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The Analysis of Defense Mechanisms that work in Bhima's Personality Development in the Story of Mahabharata

Iswara Adhi Dharma



Dharma, Iswara Adhi. 2016. The Analysis of Defense Mechanisms that work in Bhima’s Personality Development in the Story of Mahabharata.Thesis, English Department, Faculty of Letters, State University of Malang. Thesis Advisors: (I) Inayatul Fariha, S.S., M.A. (II) Drs. Arif Subiyanto, M.A.

Keywords: Epic Story, Personality Development, Id, Ego, Super Ego, Psychonalisis, Defense Mechanism, Rationalization, Acting-Out, Repression, Regression, Intellectualization, Mahabharata.

Over years Psychoanalisis has created a new perspective to see literary works. It can be caused by the point of view of Pyschoanalisis that is unique and able to see deeper about characters in a literary work. A lot of literary works has been analyzed by Psychoanalisis, including epic story. Epic as one of the most essential product in human civilization.

One of the most essential epic story that can be analyzed using Psychoanalisis is Mahabrata. The work of Vyasa which known by all people in the world. The work has been translated into English version by Kishari Mohan Ganguli (1883-1896) from Sanskrit version. Mahabharata focusses on the lifetime struggleof Pandhava (Bharata’s clan) against Kaurava (Kuru’s clan) that reaches the final war in Bharata Yudha, and Pandhava as the winner. This war claimed as the symbolism between good against tirany, dharma against adharma. Pandhava as the symbolism of good that contains five important knight, they are : Yudhistira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva. In the story, Bhima is highlighted as one of the most important knight, since he has a unique personality development compared to the others Pandhava. Mahabharata gives evidence that Bhima’s personality development grows after reach some essential stages in his life, and it is supported by Freud’s Defense Mechanisms (rationalization, acting-out, repression, regression, and intellectualization). The psychological development of Bhima’s personality is appear by the emergence of these types of defense mechanisms.


First, Bhima’s personality is only moved by his Id, and it happens in the stage where he still becomes children, and there is no defense mechanism work in this stage. Second, after becomes teenager his Id slowly experiences the reduction of role and his personality develops and it continues in Bhima’s adult period. Bhima’s Ego and super Ego are the two dominant parts in his personality development, and the stage that becomes the important starting point is his past experience in the story of Pramanakoti (the enlightenment). Afterwards, in his adult period Bhima has become the mature knight that has very dominant rule especially in Bharata Yudha story. Third, the rule of defense mechanism that works in Bhima’s personality as the evidence of how his personality is really developed well. Type of defense mechanisms that work according to Bhima is according to the situation that he encounters in his stage of personality development, but it is the dominant defense mechanism that is integrated to Bhima.