A STUDY OF MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER AS A PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY IN SIDNEY SHELDON’S
TELL ME YOUR DREAMS
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MASTER OF ARTS
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DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH
ETHIRAJ COLLEGE FOR WOMEN
I declare that the project entitled A STUDY OF MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER AS APSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY IN SIDNEY SHELDON’S TELL ME YOUR DREAMS submitted by me for the award of the degree of Master of Arts in English is a bonafide work carried out in the Department of English, Ethiraj College for Women (Autonomous) affiliated to the University of Madras under the guidance and supervision of Dr.J.Mangayarkarasi and Ms.R.Preethi.
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This is to certify that JANANI.A ( Register No:16-P214) is a bonafide student of II.M.A.English class of Ethiraj College for Women (Autonomous), Chennai-600008 during 2016-2018 and her project entitled, A STUDY OF MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER AS APSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY IN SIDNEY SHELDON’S TELL ME YOUR DREAMS is done by her.
PROJECT COORDINATORS HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT
A study of Multiple Personality Disorder as a psychoanalytic theory in
Sidney Sheldon’s Tell Me Your Dreams 21
Works Consulted 50
First and foremost I would like to thank Dr.A.Nirmala, Head, Department of English, Ethiraj College for Women for having given me the opportunity to gain the experience of working on this project. I express my sincere thanks to Dr.J.Mangayarkarasi and Ms.R.Preethi, the project supervisors, for their valuable suggestions and guidance throughout the project. I thank all the members of the faculty of the Department of English for their constant support and encouragement. I thank each and everyone who was involved in the successful completion of my project.
American literature is the body of written works produced in the English language in the United States. Like other national literatures, American literature was shaped by the history of the country that produced it. For almost a century and a half, America was merely a group of colonies scattered along the eastern seaboard of the North American continent – colonies from which a few hardy souls tentatively ventured westward. After a successful rebellion against the motherland, America became the United States, a nation. By the end of the nineteenth century this nation extended southward to the Gulf of Mexico, northward to the 49th parallel, and westward to the pacific. By the end of the nineteenth century, too, it had taken its place among the powers of the world – its fortunes so interrelated with those of other nations that inevitably it became involved in two world wars and, these conflicts, with the problems of Europe and East Asia. Meanwhile, the rise of science and industry, as well as changes in ways of thinking and feeling, wrought many modifications in people’s lives. All these factors in the development of the United States molded the literature of the country.
Important movements in drama, poetry, fiction, and criticism took place in the years before, during, and after World War I. The period that followed the World War I left its imprint upon books of all kinds. Literary forms of the period were extraordinarily varied, and in drama, poetry, and fiction the leading authors tended towards radical technical experiments.
The little magazines that helped the growth of the poetry of the era also contributed to a development of its fiction. They printed unconventional short stories and published attacks upon established writers. The Dial (1880–1929), Little Review (1914–29), Seven Arts (1916–17), and others encouraged Modernist innovation. More potent were two magazines edited by the ferociously funny journalist-critic H.L. Mencken—The Smart Set (editorship 1914–23) and American Mercury (which he coedited between 1924 and 1933). A powerful influence and a scathing critic of puritanism, Mencken helped launch the new fiction.
Mencken’s major enthusiasms included the fiction of Joseph Conrad and Theodore Dreiser, but he also promoted minor writers for their attacks on gentility, such as James Branch Cabell, or for their revolt against the narrow, frustrated quality of life in rural communities, including Zona Gale and Ruth Suckow. The most distinguished of these writers was Sherwood Anderson. His Winesburg, Ohio (1919) and The Triumph of the Egg (1921) were collections of short stories that showed villagers suffering from all sorts of phobias and suppressions. Anderson in time wrote several novels, the best being Poor White (1920).
In 1920 critics noticed that a new school of fiction had risen to prominence with the success of books such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise and Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street, fictions that tended to be frankly psychological or modern in their unsparing portrayals of contemporary life. Novels of the 1920s were often not only lyrical and personal but also, in the despairing mood that followed World War I, apt to express the pervasive disillusionment of the postwar generation. Novels of the 1930s inclined toward radical social criticism in response to the miseries of the Great Depression, though some of the best, by writers such as Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Henry Roth, and Nathanael West, continued to explore the Modernist vein of the previous decade.
Sidney Sheldon was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1917. The winner of an Oscar, a Tony, and an Edgar Allan Poe Award, Sheldon has written over 200 television scripts, twenty five major motion pictures six Broadway plays and seventeen novels which have sold over 300 million copies to his credit, ranking him as one of the world’s most prolific writers. Sidney Sheldon recently was awarded in memoriam as a Gold Circle honoree from The National academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), pacific Southwest Chapter.
Sheldon was born in Chicago on February 17, 1917. He began writing as a youngster and at the age of ten he made he made his first sale of a poem for $10. During the Depression, he worked at a variety of jobs and while attending Northwestern University he contributed short plays to drama groups. At seventeen, he decided to try his luck in Hollywood. The only job he could find was as a reader of prospective film material at Universal Pictures for $22 a week. At night he wrote his own screenplays and was able to sell one called “South of Panama,” to the studio for $250 in 1941.
During World War II, he served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps. After the war he established a reputation as being a prolific writer in the New York theater community. At one point during this career he had three musicals on Broadway including a rewritten version of “The Merry Widow,” “Jackpot” and “Dream with Music.” Eventually he received a Tony award as part of the writing team for the Gwen Verdon hit “Redhead” which brought to the attention of Hollywood. His first assignment after his return to Hollywood was The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947) starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple, which won him an Academy Award for best original screenplay of 1947.
In his 1982 interview he described his years under contact with MGM as, “I never stopped working. One day Dore Schary (who was then production head) looked at a list of MGM projects currently under production and noted that I had written eight of them, more than three writers put together. That afternoon, he made me a producer.”
In the early 1960s when the movie industry was hurting because of television’s popularity, Sheldon decided to make a switch. “I suppose I needed money,” he remembered. “I met Patty Duke one day at lunch and stated producing “The Patty Duke Show,” (that starred Duke playing two identical cousins). I did something nobody else in TV ever did at that time. For seven years, I wrote almost every single episode of the series.”
His next series was “I Dream of Jeannie,” which he also created as well as produced, lasted five seasons, 1965- 1970. The show concerned an astronaut, Larry Hagman, who lands on a desert island and discovers a bottle containing a beautiful 2,000-year old genie, played by Barbara Eden, who accompanies her back to Florida and eventually marries her. According to Sheldon it was “During the last year of “I Dream of Jeannie,” I decided to try a novel. Each morning from 9 until noon, I had a secretary at the studio take all the calls. I mean every single call. I wrote every morning or rather, dictated and then I faced the TV business.” The result was “The Naked Face,” which was scorned by book reviewers but sold 21,000 copies in hardcover. The novel scored even bigger in paperback, where it reportedly sold 3.1 million copies. Thereafter Sheldon name would continually be on the bestseller lists, often reigning on top for months at a time.
