what (Shriver, 2003: 460).
Second evidence of intellectualization of Kevin came from another
answer of Marlin questions. Marlin was an interviewer who needs
information about Kevins action in shooting tragedy. The conversation below
talked about Kevins reason.

"On the contrary, Kevin," Marlin observed sorrowfully, "all


too many young people hke yourself have gone on killing
sprees in the last few years."
"Lucky for you [Marlin], too! You [Marlin] need us! What
would you [Marlin] do without me [Kevin], film a
documentary on paint drying? What are all those folks
doing," he waved an arm at the camera, "but watching me
[Kevin]? Don't you [Marlin] think they'd have changed the
channel by now if all I'd done is get an A in Geometry?
Bloodsuckers! I [Kevin] do their dirty work for them!"
(415)
Intellectualization that was applied by Kevin from those utterances
showed on the words, you need us! which means that he made as if for
news interest. Next words, I do their dirty work for them!" also proved that
he did it just because of unimportant things like giving a hot news about
teenagers crime to media. It was in contrast to Eva statement I'm [Eva]
certain of it: That moment, that hard swallow, is when he [Kevin] decided
(Shriver, 2003: 408-409). That statement occurred on the day Kevins parents
decided to divorce which means that Kevin did it because of his family
problem. In addition, Shriver explained more detail about Kevin reason
through the conversation between Kevin and his mother, several times after
he did interview with Marlin: "When you're putting on a show, you don't
shoot the audience," he said smoothly, rolling something in his right hand.
"You mean leaving me alive was the best revenge." We were already way
beyond revenge-for-what (Shriver, 2003: 460). Therefore, those evidences
showed that the real reason of Kevin action was about internal conflict with
his mother. Kevin used logical way to repress his emotion. He covered it by

acting as if he did it for other interest instead showed that it caused by conflict
between Kevin and his mother. Its in line with Straker (2000: 3) statement
that intellectualization is a 'flight into reason', where the person avoids
uncomfortable emotions by focusing on facts and logic.

CHAPTER V
CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS

This chapter is the last chapter of this research. It describes the


conclusion of the research. The conclusions cover criteria Conduct Disorder
and types of Defense Mechanism that are conducted by Kevin in We Need to
Talk about Kevin novel based on American Psychiatric Association and Anna
Freud theories. The criteria of Kevins Conduct Disorder are the destruction
of property and aggression to people and animal while the types of Defense
Mechanism of Kevin are displacement and intellectualization. However,
suggestions for further research are also presented in this chapter.

5.1. Conclusion
Based on data analysis, there are two criteria of Kevin behavior
categorized as individual with Conduct Disorder portrayed on We Need to
Talk about Kevin. The first is the destruction of property. For this behavior,
there are two terms of Kevin actions that are described. The actions are
destructing his mother maps and his friends tea set. The action of destructing

his mother maps did by Kevin when he was six years old. He did it because
of hatred from something that makes his mother happy. Hence, he did it to
make his mother got angry. Another destruction of property is breaking his
friends tea set. This behavior did when Kevin was six years old. He did it
because of hatred of his friends collection. Muffet, his friend, collecting his
tea set and bringing in school then Kevin broke her precious teacup. Then, the
second criterion of behavior that is conducted by Kevins Conduct Disorder is
aggression to people. These behaviors like bullying, forcing someone to
sexual activity and doing cruel actions. Bullying action is Kevin behavior to
heart others feeling through mockery and humiliation which it is including on
verbal bullying. In this case, the victims are a waitress, his mother, and
teacher. He mocks his waitress face in front of others buyers, mocks his
mother with said nyenyenye when he dislike with the topic, and he
humiliates his teacher in front of other students by giving the question that he
knew the answer before. Forcing someone to sexual activity is Kevin action
did in front of his mother deliberately. It shows when he was laugh after his
mother knew what Kevin did. Doing cruel action is Kevin behavior to hurt
others physically like lost his sisters eye and kill eleven people. At first, he
made his father accuse his mother did it then at the end of the story he admit
to his mother with giving it to her as a gift. Another cruel action is kill eleven
people which he did it without any guilty. Those victims are his schoolmates,
a teacher, a cafeteria, his father, and sister. He did it on his fifteen, two days

