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CHAPTER FIFTEEN.

In Westernized societies the advances of technology have put more and more time between early school life and the young person’s final access to work. This has had the effect of making adolescence a more marked and conscious stage of development, if not, indeed, a way of life, between childhood and adulthood. For some, this involves leaving school at sixteen, and either becoming employed, or remaining unemployed. For others, it means continuing at school until the age of eighteen and then going to work, university, or college. Teenagers belong to different races, religions, and classes. They live in cities and in rural areas. Some have functional and dysfunctional two parent families, or one parent families which can also be functional or dysfunctional. Some have brothers and sisters, some are only children. Some live in sumptuous surroundings, others live in poverty. As they grow they have to adapt and adjust to all kinds of situations and changes.


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Whatever their circumstances they all have one thing in common. All, without exception, is waiting for something exciting to happen, because none, think their lives are as exciting as they feel they ought to be. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it. This is sixteen year old Holden Caufield from J.D. Sallinger’s THE CATCHER IN THE RYE. You can see he’s champing at the bit, raring to go forward and not look back. He like every other person or persona in fact and fiction wants to experience an altered state of consciousness. There is a great deal of scope for the writer who chooses to journey with an adolescent persona into young adulthood and maturity. There will be the fun of creating all the circumstances and situations which will be influential in establishing the key character’s ego identity and maturity. These will be different if the persona is male or female.


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PSYCHOLOGY AND CREATIVE WRITING.

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The childhood milieu is replaced by a societal milieu and adolescents are sometimes preoccupied with what they appear to be in the eyes of others, compared with what they feel themselves to be as they seek a new sense of continuity and sameness in a changed and changing situation. The great need of the adolescent is to be able to trust him or herself, and to put trust in others. They are looking for someone or something to put their faith in, and to follow, in service. They want to prove themselves trustworthy and faithful. They have strong idealistic beliefs about how people should behave. They are idealistic young men and women who can march off to war, or into the wards of hospitals to fight national enemies or disease. But in the adolescent there is also a fear in giving too trusting a commitment, and the need for faith and service is sometimes expressed in a loud and cynical mistrust. As we know, psychologists have a tendency to describe the growth and development of the human personality in terms of stages. There is Freud’s psycho-sexual stages; Erikson’s psycho-social stages; and Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. But we can also think of human life as a spiritual journey and describe stages of spiritual development.


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Behind the veil of seen physicality there is an unseen order which allows for belief in truth, beauty, social justice, and a quantum self. The experience of this unseen order is achieved through the stages of spiritual development. The first of these stages is the “chaotic” or “anti-social” stage where there is an absence of spirituality. People at this stage are utterly unprincipled. While they are capable of pretending to be loving, their relationships with the world and with other people are selfish and manipulative. They have only their own will to govern them, and since this can go one way today, and another way tomorrow, their lives are consequently chaotic. When they recognize the chaos of their own being they are placed in a painful situation, and they have to decide on a means of escape. Some kill themselves, others seek counseling or psychiatric help, and others, like Frankie Goldfarb in THE AMBOY DUKES are killed before they can free themselves completely.


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Some have a sudden and dramatic conversion to the “formal” or “institutional” stage of spiritual development. They enter into and become dependent upon some kind of institution for their governance. For some, this might be the armed forces where they find security and significance in being ordered and in being orderly. For others the institution might be a business corporation. Still others might find prison a place where they can have order in their lives, and they may violate parole in order to get back inside. Other people rely upon religion and depend upon the forms of religious observance to liberate them from chaos. A child raised in a home where the parents are people in stage two, will absorb the parents’ religious principles - Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, or Jewish. By the time the child reaches adolescence, these principles have become internalized. However, the adolescent looks for autonomy and is looking for what (s)he can do, freely. When they feel they are self-governing human beings who no longer need to depend upon an institution for their governance, they convert to stage three.


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This is the “skeptical” or “individual” stage with the adolescent putting his or her trust in peers who will give the imagination scope, and free the initiative. It is a stage characterized by doubt but accompanied by curiosity about other aspects of life. Such people are truth seekers, like Larry Darrell in W. Somerset Maugham’s THE RAZOR’S EDGE. Larry has had an adolescence interrupted by the First World War, in which he was a fighter pilot. He is rich, American, and, according to the members of his class, he has the world at his fingertips because there is every prospect of his becoming a millionaire. Maugham, who is a character in his own novel, meets him in the library of his club where he is sitting reading William James’ PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOLOGY. “Why are you reading this? I asked. “I’m very ignorant.” “You’re also very young,” I smiled.