Sheldon’s book including titles like “Rage of Angels,” “The Other Side of Midnight,” “Master of the Game” and “If Tomorrow Comes,” provided him with his greatest fame. They featured cleverly plots with sensuality and a high degree of suspense, a device that kept fans from being unable to putting his books down. In a 1982 interview Sheldon told of how the created his novels; “I try to write my books so that the reader can’t put them down. I try to construct them so when the reader gets to the end of the chapter, he or she has to read one more chapter. It’s the technique of the old Saturday afternoon serial; leave the guy hanging on the edge of the cliff at the end of the chapter.”
Explaining why so many women bought his books, he once commented that; “I like to write about women, who are talented and capable, but most important, retain their femininity. Women have tremendous power, their femininity, because men can’t do without it.” Sheldon had few fans among highbrow critics, whose reviews of his books were generally reproachful of both Sheldon and his readers. Sheldon however remained undeterred, promoting the novels and himself with warm enthusiasm.
A big, cheerful man, he bragged about his work habits. Unlike other novelists who toil over typewriters or computers, Sheldon would dictate fifty pages a day to a secretary or a tape machine. He would correct the pages the following day and dictate another fifty pages continuing the routine until he had between 1.200 to 1,500 pages. “Then I would do a complete rewrite 12 to 15 times,” he said. “Sometimes I would spend a whole year rewriting.” Sheldon prided himself on the authencity of his novels. During a 1987 interview he remarked that: “If I write about a place, I have been there. If I write about a meal in Indonesia, I have eaten there in that restaurant. I don’t think you can fool the reader.”
For his novel “Windmills of the Mind,” that dealt with the CIA, he interviewed former CIA chief Richard Helms, traveled to Argentina and Romania, and spent a week in Junction City, Kansas where the book’s heroine had lived. After a career that had earned him a Tony, an Oscar and an Emmy for “I Dream of Jeannie”, Sheldon declared that his work as a novelist was his best work. “I love writing books,” he once commented. “Movies are a collaborative medium, and everyone is second-guessing you. When you do a novel you are on your own. It’s a freedom that does not exist in any medium.” Several of his novels became television mini-series, often with the Sheldon severing as producer.
He was married to Jorja Curtright Sheldon, a stage and film actress who later became a prominent interior decorator, and had 30 years of marriage life. After her death in 1985 he married Alexandra Sheldon, a former child actress and advertising executive, in 1989. Sheldon died January 30, 2007 of complications from pneumonia at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California according with his wife, Alexandra, was by his side. Along with his wife, Sheldon was survived by his daughter, author Mary Sheldon; his brother Richard and two grandchildren.
Sidney Sheldon is known for his existing blockbuster novel such as The Naked Face (1969), The Other Side of Midnight (1974), A Stranger in the Mirror (1975), Bloodline (1977), Rage of Angels (1980), Master of the Game (1982), If Tomorrow Comes (1986), Windmills (1987), The Sands of Time (1988), Memories of Midnight (1990), Nothing Lasts Forever (1994), Morning, Noon and Night (1995), Best Laid Plans (1997), and The Sky is Falling (2000). Tell Me Your Dreams is a novel which tells about past traumatic experience faced by the major character which disturb her mind and becomes the cause of appearing three personalities in her mind.
One of the authors who is interested in multiple personality phenomenon is Sidney Sheldon. He expresses his feeling in his famous novel entitled Tell Me Your Dreams which is published by Warner Books, in 1998. In this novel, Sheldon tries to present and give a drawing of the real conditions of the multiple personality victims where there are several conflicts and incidents which changes someone’s life.
The definition of psychology can be found in several books of different writer. As science, psychology always develops. One of psychological dictionary, A comprehensive Dictionary of Psychological and Psychoanalytical Terms the common in use, define psychology as one of sciences that studies behavior, attitude, mental process, thinking, self or human who behaves and possesses mental process: a part of philosophy and admitted in common as a part of metaphysics. (Wilcox, 6).
The meaning of psychology is also explained as what Chaplin said, psychology is “the science of human and animal behavior, the study of organism in all its variety and complexity as it respond to the flux and flow of the physical and social events which make up the environment” (Sobur, 33).
There are various definition refer to the meaning of psychology as psyche which appropriates its attention of study to human being, especially in human behavior or action. This case can be understood by the cause of action. It is a phenomenon which can be and it is not an abstract. While psyche is inner side of human, it can’t be observed but its appearance being observed and thought by a sense, it is an action or behavior. Hilgard, theoretician considers behavior as object of study, defines psychology “psychology may be defined as the science that studies the behavior of man” (Prihastuti, 18). Other theoretician; Bourne Jr. formulates his definition “psychology is the scientific study of behavior principles” (19).
Whereas psychoanalysis is a system of psychological theory and therapy which aims to treat mental disorders by investigating the interaction of conscious and unconscious elements in the mind and bringing repressed fears and conflicts into the conscious mind by techniques such as dream interpretation and free association. It is a specific technique of investigation of the mind and a therapy inspired by this technique. It is a method and technique of therapy for mental and emotional disorder, around which there has evolved a definite body of theory. Psychoanalysis is the creation of Sigmund Freud. He was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis (a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst). His theories on child sexuality, libido and the ego, among other topics, were some of the most influential academic concepts of the twentieth century. Psychoanalytic theory is a major influence in continental philosophy and in aesthetics in particular. Freud is considered a philosopher in some areas, and other philosophers, such as Jacques Lacan, Micheal Foucault, and Jacques Derrida have written extensively on how psychoanalysis influences philosophical analysis.
Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in Marovia. Between the ages of four and eighty-two his home was in Vienna. In 1938 Hitler’s invasion of Austria forced him to seek asylum in London, where he died in the following year. He received his medical degree in 1881. As a medical student and young researcher, Freud’s research focused on neurobiology, exploring the biology of brains and nervous tissue of humans and animals.
After graduation, Freud promptly set up a private practice and began treating various psychological disorders. Considering himself first and foremost a scientist, rather than a doctor, he endeavored to understand the journey of human knowledge and experience. Freud first began his studies on psychoanalysis and in collaboration with Dr. Josef Breuer, especially when it came to the study on Anna O. The relationship between Freud and Breuer was a mix of admiration and competition, based on the fact that they were working together on the Anna O. case and must balance two different ideas as to her diagnosis and treatment. Anna O. was subject to both physical and psychological disturbances, such as not being able to drink out of fear. Breuer and Freud both found that hypnosis was a great help in discovering more about Anna O. and her treatment. The research and ideas behind the study on Anna O. was highly referenced in Freud’s lectures on the origin and development of psychoanalysis.