before he was sixteen which it was like an individual with Conduct Disorder
that he or she is under eighteen years old.
There are two types of Defense Mechanism portrayed in the novel. The
first is displacement. This self-defense used by Kevin to repress his anger to
other people or objects instead of his mother as source problem. The objects
that became the target of Kevin are crayons and photo. It occurs when his
mother told him about having a new sibling, Kevin dislike it and he broke the
crayons. He also tore the precious photo of his mother on the day the birth of
his sister. In school, Kevin showed his anger with expression and rebels
anything which it proved by Dana Rocco complained to his mother. In fact, it
was his anger at his mother. He prefers to kill eleven others to explode his
anger as his revenge to his mother than did a physical action to her. The
second Defense Mechanism of Kevin is intellectualization. This self-defense
described through expression and utterance. In the expression, Kevin tried to
hide his feeling with logic things. This logic thing was seen on the way he
talked about news interest and teenage crimes instead of his hurt feeling to his
mother. In utterance, he also denies about having a bad relationship with his
mother with talked about her experience in some countries and achievement.

5.2. Suggestion
For the readers, reading We Need to Talk about Kevin gives information
and education about the behavior of children, child development, and selfdefense. It helps them understand and takes preventative to their children

before do the worst thing like kill action. For the further research, We Need to
Talk about Kevin novel can analyze with the sociology of literature. The
character of Kevin, teenager who turns to be killer, is like the real story that it
was Columbine massacre.

Synopsis

Eva was an owner of AWAP Company and she loved traveling to another country.
In 37 years old, she married with Franklin. Two years later, she had baby namely
Kevin. At first, she did not want to have baby because it forced her to stay at
home all day and made her bored or will take her freedom to enjoy life. In the
other hand, Franklin really wanted to have a child, so Eva forced to born her child.
For that reason, Eva still consumed alcohol and drugs when she was a child. In
her childbirth, her baby, Kevin did not want to take mother breast. He kept staying
away from his mother. He just wanted to be carried by his father. If Franklin
worked, Kevin will cry all day when he was with his mother. Otherwise, he never
showed his crying in front of his father.
When Kevin was six years old, he still used diaper everywhere. As time went by,
Eva tried to love Kevin, but he showed the opposite. He used to make his mother
angry, like he would not eat when his mother saw or around him, spoiled maps of
his mother that he knew that it was important for her, played possum in math that
actually he knew it well and even mocked at his mother. In his environment,
Kevin ever got trouble with his friends. For example, when he played with his

next door, his friend rode a bicycle then fell and it almost made him died. His
fathers friend expected that Kevin hurt him with seeking a way to damage that
bicycle because there was no problem with the bicycle before and Kevin was the
only one who accompanied his friend. In school, his Friend ever cried with odd
condition and his mothers friend expected that it was Kevin fault because he was
the one who found in scene of action.
Kevin took advantages of Lenny, the only of his friend, to be obedient for all of
Kevin wanted. They ever did a bad act in the middle of road like put stone and
brick. On that case, Kevin lies to his father that it was Lenny idea. Next day, Eva
heard what they were talking. In fact, that incident was actually Kevin idea and
they were planning it before.
In his school, Kevins friend saw him as strange person because he always wore a
screwy fashion from others, like tiny-clothes fashion and narrow jeans. Kevins
teacher disliked him because Kevin did some bad acts to them, such as he ever
humiliates Ms. Rocco, in front of the class when he asked difficult question that
his teacher could not answer it but he knew the answer before. He broke teachers
favorite tea set of Miss Fabricant. He also ever made his teacher discharged
because Kevin lies about drama lesson. Kevin made the wrong story about what
Ms. Pagorsky taught and others believed on him. From that case, Ms. Pagorsky
discharged.
Kevin had a sister namely Celia. She was cute girl and careful on things that she
loved. One day, Celia lost her hamster. Eva and Franklin look for hamster
everywhere but they could not find it. Eva thought that it might Kevin manner

because Celia would not let the cage opened and she said that they played together
before. Next day, Celia got an accident which it made her lost her eye. Franklin
accused that it was Eva fault but Eva believed that it was Kevin fault because she
put the cleaner squid away from Celia. She was not tall enough to got it. Kevin
was there and he was the first person who called doctor. In the end of the story,
Eva knew that it was really Kevin way to hurt Celia because he gave her a gift;
Celias eye.
In

home,

Kevin

liked

watching

something

related

to

decapitations,

disembowelments, dismemberments, flaying, and impalements. He also created


virus that ruined all of the files of AWAP Company, his mother company. That
behavior made him as cold man and less of empathy. Eva often blamed Kevin but
his father always supported on him. Those different opinions made Eva and
Franklin divorced. For this problem, Kevin took serious bad decision. It occurred
on Thursday, two days before he was sixteen years old. He killed eleven people:
seven his friends, one cafeteria, one teacher, father, and his sister with bow and
arrow.