FRAZER WILLIAMSON.

PSYCHOLOGY AND CREATIVE WRITING.

“When I came back from France they all wanted me to go to college. I couldn’t. After what I’d been through.. I felt I couldn’ t enter into freshman’s life.. I didn’ t want to act a part I didn’ t feel. And I didn’ t think the instructors would teach me the things I wanted to know... “You learn more quickly under the guidance of experienced teachers. You waste a lot of time going down blind alleys if you have no-one to lead you.” You may be right. I don’ t mind if I make mistakes. It may be in one of the blind alleys I may find something to my purpose.” He hesitated a moment. “What is your purpose?” “That’s just it. I don’ t know it yet.

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Larry is engaged to be married to Isobel Bradley, and while her family feel that he should accept a job with great prospects and marry Isobel, he quietly objects to all pedantic limitations on his autonomy. While he wants to be industrious in some way, he questions an occupation which has no significance beyond money and status. He goes off to Paris and his truth seeking there offers him glimpses of the unseen order. After two years, Isobel and her family come to Paris. Isobel asks him: “When are you coming back to Chicago? “Chicago? I don’ t know. I haven’ t thought of it.” “You said that if you hadn’ t got what you wanted after two years you’d give it up as a bad job.” “I couldn’ t go back now. I’m on the threshold. I see vast lands of the spirit stretching out before me, beckoning, and I’m eager to travel them.” “What do you expect to find in them?”


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“The answer to my questions... I want to make up my mind whether God is God or not. I want to find out why evil exists. I want to know whether I have an immortal soul or whether when I die, it’s the end.” “But Larry, people have been asking those questions for thousands of years. If they could be answered, surely they’d have been answered by now.” Larry chuckled.. “There are more answers than questions and a lot more people have found answers that were perfectly satisfactory for them. Old Ruysbroek for instance.” Jan Van Ruysbroek was a Flemish mystic who wrote THE KINGDOM OF THE LOVERS OF GOD and THE SPIRITUAL ESPOUSALS, and it is the “mystical” or “communal” stage which is the last stage of spiritual development. Larry wants Isobel to marry him, but she is not prepared to give up her luxurious living, or to travel second class and put up at third rate hotels without a bathroom or eat at cheap restaurants. When she tells him she wants to have babies, he says that they can be taken along with them when they travel.


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“Do you know what it costs to have a baby? Violet Thompson had one last year and she did it as cheaply as she could and it cost her twelve hundred and fifty. And what do you think a nurse costs?” She grew more vehement as one idea after another occurred to her. “You’re so impractical. You don’ t know what you’re asking me to do. I’m young, I want to have fun. I want to do all the things that people do. I want to go to parties, I want to go to dances, I want to play golf and ride horseback. I want to wear nice clothes. Can’ t you imagine what it means to a girl not to be as well dressed as the rest of her crowd? Do you know what it means Larry to buy your friends’ old dresses when they’re sick of them and be thankful when someone out of pity makes you a present of one? I couldn’ t even afford to go to a decent hairdresser to have my hair properly done. I don’ t want to go out in street-cars and omnibuses; I want to have a car of my own.”


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Larry, having glimpsed the interconnectedness of the unseen order with the material order, wants to go on and develop the ability to be able to experience unity and community within all levels of being. While Isobel stays within the institution of her rich family and friends, Larry takes a job in a coal mine, working and living with Belgian miners. Larry has the adolescent desire to make something work, and make it work well, and he prefers to work at what he chooses in order to gain a rounding out of his personality at all levels. It is the ideological potential of a society which speaks most clearly to the adolescent and which inspires worthwhile ways of life. While the person in the chaotic stage is not a threat to the person in the formal stage, an adolescent at the skeptical stage presents a significant threat, just as the person at this stage often fears going forward to the mystical stage. There is always a conflict of interests. While the person leading a chaotic life is unable to see his life as chaos, he will feel threatened by the person trying to convert him to the institution. And so with each stage.