These observations led Freud to theorize that the problems faced by hysterical patients could be associated to painful childhood experiences that could not be recalled. The influence of these lost memories shaped the feelings, thoughts and behaviors of patients. These studies contributed to the development of the psychoanalytic theory. In 1882, Freud became engaged to marry Martha Bernays. The couple had six children – the youngest of whom, Anna Freud, went on to become a distinguished psychoanalyst herself.
Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, inspired by his colleague Josef Breuer, posited that neuroses had their origins in deeply traumatic experiences that had occurred in the patient’s past. He believed that the original occurrences had been forgotten and hidden from consciousness. His treatment was to empower his patients to recall the experience and bring it to the consciousness, and in doing so, confront it both intellectually and emotionally. He believed one could then discharge it and rid oneself of the neurotic symptoms. Some of Freud’s most discussed theories included:
Id, ego and superego: these are the three essentials parts of the human personality. The id is primitive, impulsive and irrational unconscious that operates solely on the outcome of pleasure or pain and is responsible for instincts to sex and aggression. The ego is the ‘I’ people perceive that evaluates the outside physical and social world and makes plans accordingly. The superego is the moral voice and conscience that guides the ego; violating its results in feelings of guilt and anxiety. Freud believed that superego was mostly formed within the first five years of life based on the moral standards of a person’s parents; it continued to be influenced into adolescence by other role models.
Freud postulated that the id was the basic source of psychic energy, or the force that drives all mental processes. In particular he believed that libido, or sexual urges, was a psychic energy that drives of all human actions. The libido was countered by thanatos, the death instinct that drives destructive behavior.
Between the ages of three and five, Freud suggested that as a normal part of the development process all kids are sexually attracted to the parent of the opposite sex and in competition with the parent of the same sex. The theory is named after the Greek legend of Oedipus, who killed his father so he could marry his mother.
In his book The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud believed that people dreamed for a reason: to cope with problems the mind is struggling with subconsciously and can’t deal with consciously. Dreams were fuelled by a person’s wishes. Freud believed that by analyzing our dreams and memories, we can understand them which can subconsciously influence our current behavior and feelings.
The great reverence that was later given to Freud’s theories was not in evidence for some years. Most of his contemporaries felt that his emphasis on sexuality was either unacceptable or overplayed. In 1909, he was invited to give a serious of lectures in the United States. It was only after the ensuing publication of his book Five Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (1916) that his fame grew exponentially.
Freud has published a number of important works on psychoanalysis. Some of the most influential include;
Studies in Hysteria (1895) Freud and Breuer published their theories and findings in this book, which discussed their theories that by confronting trauma from a patient’s past, a psychoanalyst can help a patient get rid him or herself of neuroses.
Interpretation of Dreams (1900)
In 1990, after a serious period of self-analysis Freud published what become his most important and defining work, which posits that dream analysis can give insight into the workings of the unconscious mind. The book was and remains controversial, producing such topics as the Oedipus complex. Many psychologists say that this work gave birth to modern scientific thinking about the mind and the fields of psychology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis.
The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901) This book gave birth to the so called Freudian slip – the psychological meaning behind the misuse of words in everyday writing and speech and the forgetting of names and words. These slips, he explained through a series of examples, revealed our inner desires, anxieties and fantasies.
Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905) While no person will die without sex, the whole of humanity would without it – so sex drives human instincts, Freud believed. In this work, he explores sexual development and the relationship between sex and social behavior without applying his controversial oedipal complex.
He was honored with Goethe Prize and became the foreign member of the Royal Society. Until recent years the guiding mind in its evolution was that of its founder, Sigmund Freud, and psychoanalysts still adhere pretty faithfully to many or all of his basic principles. Although there are still people who cling to the early theories – which Freud himself had abandoned or atleast subordinated to later developments – as if the final pronouncements, much that is called psychoanalysis today is very different from what Freud talked about in 1893 in his Studies in Hysteria. In short, there are certain points at which psychoanalysis became somewhat different. This can be seen more clearly as one looks back on its course of development. With this in mind, the years since 1885 can be divided into four main periods:
The first period extends from the beginning of Freud’s collaboration with Breuer (about 1885) to around 1900. This was a time of great discovery gleaned from clinical observation. Theories of unconscious motivation repression, resistance, transference, anxiety and etiology of the neuroses were evolved. The latter two only were subject to later drastic revision.
The second period extends from 1900 to somewhere between 1910 and 1920. It dates from the time when the interest first shifted from the theory that neurosis was produced by sexual trauma to the theory that instinctual sexual development was all important in etiology. It covers the development of the first instinct theories, which drew attention to the biological sexual development of the child. It drew to an end in 1910; that is, a new direction of thinking was started by Adler’s attack on the sexual theory of neurosis at this time, followed by Jung’s repudiation of Freud’s orientation three years later. From 1910 to 1920 Freud was also gradually evolving a new theory granting etiological importance to factors than sex.
The third period, therefore began in 1910, although the full significance of its changes was not felt by the main psychoanalyst school of thought until about 1920. This was a time of an enlarging field of interest. A theory about the total personality was emerging. Narcissism came under scrutiny and this plus the discovery of the importance of another drive, aggression, laid the ground work for a new theory of instincts, which was finally presented by Freud early in the 1920’s. One notes that the period from 1910 to about 1925 was chiefly a period of theoretical expansion with little change in the technique of therapy.
The fourth period began in the middle 1920’s and extends to the present. It may be subdivided roughly into two parts, from 1925 to 1934, and from 1934 the present. The workers in the earlier years concentrated on finding more effective methods of therapy, and on trying to enlarge the therapeutic scope of psychoanalysis. There was a shift of emphasis from concern with recall of the past (the removal of the infantile amnesia) to the understanding of the dynamics of the doctor patient relationship as observed in treatment. This interest did not disappear after 1934 it became embodied in Sullivan’s theory of interpersonal relations. Increased study of comparative cultures in the late 1920’s eventually contributed significantly to another challenging of Freud’s biological theory of neurosis by the so called cultural school of analysts, whose thinking began to influence psychoanalysis around 1934. The combination of increased knowledge of social processes and pressures and more concern with the interpersonal aspect of the analytic situation is responsible for the characteristic developments of the present era.
Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative identity disorder is marked by change of individual feeling concerning identity, memory or conscious. An individual having this disorder gets difficulty in recollecting important events of his self in the past, forgetting his identity even forming his new identity (Davison and Neale in Fausiyah and Widury, 39). The principle problem in dissociative disorder is an individual feels loss of self-identity, confused of self-identity or even having multiple identities at the same time. This disorder usually rises as self-protection facing traumatic in life. (Kaplan, Sadock and Grebb in Fausiyah and Widury, 40).
