SKRIPSI Jurusan Sastra Inggris - Fakultas Sastra UM, 2019

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Suicide Notes: Spectacles of Exaggeration Expressions Used by Males and Females

PURBO . KUSUMASTUTI

Abstrak


Keywords: gender and language, language stereotypes, suicide notes.

Studies focusing on the topic of gender and language which have been conducted, in general, are mostly highlighting the language differences of males and females in some research settings, for example, work places, advertisements, novels, and songs.Reflecting to that, this study is aimed to analyze differences of language use, especially in the use of exaggeration expressions – the use of negative emotions, empty adjectives, italic expressions, and hyperboles, by males and females in suicide notes. One of the reasons following it is that researching language stereotypes in suicide notes convey facts which could not be found in other previous research settings since suicidal attempts lead people to a condition called ‘tunnel vision’ – a condition which shuts people from outside themselves.

Using 14 suicide notes from male and female actors and writers who came from English-speaking countries which were gathered using the Internet-based data collection, this study employed the qualitative and quantitative research design. Using LIWC tool and HIP method as the research instruments; meanwhile, presenting the analysis of the findings by deriving it from some gender and language theories, such as Jespersen (1922), Lakoff (1975), and Tannen (1990), the results of this study could be drawn.

Upon completing the data analysis, the findings showed that the exaggeration expressions which have dominant occurrence in the suicide notes is hyperboles. Moreover, it is also shown that in writing the suicide notes, both of the male and female subjects were using all of the four aspects of exaggeration expressions–negative emotions, empty adjectives, italic expressions, and hyperboles. Although the females participated more in using empty adjectives, italic expressions, and hyperboles, the production of negative emotions and italic expressions is dominated by the male subjects. The conditions during the suicidal attempts, the subjects’ positions, and also the stereotypes are the causes behind the results of the findings.

In conclusion, the use of language by the male and female subjects in the suicide notes is following the language stereotypes, yet at the same time breaking them. In another way, it can be inferred that the male and female subjects of this study use language differently, yet similarly in writing the suicide notes. Nevertheless, this study is far from perfect, and it still needs improvements to show more of the gender representations and also to fill the lack of this study in order to contribute comprehensive knowledge of the still vibrant issue to be discussed–gender and language stereotypes.