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Freud and Jung fell out. Freud was a stage three person who saw himself as scientifically minded and felt deeply threatened by Jung’s insistence upon the spiritual occult. Jung was a stage four person, even if most people believe him to be less than Freud in his influence. It has been said that in the social jungle of human existence there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity. The teenage years are a quest for identity but before an identity can be established the teenager has to come to terms with his or her own existing personality in terms of trust, autonomy, initiative, and industry. Contemplation of these things usually reveals the degree of spiritual development attained. Another way of looking at this is in terms of moral development. Lawrence Kohlberg devised an explanation for the development of morality which he saw happening at three levels.


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The “premoral” level is the first, and there are two stages. During the first the child believes that evil behaviour is that which is punished, and good behaviour is that which is not punished. Moral behaviour for the child is based upon its subjective consequences. During the second stage of this level the child is hedonistic. If a thing is pleasant and desirable, it is good. If it is unpleasant and undesirable it is evil. Usually this is characteristic of the infant and the pre-school child, but it is possible for teenagers and adults to become fixated at this stage of moral development. The “morality of conventional role conformity” is the second of Kohlberg’s levels. During this time the child finds peer and social relationships important. There are also two stages of this level. Firstly, the child will behave in a way which gains approval from parents, peers, and teachers. Good moral behaviour is that which is praised by society and for which there is a reward. Secondly, there is conformity to laws and to authority figures. The person who behaves morally is someone who obeys authority and society’s laws. This is the child during middle childhood who is seeking to win acceptance and approval and is endeavoring to maintain good relationships with whomever (s)he comes in contact. This gives the necessary security, significance, and the basis for making a love relationship which will give the utmost satisfaction.


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The “morality of self-accepted principles� is the third level. Again there are two stages to this level. In the first the child arrives at an understanding of individual rights, ideals, and principles. (S)he has understanding beyond the literal interpretation of rules, and laws and can distinguish those which are faulty and those which are good. There is an understanding of democratically accepted laws and individual rights. In the second stage the person reflects on individual principles and conscience, and his or her notions of right and wrong become the way of judging behaviour. This level of morality is characteristic of the adolescent. Sometimes the best intentions of adults go awry like the organizing of high school dances which are meant to be enjoyable opportunities for teenagers to meet students of the opposite sex. These are often found to be conflict ridden situations that produce tension and anxiety. The only people who enjoy them are the organizers, and really pretty girls, and exceptional dancers. For most of the others the continuous evaluation and frequent rejection makes the good time all but impossible. It undermines self-images and leads to self-protective behaviour patterns, moral judgements that might be detrimental to later intimate relationships. If the morality of self-accepted principles is based upon negative experiences it can be harmful to the self and to other people.


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Love relationships, as distinguished from sexual relationships, are important to teenagers. During early adolescence, love relationships are sought outside the family. With the ties of family weakened there is an inclination for the external moral control to break down and in some cases delinquent behaviour can occur with sexual promiscuity. This behaviour occurs in the search for a love object and as an escape from loneliness or depressed moods. But normally phantasy and self-love help to avoid this sort of acting out situation because there is usually “the friend� who is both important and significant as an object for love. The friend is usually of the same sex, and this intense friendship usually comes to an abrupt end because of the erotic feelings attached to it, and because of the inevitable frustration which such and exclusive friendship entails. This is followed by a period of trying to find a heterosexual love object, and until such a person is found, the individual is protected from disappointment, rejection, and failure in the game of love, by self-love, extreme touchiness, self-absorption, collecting things, self-centredness, and self-aggrandizement.


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There may be a tendency for the teenager to overeat and this abates when someone is found. Normally, his also brings to an end he bisexuality of earlier adolescence and masculine and feminine traits are more prominently displayed. Both males and females like to date an opposite sex partner who has had low to moderate sexual experience, and often, regardless of their own sexual past, they hope that their marriage partner will be virginal. In late adolescence there is one thing in relation to a future mate which is dreaded more than the loss of virginity, and that is, that the future mate has been in love with someone else. The thought that even if the future mate has had many sexual partners just for the sake of sex, is less bothersome than knowing that (s)he has had a previous intimate relationship. Being the first love is more important than being the first sexual partner. Love is a serious business, and it is accompanied by fluctuations in the emotional state, usually without analysis. Shakespeare in ROMEO AND JULIET did not analyze love. Love is analyzed to a much greater extent in the comedy LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST and examined closely in the tragedy of OTHELLO.