There are at least two of different egos and each of them functionally stands alone. There are two or more different personalities in one individual. This disorder is the most serious and chronic Dissociative Disorder. Dissociative Identity Disorder is a chronic and the most serious Dissociative Disorder. His existence usually relates to traumatic experience in individual life. Generally sexual torturing or physic in childhood. An individual with this disorder has two or more different personalities. Behavior and attitude shown by individual mostly depend on which personality is dominant at the time and different among others. Commonly, the number of personality in the individual with this disorder is about 5 to 10 %. When diagnosis is stood, usually just about two or three personalities that appears. But as long as the therapy goes on usually other personality is also raising (Kaplan, Sadock and Grebb in Fausiyah and Widury, 50).
Change or transition of one personality to other usually happens in coincidence. Usually individual experiences amnesia principally relate to what he does or what happens when a personality is dominating (unable to remind everything happened when other personality is dominant). Now than, there is a personality that does not get amnesia and he stay having a big conscious of his existence other personality’s activities (Kaplan, Sadock and Grebb in Fausiyah and Widury, 50).
The raising of other personality can be in spontaneous, from hypnotize, or interview under side effect of medicine that is possibly done by therapist. The raising of personality not only one kind of sex but male and female, variety of ages and race, and also from family that is almost different from individual’s family that gets this disorder (all of this personality can occur to one individual). In general, the raising of personality sometime is on the contrary. In other time an extrovert and in other time raises an introvert individual and keeping of his self -alone.
According to Davinson and Neale (in Fausiyah and Widury, 51), it is not easy to decide whether someone has Dissociative Identity Disorder or not because in first heck up usually certain oddity disappears. In addition, problem found is limited to amnesia at several events. Just by continuous interview and high frequency of meeting patient. A clinist can detect this disorder. Another of this by requesting patient for writing daily note. A clinist can decide the disorder that happens after he has checked data in daily note that has been made. In one side, an analyst believe in that Dissociative Identity Disorder is very least while other do believe in that this disorder has not been detected deeply yet. Therefore, this disorder possibly is very high in individual population. Based on research, in good result known that 0.5 to 2 % of patient with mental illness that is taken care in insane asylum gets this disorder and 5% from all patient who get Dissociative Identity Disorder (either they are given good care or not). From all samples that 90 to 100% of individual with this disorder are women. Other researchers have beliefs that men who get this disorder are undetected or unreported because most of them having this disorder in jail not in hospital. (Kaplan, Sadock and Grebb in Fausiyah and Widury, 51-52).
This Dissociative Identity Disorder most often occurs at the end of the age from teenager to first of adult. This age is averagely 30 years old. However, the victim usually has the indications five years before diagnoses are done. Other of it also known that 2 per 3 from all individual with Dissociative Identity Disorder has ever done an experiment to commit suicide whether get this disorder.
The case of Dissociative Identity Disorder as far as this time exactly has not known yet, but according to the story talking about the life of the patients, almost 100% from patients who have traumatic events. Especially in childhood period, traumatic even in childhood usually is concluding physical mistreating or sexual torturing. Other traumatic are the death of brother or friend and showing the death when individual is in childhood. Multiple Personality case usually relate to a serious traumatic in childhood. As the example is a survey done by a therapist to his client who get this disorder, 80% of his client ever have physical torturing in childhood and from 70% among them have incest. For a part of individual, they tend to choose life in their fancy than they should have continuously traumatic and pain experience. In the end, the fancy becomes reality for them. The reason is in the real, it can help them to avoid the pain and scare experience. This case can make the raising of indications stronger in Dissociative Disorder.
Handling for Dissociative Identity Disorder is relatively difficult. It needs a long time. The purpose of therapy is usually directed to solve variety of traumatic that ever has been experienced by individual in the beginning of his life. Sometime technique of therapy is used to bring unconscious cases to individual’s conscious area. It is necessary to remember that as long as the therapy goes on to Dissociative Identity Disorder, process of therapy that direct individual to remind the traumatic can raise the worse Dissociative Disorder. For the reason, although it has not proved yet significantly, as the example, antidepressant, in several cases can give a positive result.
Trauma means that someone who has suffered serious and life-threatening physical injury potentially resulting in secondary complication. Most of us have traumatic experiences that temporarily shattered our feelings of security, adequate, worth, and were important in influencing our later evaluations of ourselves and our environments.
Tell Me Your Dreams is Sheldon’s sixteenth novels. The story of this novel tells about multiple personality disorder phenomena which happen in the major character’s personality. The main character of this novel is Ashley Patterson, a daughter of a famous doctor named Steven Patterson. In this novel, Ashley is described as a woman with the past trauma because she has been raped by her own father repeatedly and she could not stop him. After she is adult, she becomes a beautiful young woman. Her father always forbids her to have a boyfriend. The novel tells there are five men who fall in love with Ashley and finally rape her. She always remembers about her father who abuses her while she was a child, when she is raped by each man and it makes Ashley traumatic. All men who rape Ashley are killed by Ashley and being castrated and stabbed, but it is controlled by her other personalities. After killing the man who rapes her, Ashley does not remember what she had done. Her condition is known after some doctors make investigation towards her and find that there are three personalities in Ashley’s mind, and they call it “Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).
The twist is revealed that the three of them are part of the same person, co-existing due to Dissociative Identity Disorder. Subsequently, a trail is held and she is admitted to a psychiatric facility for treatment and rehabilitation. Her father had sexually abused Ashley and due to this, an alter Toni developed. Some years after Toni had formed, another alter Alette has been formed due to the further abuse from her father.
Still her thirst for revenge intensifies after seeing that her father is marrying a woman who has a three year old daughter, since she knows the kid will suffer the same fate as her. Here’s what actually may have happened. The psychiatric facility was supposed to cure Ashley and make the other two disappear. But instead of losing the alters, Ashley has successfully managed to combine the three identities into a single person who has not forgotten anything in the end, she suffers a relapse not seen in the hospital for a long period of time.
“Then listen to me. We along with the doctor. We make him, believe that we’re really trying to help him. We string him along. We’re in no hurry. And I promise you that one day I’ll get us out of here.” (Sidney, 297)
She could have had a different ending, perhaps a more joyful one. But this is the ending she actually wanted and got it. She goes to Hamptons to kill her father. It was Toni’s plan to get out of the hospital by hook and crook. Ashley, Toni and Alette started to communicate with each other, Ashley may have been convinced by Toni to take revenge of her father’s misdeeds towards her. So she and other alters faked her healthiness and fooled all the doctors.
Also it was clearly stated in the end that Ashley had taken a train to Hampton where her father was getting married but earlier to the doctors she told that she does not want to meet her father again. This clearly indicates that Toni had taken over Ashley in the end and heading to kill her father.
Based on this psychological factor, I would like to study the novel by using the psychoanalytic perspective under the title “Multiple Personality Disorder as a psychoanalytic theory in Sidney Sheldon’s Tell Me Your Dreams.”
