Motivation Of The Main Character’s Survival In O’henry’s ‘Soapy’s Choice’ (P-112)


1.1 Backgrounds of the Study 
Why does somebody do something? Why do people go to work? Why do we go to college? There are many reasons why we do such things. Somebody does something because he/she wants something to be done, reached, and else. People go to work because they want to earn money, to spend their times, to increase their societal status, and else. We go to school because we need knowledge, or maybe we just want to do our obligation to fulfill our education status. 

The reasons here can be said as goals. All of those examples make us learn that there must be something drives them to do something besides the goals we have said above, it is a motivation. For more details about motivation, we can do one thing that is asking any person who is successful in whatever he or she is doing, what motivate him/her, and very likely, the answer will be ‘goals’. Goal setting is extremely important to motivation and success. So, what motivate you? Just like what we have talked above, why are you in college? If you are in college because that is what your parents want, you may find it difficult to motivate yourself. 

Someone will have a higher motivation if he is offered by a reward. For example, a student will have a higher motivation to study when his father promises to give him a car if he graduates soon. However, an article found in said that motivation is something which comes from within really makes the difference. Further the article says that certainly, you need some intelligence, knowledge base, study skills, and time management skills, but if you do not have motivation, you would get far from reaching your success. 

Motivation gives significant roles in human’s life. Sometimes without motivation, people cannot grow; since nothing motivates them to do something that will bring them survive. Hilgard states in his book (1957:155) that motivation besides being a direction aspect, is also as the energizing aspect. “Motivation is something that incites the organism to action or that sustains and gives direction to action once the organism has been aroused. It means that motives have either an activating or energizing aspect and a directing one” 

This is also in chorus with what Champion says as stated by Ruch (1967:376) that motives make energy available for the activity required. Thus, although a drive or motive directs the organism toward some goals, which will satisfy a particular need, it can also work as a general energizer. Literature as part of our life talks so many kinds of problems occur in our society, such as social status, gender, discrimination, war, poverty, welfare and other human problems. 

The phenomenon I can find in Jane Austen’s novel entitled “Emma” is about motivation of the main character in arranging marriages. This kind of problem has a close relation with our life in which it could be occurred in our society, even to us. Studying someone’s motivation is dealing with psychological approach, since it reveals problems through the lens of psychology. Psychology according to Davidoff (1976:1) is the science of behavior. Behavior here means any human or animal process or an activity that can be objectively observed and measured. 

Since psychology studies human behavior, we also need to deal with human personality. It takes role in guiding somebody’s immediate behavior and the further development of his/her personality. He acts consistently in terms of the kind of person he believes whether it is to be lovable or unattractive, bright or stupid, capable or clumsy. Some people seem to be very successful, highly motivated individuals. The energy, the drive, or the directions come from motivation. 

Motivation is an area of psychology that has gotten a great deal of attention, especially in the recent years. The reason is that we all want to be successful, we all want direction and drive, and we all want to be seen as motivated. Motivation refers, in a general sense, to processes involved in the initiation, direction, and energy of individual behavior (Parkinson & Colman, 1995:38). According to Kenney (1966:5) analyzing a literary work is to identify the separated part that make it up (this corresponds roughly to the notion of tearing it into pieces), to deter relationship among the parts, and to discover the relationship of the part to the whole. 

So, I choose Soapy’s motivation to achieve his goal in O’ Henrys’ Soapy’s choice as my study because motivation is one part of psychology that can be found from the character in the short story. In my opinion, Soapy’s motivation is interesting to be discussed because he can survive in the middle of his problem. He wishes to get in prison as he has to maintain himself warm in the winter time. Soapy is then doing stupid plans such as eating in a restaurant while having no money in his pocket and other foolish acts. I consider Soapy’s motivation in dealing with his problems as full of struggle. This willingness to keep struggling is finally one thing that helps him to find a way out. 

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