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The young have no time to analyze love, especially in a situation where “civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” Children are born into strife in this world, and they grow amidst that strife into their teens and they have to find mates in the midst of strife. So naturally there are mixed feelings: ROMEO: Alas that love, whose view is muffled, still should without eyes see pathways to his will! Where shall we dine? O me, what fray was here? You tell me not, for I have heard it all. Here’s much to do with hate but more with love. Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate, O anything, of nothing first creatre! O heavy lightness, serious vanity, misshapen chaos of wellseeming forms, feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, still waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love I feel I, that feel no love in this. There has just been a fray between the followers of the Montagues and the Capulets and Romeo compares his own mixed feelings with the very mixed feelings of the participants in the fray. The participants hate the other side and love their own. Romeo's self-love and his love-hate relationship with Rosaline (He hasn't met Juliet yet).


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As a writer how would you have dealt with the problems Shakespeare set himself? Firstly, given the short amount of time Romeo and Juliet spend together how would you convince the audience of the power and importance of the feelings these two lovers have for each either? Secondly, how because of this brevity, can you characterize the two. Seeing the play we are not fully aware that Romeo and Juliet are not deep or interesting characters in the way in which Hamlet, Macbeath, Othello or Lear are. Juliet changes and matures, but she's not a really complex character, and neither is Romeo. But that is psychologically appropriate. Juliet, when she falls in love is fourteen years old, and the play is about sudden love at first sight. With emotion high and reason carried away, the playgoer is invited to accept Romeo and Juliet for what they are. Romeo lacks an hamartia or tragic flaw. He hasn't had time to develop one. Othello developed his jealousy and Macbeath his ambition. There is no fault of character with Romeo and Juliet because their characters are curtailed by their early deaths. All they do is fall in love, and we see them being destroyed by chance and by the social order and by the nature of their love itself.


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Would you, like Shakespeare, have sacrificed both motive and characterization which are such a keynote in his later tragedies? Could you have resisted, as he did, giving Romeo a greatness equal to that of Hamlet or Lear? In HAMLET and KING LEAR there is a greatness to the key characters, and the audience asks why such spirits as great as these cannot be accommodated in the existing society. The life of their times cannot support them and the playgoer is left with a sense of terrible waste. Certainly in ROMEO AND JULIET there is a sense of terrible loss, but the greatness of spirit is absent. Youth is wasted, beauty is wasted, and even love itself is wasted because they are too young and too undeveloped and too vulnerable to society. In terms of attribution Shakespeare is saying that chance and society cause the death of these lovers. And yet he is also saying that even though the series of coincidences appear to be inevitable, they were also avoidable. The play is as oxymoronic as that first speech of Romeo's set out above.


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Shakespeare constructed a milieu for his lovers which was both deadly serious and trivial at the same time. It was trivial where it should have been serious and serious where it should have been trivial and light-hearted. Again this is a characteristic of adolescence. Romeo and Juliet are surrounded by people who do not take life seriously and who lack ideals. They are cynical about love and cannot recognize true feelings when they see them. Shakespeare allows us to see the society and its people through the eyes of his lovers. Not only are these people cynical and materialistic they are also very childish. Old Capulet is childish, the nurse is childish, even Tybalt and Mercutio are childish. Only Romeo and Juliet are deadly serious and appear to be more adult than the adults around them. GREGORY:

'Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst,

thou hadst been poor-John. Draw thy tool. Here comes the house of Montagues.. SAMPSON:

My naked weapon is out. Quarrel. I will

back thee. GREGORY:

How? Turn thy back and run?


FRAZER WILLIAMSON.

PSYCHOLOGY AND CREATIVE WRITING.

SAMPSON:

Fear me not.

GREGORY:

No, marry. I fear thee!

SAMPSON:

Let us take the law of our sides. Let them

begin. GREGORY:

I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it

as they list. SAMPSON:

Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them;

which is disgrace to them if they bear it. ABRAM:

Do You bite your thumb at us, sir?

SAMPSON:

I do bite my thumb sir.

ABRAM:

Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

SAMPSON:

(Aside to Gregory) Is the law on our side if I say

'Ay'? GREGORY:

(Aside to Sampson) No.