The study of Multiple Personality Disorder as a psychoanalytic theory in Sidney Sheldon’s Tell Me Your Dreams:
Study is aimed at finding the psychological conflicts of Ashley Patterson, the main character who has many personalities as portrayed in Sidney Sheldon’s Tell Me Your Dreams. Then it analyzes the forms of psychological conflicts, its causes, and the effects to the main character’s personality and behavior. Next, the study focuses on kinds of Ashley’s personalities and one of the most dominant personalities among three personalities, which Ashley has.
Based on those objectives of the study, this chapter is divided into two main parts. In the first part, the data collected from Sidney Sheldon’s Tell Me Your Dreams reflecting the forms of main character’s psychological conflicts is presented and analyzed. Then, the study describes out its causes and the effects to the main character’s personality. The data analysis on the kinds of personalities which Ashley Patterson has, will be presented in the second part of this section. This part also presents and analyses one of the most dominant personalities among three.
The psychological conflicts of main character expressed in the novel:
Tell Me Your Dreams by Sidney Sheldon is a novel which tells about the multiple personality disorder phenomenon of the major character’s personality. The main characters of the book are Ashley Patterson, an introverted workaholic, her co-workers, Toni Prescott, an outgoing singer and dancer, and shy artist Alette Peters and Ashley’s father, Dr.Steven Patterson.
The three woman do not get along very well, because of their dissimilar natures and activities. Toni and Alette generally maintain a friendship, with Alette a calming influence, but Toni dislikes Ashley and criticizes her strongly. All three have issues with their mothers having told them they would never amount to anything.
Ashley fears that somebody is following her. She finds her house lights turned on when she returns from work, her personal effects in disarray, and someone has written “You will die” on her mirror with a lipstick. She thinks that someone has broken into her house. She requests a police escort, but the next morning, the police officer assigned to this duty is found dead in her apartment. Two other murders have already taken place, with an identical pattern. All the murdered men had been castrated and were having sex before being murdered. Evidence points to the same woman being involved in all three cases. When a gift from one of the murdered men to Toni among Ashley’s things has been found, she is identified as the killer and being arrested. At this point, it is revealed that the three woman are three selves of a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder. “Sheriff Dowling took a deep breath. ‘Ashley Patterson… Toni Prescott … Alette Peters, they are all the same fucking person.”
Ashley’s father persuades an attorney friend, David Singer to represent Ashley. The second half of the novel deals with the trail, complete with endless squabbling between opposing psychiatrists as to whether or not MPD is real. Finally when David introduces Toni, the violent alter of Ashley, the court is convinced that Ashley is innocent. Ashley is sent to an insane asylum and in the course of therapy she is introduced to her two alters and recalls the horrific events that shattered her mind. She was sexually abused during her childhood, and this made her develop a strong hatred towards men.
In the asylum, Ashley is treated for Multiple Personality Disorder by two doctors, Doctor. Gilbert and Doctor. Otto Lewis. Doctor. Gilbert falls for her and during her crisis, he too feels pain and wants to comfort her. At first, the dominant alter, Toni prevents Alette to share things with Gilbert. Toni does not want to open up their past with Gilbert. After so many consecutive times of interactive therapy sessions involving the alters to speak out, Gilbert has succeeded to win the confidence of Toni. It is revealed that her father, Doctor. Steven was the one who sexually abused her, causing her to develop Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder resulting in the creation of the alter Toni, and becomes a thing of her mother’s detest. When they are living in Italy during her teenage years, she is once again assaulted by her father, leading to the creation of Alette. The structuring of both the alters is very interesting. The first alter represents her struggle and fear as a helpless child without sexual maturity, and (Toni) develops into a protective one and becomes murderous when encountered with similar conditions. While the second alter (Alette) represents her feeling of shame and pain of being breached, thus developing into a source of console exhibiting warmth and motherly love who has good understanding with Ashley.
However, Toni is enraged when she learns that the woman her father is about to marry has a three year old daughter and is afraid that the girl would suffer the same fate she had. Doctor Gilbert drains anger out of Toni by showing the news every day, making Toni softer with each passing day.
This softer side of Toni is only a pretension to show Doctor Gilbert she has finally accepted everything so she and Alette can get out of the asylum to kill her father, who is staying in The Hamptons for Christmas. Soon, Doctor Gilbert releases her from the asylum as he believes she is cured.
In the end, Ashley is shown to be travelling on a train to The Hamptons, where her father is staying, when Toni suddenly shows up to kill her father. Toni in the last part of the novel:
“There could have been a terrible ending for her, but this was the happy ending she had prayed for… I’m on my way at last. And as the train headed toward The Hamptons, she began to sing softly.” (Sheldon, 336)
The study will emphasize the psychological condition of Ashley, whether she experienced many psychological problems and why the number of personalities present to the body of Ashley Patterson. Psychological conflict as stated by Siswantoro, conflict appears as the labile psyche effect that is caused by something from the environment and main character himself. So, we are able to divide the psychological conflict into two types of conflict: external conflict and internal conflict.
From this statement it could be concluded that in Ashley Patterson’s case, a person who has three different personalities inside a body, of course, many conflict occurred during her life. Imagine a body with three personalities, different characteristics and behavior. Every personality has its own characteristic, habit, behavior, and style. They appear at the unpredictable situation and without realizing each other. That’s why, it is not an easy thing to understand a person’s condition such as Ashley Patterson. Ashley Patterson develops on Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder that the study will try to find out the causes of his exceptional condition, and the effort the study will try is investigating Ashley’s story of life as told in the novel. However, if we try to analyze the source (cause) of Ashley’s psychological conflict; we will find the clues from her childhood.
“It was in London. She was in bed. He sat down next to her and said, ‘I’m going to make you very happy, baby,’ and began tickling her, and she was laughing. And then … he took her pajamas off, and he started playing with her. ‘Don’t my hands feel good?’ Ashley started screaming, ‘Stop it. Don’t do that.’ But he would not stop. He held her down and went on and on…” (Sheldon, 305).
From the data above, we come to know that Ashley has bad experiences at his childhood, she gets many unpleasant and painful memories which stock in her mind. Her father as mentioned above is the person who does violence to Ashley.
Child abuse has a meaning as the physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or neglect of children by parents, guardian or others. In Ashley’s case, she gets almost of various forms of child abuse; she gets physical, emotional, and sexual abuse from her father. Ashley’s father is an immoral man, the man who actually plays the father role: who always look after, love and responsible to the child, on contrary he is not a responsible man and does not reflect a figure of father.
Child abuse in its various forms has numerous effects and consequences, both tangible and intangible, upon society, those mistreated, and those entrusted with the responsibility of its detection, prevention, and treatment. Child abuse can have direct consequences during both childhood and adulthood. From the data collected from the novel, we find many statements that have shown the forms of Ashley’s child abuse that must be accepted from her immoral father.