SAMPSON:

No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir. But I

bite my thumb sir. GREGORY:

Do you quarrel sir?

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ABRAM:

Quarrel sir? No sir.

This exchange between adult members of society is the epitome of childishness. It is exactly like children in the play-ground. The sexual imagery is deliberate. The point of the quarrel is to prove the masculinity of these servants, but the "tool" and the “naked weapon" are pathetic substitutes for actual sex. When old Capulet appears there is more mixing of childishness and sex: CAPULET:

What noise is this? Give me my long sword,

ho! LADY CAPULET:

A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a

sword? CAPULET:

My sword, I say! Old Montague is come and

flourishes his blade in spite of me.


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Shakespeare’s audience at the Globe did not need Freud to help them recognize the phallic imagery, nor to recognize Lady Capulet's implied accusation of impotence when she said her husband needed a crutch. The whole scene is, and is meant to be, childish. But the irony is that through the eyes of Romeo and Juliet we realize that these people are taking this farce to be real life. This is the sort of behaviour they have substituted for life and love. This feud is their attempt to give meaning to their lives which are empty, cynical and loveless. It is their way of establishing their identity. They are Montagues because they hate the Capulets. They are Capulets because they hate the Montagues. The central theme of the play is concerned with the establishment of identity.


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JULIET: 0 Romeo, Romeo! - wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name. Or if thou wilt not, be sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet... 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy. Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What's Montague? It is nor hand nor foot nor arm nor face nor any other part belonging to a man. 0 be some other name! What's in a name'? That which we call a rose. by any other word would smell as sweet . . . . Romeo, doff thy name; and f or thy name, which is no part of thee, take all myself....... Art thou Romeo and a Montague? ROMEO:

Neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike.

The lovers are prepared to abandon their identities. The cynical and the loveless, grasp even tighter their excluding narrow identities, and so actually lose their true identities. Romeo and Juliet on the other hand in giving up their identities attain an inclusive identity. They assert themselves by denying themselves. By losing their lives they would save their lives. The two tribes are ready to die for a name. But Romeo's ability to read names leads directly to his death. So in answer to Juliet's question: "What's in a name" the answer is death.


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Like most adolescents Romeo is prepared to take risks. He climbs over Capulets' wall and comes in contact with a servant who cannot read but who has been given a list of invitations to deliver. He is supposed to trudge through fair Verona finding the persons whose names are written on the list. SERVANT:

Find them out whose names are written here! It is

written that the shoemaker should meddle with his yard, and the tailor with his last, the fisher with his pencil and the painter with his nets.

This may sound like comical nonsense but the Globe audience would realize that the servant is doing what the two lovers are doing. He is calling into question all the definitions of his society. When the shoemaker and the tailor and the fisher and the painter are confused in this way, then they cannot be defined. There is identity confusion, just as Romeo and Juliet are confused by their identities. This is Shakespeare reinforcing his principle idea, that confusion is what adolescent love is about. Romeo calls it "chaos", but their immature and incomplete love is never undermined by the cynicism and disillusion of the other characters.


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Love has provided a bridge from the chaotic stage of spiritual development to the communal stage avoiding the letter of the law and cynicism. The transition from adolescence to young adulthood is not smooth in a world dominated by selfishness, and where in the West psychologists are expected to provide the authorities with control. The film scrip of WEST SIDE STORY takes the theme of ROMEO AND JULIET and sets it in the New York slums of the 1950s. There has been some skewing of the emphasis, because it is not so much the adults who are seen behaving in a childish manner, as the two gangs. Tony and Maria see the childishness of the gangs and want to make a life in a society which sees itself as providing them with the opportunity for security and significance. In one song and dance sequence, the writers comment upon the means of control of juvenile delinquency which takes in the law, psychiatry, and social work. Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke, You gotta understand, It's just our bringin' upke, That gets us out of hand, Our mother's all are junkies, Our father's all are drunks,


FRAZER WILLIAMSON.

PSYCHOLOGY AND CREATIVE WRITING.

Golly Moses, naturally we’re punks. Gee Officer Krupke we’re very upset, We never had the love that every child ought to get. We ain't no delinquents, were misunderstood, Deep down inside us there is good. There is good, there is good There is untapped good. Like inside the worst of us is good. Tell it to the judge. Dear kindly judge your Honour, My parents treat me rough, With all their marijuana, They won't give me a puff. They didn't want to have me, But somehow I was had, Leapin' lizards that's why I'm so bad. Why Officer Krupke you’re really a square, This boy don't need a judge, he needs an analyst's care. It's just his neurosis that ought to be coibed, He's psychologically distoibed. We're distoibed, we're distoibed, we're the most distoibed. Like we're psychologically distoibed. Take him to a headshrinker. My daddy beats my mommy, My mommy clobbers me, My grandpa is a Commie, My grandma pushes tea, My sister wears a moustache, My brother wears a dress, Goodness gracious that's why I'm a mess. Yes, Officer Krupke, he shouldn't be here,

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This boy don't need a couch, he needs a useful career. Society's played him a terrible trick, Und sociologically he's sick. We are sick, we are sick, we are sick, sick, sick, Like we’re sociologically sick. So take him to a social worker. Dear kindly social worker, They tell me get a job, Like be a soda-jerker, Which means like be a slob. It's not I'm anti-social, I'm only anti-work, Glory Ivy that's why I'm a jerk. Officer Krupke you've done it again, This boy don’’t need a job, he needs a year in the pen. It ain't just a question of misunderstood, Deep down inside him, he's no good. We’re no good, we’re no good, we’re no earthly good, Like the best of us is no damn good. The trouble is he's lazy, The trouble is he drinks The trouble is he's crazy, The trouble is he stinks, The trouble is he's growing, The trouble is he's grown, Krupke we've got troubles of our own. Officer Krupke we’re down on our knees, For no-one wants a fella with a social disease. Officer Krupke what are we to do?


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Gee Officer Krupke, krup you!

Why, the authorities want to know from the psychologist, are such people so resistant to reason and why do they not accept the attitudes and opportunities which we offer them? This

problem has yet to be fully understood and explained but

according to Jack Brehm, there is a factor called "Psychological Reactance", which can account for considerable resistance, if not boomerang effects. This reactance is not just peculiar to, adolescence, it happens throughout the lifetime of the human being. The theory is that when a person's freedom to engage in a particular behaviour is eliminated or threatened with elimination, the person will experience psychological reactance, a motivation directed towards the re-establishment of the lost or threatened freedom. Normally people feel free to adopt a particular attitude for themselves. Any attempt to force them to adopt a particular attitude constitutes a threat to that freedom. If a high value is placed on the freedom to choose, then the greater will be the magnitude of the reactance if pressure is put on a person to adopt a particular attitude.


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Since by reactance, the person is attempting to re-establish freedom, then the greater will be the tendency to move away from the attitude which (s)he is being pressured to take. Maugham, as a character in his own book THE RAZOR'S EDGE, points this fact out to Isobel who is dead set against Larry marrying Sophie Macdonald. Isobel want's Maugham to adopt her attitude to Sophie whom she thinks is "bad, bad, bad." “What makes you think that?” I interrupted. She looked at me with flashing eyes. “She's soused from morning till night. She goes to bed with every tough who asks her.” “That doesn't mean she's bad. Quite a number of highly respected citizens get drunk and have a liking for rough trade. They're bad habits, like biting one's nails, but I don't know that they're worse than that. I call a person bad who lies, and cheats and is unkind.' “If you're going to take her part I'll kill you.”...... “He's going into this with his eyes open.” “I can do nothing about it but you can.”


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“I?” “Larry likes you and listens to what you say. You're the only person who has any influence over him ... Go to him and tell him that he can't make such a fool of himself. Tell him that it'll ruin him.” You can see from this that Maugham is engaging in reactance to Isobel's pressure. His resistance becomes all the greater until they have a row. When this is resolved he says to her: “You know how loyal he is: if you won't have anything to do with his wife, he won't have anything to do with you. If You’ve got any sense you’ll make friends with Sophie. You'll forget the past and be nice to her as you can be when you like." Isobel is reminded that Larry is now a young adult and values the freedom to make up his own mind, and will be resistant to pressure to to give up that freedom. In real life, adolescents and young adults are subjected to subtle and not so subtle pressures and experience both the need for freedom and the fear of freedom as they grow and develop.


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