Child sexual abuse refers to sexual abuse of a child by an adult, or some other person significantly older or in a position of power or control over the child, where the child is used for sexual stimulation of another person. Actually, under the law, “child sexual abuse” is an umbrella term describing criminal and civil offenses in which an adult engages in sexual activity with a minor or exploits a minor for the purpose of sexual gratification, therefore, what Steven Patterson does as an adult who engages in sexual activity with Ashley is performing a criminal and immoral act which never can be considered normally or socially acceptable behavior.
Child sexual abuse can cause physical injury to the child and both short and long term emotional and psychological harm, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and other symptoms. The psychological harm that are found in the study in Ashley will be explained in the internal conflict of Ashley Patterson.
Depending on the age and size of the child, and the degree of force used, child sexual abuse may cause infections, sexually transmitted disease, or internal lacerations. In several cases, damage to internal organs may occur, which in some cases, may cause death. Fortunately, in Ashley’s case, his sexual abuse does not cause her death.
Some of Ashley’s statements also indicate that besides getting sexual abuse, Ashley also suffered the mental abuse from her mother because she thought that Ashley is lying about her father when she exclaims to her mother about her father who used to abuse her during night time.
“She could not stop him. When they got home, Ashley told mother what happened, and mother called her a little lying bitch… Mama and Papa were yelling at each other all the time, and Ashley thought that it was her fault. She knew she had something wrong, but she did not know what. Mama hated her.” (Sheldon, 305)
Another example which shows that how Ashley’s mother strongly despises her is stated below:
“She looked at David, Do you know why I like to sing that song, luv? No. because my mother hated it. She hated me.” (Sheldon, 178)
The effects of being abused as a child vary according to the severity of the abuse and the surrounding environment of the child. If the family or school environment is nurturing and supportive, the child will probably have a healthier outcome. Unfortunately, Ashley is faced to the bad situation, which has risk of developing psychiatric problems. This childhood bad experiences are categorized as the External Conflict faced by Ashley Patterson because Ashley faces the conflict from outside herself. In this case, the conflicts are from her father.
Beside External Conflict faced by Ashley Patterson, she also faced Internal Conflict as well such: trauma, depression, anxiety, and stress as the effects and consequences of what she had experienced in the childhood.
Ashley’s experiences in the past left a deep wound and would influence his psychological condition in the future. She cannot forget it forever. The violence, threatens and any other sadistic behavior of her father create nightmare during her life.
Childhood for most of people is the period full of pleasant, happiness and joyful that becomes unforgettable memories. On contrary, for Ashley it is very painful to remember it till she does not want to remember it any more. After a traumatic experience, Ashley re-experiences the trauma mentally and physically, hence avoiding trauma reminders, as this can be uncomfortable and even more painful.
“Alette was saddened by the therapy sessions. They reminded her of how much she missed Rome and how happy she had been with Richard Melton… Toni hated the therapy sessions because they brought back too many bad memories for her, too.” (Sheldon, 299-300)
Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. A traumatic event involves a single experience, or an enduring or repeating event or events, which completely overwhelm the individual’s ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved with the experience. The sense of being overwhelmed can be delayed by weeks or years, as the person struggles to cope with the immediate danger.
Psychological trauma may accompany physical trauma or exist independently of it. Typical causes of psychological trauma are sexual abuse, violence, the threat of either, or the witnessing of either, particularly in childhood. However, different people will react differently to similar events. One person may perceive an event to be traumatic that another may not, and not all people who experience a traumatic event will become psychologically traumatized.
In Ashley’s case, we find that Ashley faces a very hard situation that should not be forgotten by a child. Childhood should be actually full of pleasant, love, affection, and attention. On contrary, Ashley experienced the entire of violence that of course left a traumatic wound that is very difficult to be cured.
“Dr.keller said thoughtfully, I’ve talked to the two alters. The dominant one is Toni. She has an English background and won’t talk about it. The other one, Alette, was born in Rome, and she doesn’t want to talk about it either.” (Sheldon, 279)
From the above given example we can understand that Ashley has underwent many painful experiences which she does not want to share or talk with anybody else that would remind her about those traumatic memories. Actually she does want to forget it completely.
Ashley’s child abuse left problems psychologically and mentally, she feels that everyone who wants to approach her is a threat as shown in the following:
” ‘Toni I want to help you,’ ‘No. you don’t, Dockie baby. You want to lay me.’ ‘Why do you think that, Toni?’ ‘That’s all you bloody men ever want to do. Ta’.” (Sheldon, 276)
Ashley becomes frightened and powerless, the shadow of her child abuse always appeared in her mind. Upsetting memories such as images, nightmares, thoughts, or flashbacks haunt Ashley, and nightmares be frequent. Lurking fears and insecurity keep Ashley vigilant and on to lookout for danger both day and night.
Some traumatized people may feel permanently damaged when trauma symptoms do not go away and they do not believe that their situation will improve. Study has shown that trauma caused by sexual abuse, causes notable changes in brain functioning and development. The child abuse which is being the psychological damage of Ashley Patterson is more serious. After getting psychological trauma, next Ashley has another psychological disorder that is anxiety.
Anxiety is a psychological state characterized by cognitive, somatic, emotional, and behavioral components. These components combine to create the feelings that we typically recognize as fear, apprehension, or worry. Anxiety is often accompanied by physical sensations such as heart palpitations, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, stomach aches or head ache. The cognitive component entails expectation of a diffuse and certain danger. Somatically the body prepares the organism to deal with threat (known as emergency reaction): blood pressure and heart rate are increased, sweating is increased, blood flow to the major muscle groups is increased, and immune digestive system functions are inhibited. Externally, somatic signs of anxiety may include pale skin, sweating, trembling and pupillary dilation. Emotionally, anxiety causes a sense of dread or panic and physically causes nausea, and chills. Behaviorally, both voluntary and involuntary behaviors may arise directed at escaping or avoiding the source of anxiety and often maladaptive, being most extreme in anxiety disorders. However, anxiety is not always pathological or maladaptive: it is a common emotion along with fear, anger, sadness, and happiness, and it has a very important function in relation to survival.
Anxiety has its characteristics, such as fear and careful or absurd and unpleasant wary. As Kaplan said, anxiety and fear are two kinds of emotion that functions as sign of danger. Fear will appear if there is a real threat from environment and do not cause the individual conflict. Whereas anxiety will appear if the danger come from inside, absurd and cause the individual conflict. Sigmund Freud recognized anxiety as a “signal of danger” and a cause of “defensive behavior”. He believed we acquire anxious feelings through classical conditioning and traumatic experiences.
“I had a terrible dream last night, Ashley said. She closed her eyes, relieving it. I was running. I was in a huge garden filled with flowers… they had weird, ugly faces… they were screaming at me… I could not hear what they were saying. I just keep running toward something… I don’t know what… she stopped and opened her eyes.” (Sheldon, 39)
Situation above shows that Ashley experiences anxiety, Ashley’s anxiety symptoms are shown through her terrible nightmares, her way of looking things, and always being frightened for something.
Frightened and desperate feeling that we see from the data above are a part of anxiety symptoms, frightened that closely to fear is little bit same as anxiety, both anxiety and fear are ambiguous emotions. However, actually the terms anxiety and fear have specific scientific meanings, but common usage has made them interchangeable. For example, a phobia is a kind of anxiety that is also defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a “persistent or irrational fear”. Fear is defined as an emotional and physiological response to a recognized external threat (e.g., a runaway car or an impending crash in an airplane).
“The dots were forming a picture of her. As Ashley watched, horrified, a hand holding a butcher knife appeared at the top of the screen. The hand was racing toward her image, ready to plunge the knife into her chest. Ashley screamed, ‘No!’ She snapped off the monitor and jumped to her feet.” (Sheldon, 39)
If we analyze the data above, we will find that Ashley has something to make her panic. Panic disorder has the characteristic of unpredictable and spontaneous panic attack. However, the meaning of panic attack itself is the anxiety which is very intense at the short time and followed by somatic symptom such as cold sweating. In panic disorder, a person suffers brief attacks of intense terror and apprehension that cause trembling and shaking.
“Her pulse is abnormally high, Dr.Keller said. She’s in a fugue state. He moved close to her and said, Ashley, you have nothing to be worried about. You are safe here. No one is going to hurt you. Just listen to my voice and relax… relax… relax…”
Although panic attacks sometimes seems to occur anywhere, they generally happen after frightening experience. Anxiety is an unpleasant emotional state, the sources of which are less readily identified. It is frequently accompanied by physiological symptoms that may lead to fatigue or even exhaustion. Because fear of recognized threats causes similar unpleasant mental and physical changes, patients sometimes use the terms fear and anxiety interchangeably. Distinguishing among different anxiety disorders is important, since accurate diagnosis is more likely to result in effective treatment and a better prognosis. Not only trauma and anxiety disorder that is suffered by Ashley. But Ashley also experiences depression.
The term “depression” is commonly used to describe a temporary decreased mood when one “feels blue”, clinical depression is a serious illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts that cannot simply be willed or wished away. It is often a disabling disease that affects a person’s work, family and school life, sleeping and eating habits, general health and ability to enjoy life.
In Ashley’s case, we find some symptoms that are indicated as depression symptoms as shown in the following data:
“Shane turned to look at Ashley, bewildered. What -? It’s gone – it’s gone, she whispered. What’s gone? She shook her head. Nothing I – I’ve been under a lot of stress lately, Shane. I’m sorry.” (Sheldon, 39)
Ashley’s case which is written in some newspapers also adds much more burden in Ashley’s mind. She becomes saddened deeply because of those false accusations against her. She does not understand what’s happening in her life. All these things could bring her depression.
“At the Santa County Jail, Ashley Patterson sat in her cell, too traumatized to try to make sense of how she got there… her whole life had become a screaming nightmare.” (Sheldon, 129)
The psychological problems of Ashley Patterson that come and come again influence her thought, mood, and feeling. Child abuse that she got from her father in the past made her to experience various complicated problems, which would have influenced her psychological condition. Beginning with the child sexual abuse that has created the traumatic disorder, she is being stressed from that point onwards. Ashley Patterson does not have the proper treatment, because of which the anxiety and fear attack her often. Next, all her previous psychological disorders has been accumulated and made her depressed.
Depression can be once in a lifetime event or have multiple recurrences, it can appear either gradually or suddenly, and either last for few months or be a life-long disorder. Having depression is a major risk factor for suicide. In addition to that, people with depression suffer from higher mortality from other causes.
A patient who has mood disorder often shows the thought or even effort to suicide. Predicted that around 15% of people who diagnosed have major depression are trying to suicide.
“No! It was a scream. She was cowering against the wall of her cell, her eyes filled with terror. You are lying! It’s not true! Dr.Salem said, Ashley, it is. You have to face it. I’ve explained to you that what happened to you is not your fault. I- don’t come near me! No one’s going to hurt you. I want to die. Help me die! She began sobbing uncontrollably.” (Sheldon, 145-146)
Ashley Patterson is one such person who has been categorized as the person with major depression. She tries to kill herself by everything, which could hurt her. If we refer to Vincent Van Gogh, the meaning of suicide is that people’s effort that is done to kill themselves. Often suicide is argued as the solution of the problems that cause deep suffering. Therefore, in the case of Ashley Patterson, she also feels that suicide is the best solution for her to escape and run away from all of her problems. She thinks that it is useless to live, she will only remember her bad experiences in the past. Hence she decides that it’s better to die than to live without any future and hopeless. She even tries to kill herself in the prison.
“As her eyes darted around the room, she saw the paints and canvas and paintbrushes and walked over to them. The handles of the paintbrushes were wooden. Ashley snapped one in half, exposing sharp, jagged edges. Slowly, she took the sharp edge and placed it on her wrist. In one fast, deep movement, she cut into her veins and blood began to pour out. Ashley placed the jagged edge on her wrist and repeated the movement. She stood there, watching the blood stain the carpet.” (Sheldon, 286)
Suicide is often associated with the unfulfilled or ignored needs, ambivalent conflict between willingness of defending with heavy stress, powerless or hopeless and need to escape. What actually the basic thing that motivates Ashley to commit suicide is the willingness to escape from her experiences that always haunt her.
The basic thing that motivates Ashley Patterson to commit suicide could be studied and to be acknowledged from the below given statement from the novel:
“And then… he took her pajamas off, and he started playing with her. Dm’t my hands feel good? Ashley started screaming, stop it. Don’t do that. But he would not stop. He held her down and went on and on… Dr.Keller asked, ‘Was that the first time it happened, Toni? Yes. How old was Ashley? She was six. And that’s where you were born? Yes. She was too terrified to face it.” (Sheldon, 305)
From this we can come to a conclusion that the child abuse is the source of all Ashley Patterson’s psychological conflicts and her father is the cause for her condition at present. Child abuse, whatever its form, whether sexual abuse, physical or psychological abuse is the most responsible thing for what has happened in the life of Ashley Patterson and even in the future also.
Kinds of Ashley’s personalities:
On the previous section we have analyzed the psychological conflicts of Ashley Patterson, the main character who has multiple personalities as portrayed in Sidney Sheldon’s novel Tell Me Your Dreams, that part also trace Ashley’s story of life in order to find out the forms of Ashley’s psychological conflicts, its causes and effects to Ashley’s behavior and personality. In addition, the result shows that we are able to divide the forms of psychological conflicts faced by Ashley Patterson into: internal and external conflicts. Internal conflicts as discussed in the previous part are shown in the forms of Trauma, Depression, and Anxiety, those are already analyzed and explained the causes and effects to Ashley’s behavior and personality. Whereas the external conflict or the conflict that comes from outside is the treatment and behavior of Ashley’s father. Child abuse faced by Ashley in the forms of sexual, physical, threaten and Steven Patterson, his father, does any other violence during her childhood. We also conclude that Ashley’s child abuses are the source of her psychological conflicts.
Sidney Sheldon in his novel Tell Me Your Dreams also told that Ashley grows to be an exceptional person, she has many distinctions from other people in common. Often she shows different behavior and attitude at the same time. Unfortunately, sometimes she does not realize what she has done. Even after murdering five people, she feels that she never does it all, and after being investigated, the psychiatrist found that Ashley Patterson suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder or known as Multiple Personality Disorder.
Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder is a chronic and the most serious Dissociative Disorder. Its existence usually relates to traumatic experience in individual life, generally sexual torturing or physical abuse in childhood. An individual with this disorder has two or more of different personalities. Behavior and attitude shown by individual depend on which personality is dominant at the time and different among others.
From the statement above, we are able to find out the connecting line between Ashley Patterson’s child abuses with her Dissociative Identity Disorder. Whatever the forms of child abuses, whether sexually, physically, threaten and any other violence that might have been experienced by Ashley in her childhood cause a heavy traumatic experience to Ashley herself. Moreover, these traumatic experiences are more aggravated from day to day because she does not face the proper situation and environment. Next, we find many personalities appear from Ashley Patterson with its different characteristics and behaviors. And the fact proves that Ashley’s traumatic childhood is the one which must be responsible to her Dissociative Disorder.
On Multiple Personality, one could recognize the term “Core Personality” (the original personality) and “Alter Personality” (other personalities or the changer personality, which appear on the sufferer of multiple personality disorder). As happened on Ashley’s case, Ashley Patterson who is suggested Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personality has two different personalities inside her body.
However, in this study the two different personalities has been analyzed and the dominant one among the alters which Ashley has also been analyzed, the alters are: Toni Prescott, and Alette Peters. Ashley Patterson as the core personality or the alter personality, Toni Prescott (the English woman) and Alette Peters (the Italian woman).
Actually, Ashley “the core personality” is in her late twenties, but sometimes she becomes Alette Peters who is 18 years old, shy artist, not only that, Ashley also becomes Toni Prescott who is 22 years old, an outgoing singer and dancer.
Davison and Neale in Fausiyah stated that “Dissociative Disorder is marked by change of individual feeling concerning identity, memory or consciousness. An individual having this disorder gets difficulty in recollecting important events of herself in the past, forgetting her identity even forming her new identity.” (Davison and Neale, 39)
The change that is happening between one personality and the other personalities, usually on spontaneous condition (spontaneously). Usually each personality does not know what is happening while another personality dominates and controls the body (cannot remember what she was going on when the other personalities are dominating).
“So you think Toni dominates Ashley? Yes. Toni takes over. Ashley was not aware that she exists, or for that matter, that Alette existed. But Toni and Alette know each other. It’s interesting.” (Sheldon, 280)
Occasions where Ashley feels that she loses time is proven by the below statement:
“It was difficult for Ashley to speak. ‘What – what day is this?’ ‘Today is the seventeenth of – ‘. ‘No. I mean what day of the week is this?’ ‘Oh. Today is Monday. Can I –’ Ashley replaced the receiver in a daze. Monday. She had lost two days and two nights.” (Sheldon, 50)
In Ashley’s case, we could find that sometimes she does not realize what was going on and she feels that she never does it anymore. She only feels that loosing time in a strange manner happens to her frequently.
“She met Jean Claude on the internet. Ashley, when you are in Quebec, were there periods when you seemed to lose time? When suddenly it was hours later or a day later, and you did not know where the time had gone? She nodded slowly. Yes. It – it happened a lot’. That’s when Toni took over. And that’s when… when she – ? Yes.” (Sidney, 316)
Usually, the Dissociative Identity Disorder person argues of having significance amnesia or blank attack. They give perfect amnesia to the periods when even other personalities are under control or have one way amnesia among certain personalities whose personality keeps on guard against other, but the second complete amnesia for the periods when the first is under control.
Not only they forget or do not know what was happened, but every personality has its own different way in feeling and relating the world. Besides that, each personality controls the individual behavior with arranged basics. Alter personality is able to be different in an extreme manner than any other personalities, by different expression, dialect, physiological response, gesture and other difficult behaviors. And often these personalities are in different age, sex and also take upon specific jobs.
Among the three personalities Ashley is the eldest, who is twenty eight years old, Toni is younger to Ashley, who is twenty two years old and Alette is the youngest one who is eighteen years old. Toni is the most aggressive one and she is dominant too. She always have the power to command Alette and placed her under Toni’s control. On contrary, Alette is sensitive and withdrawn. She’s interested in painting, but she is afraid to pursue it. Toni loves winter sporting, singing, dancing and loves outing to explore new places. It clearly illustrates that every personality is different, sometimes Ashley speaks in an elegant British accent. Sometimes she speaks in Italian.
“Ashley took a deep breath, and then there was a sudden explosion of words spoken in Italian. ‘C’e qualcuno che parla italiano?’ ‘Alette-‘ ‘Non so dove mi travo.’ ‘Alette, listen to me. You are safe. I want you to relax.’ ‘Mi sento stanca … I’m tired.” (Sidney, 276)
It is to our surprise that Ashley’s personalities not only differ with their dialects but also with their behavior. Sometimes Ashley seems to be so calm and at times rude and harsh. In addition to that she behaves like both coarse and calmness balanced in a moderate way.
“Her lips tightened and her features seemed to shift. She sat up straight, and there was a sudden liveliness in her face. She opened her eyes, and they were sparkling. It was an amazing transformation … Ashley seemed to shrink in her chair, and her face began to soften and go through an incredible metamorphosis until she seemed to become another distinct personality.” (Sheldon, 140-141)
In the novel Tell Me Your Dreams, Sidney Sheldon shows to us that many experts state that Ashley Patterson suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder, they have already analyzed and have done some research to Ashley’s personality and the result is: they find that Ashley shows many symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder which is reflected by the appearance of many personalities inside a body where each personality is not aware of it. Here, Ashley does not know that she has two other alters inside her body until Dr.Salem reveals this truth to her in the jail.
In the trail of Ashley Patterson’s case, many proofs are revealed. David Singer convinces that the client, Ashley has multiple personalities as shown in the following example:
“She had no motive for any of the murders, nor any knowledge of them. My client is a victim. She is a victim of MPD – Multiple Personality Disorder, which in the course of this trail will be explained to you.” (Sheldon, 187)
Not only Ashley’s lawyer argues that Ashley has Dissociative Identity Disorder, but also this argument is strengthened by the psychiatrists and psychologists who come in the process of supporting the argument of Ashley’s lawyer David Singer in court. They agree that Ashley has a mentally ill multiple personality.
“Miss Patterson is suffering from MPD. She has two alters who call themselves as Toni Prescott and Alette Peters. Does she have any control over them? None. When they take over, she is in a state of fugue amnesia. Would you explain that Dr Salem? Fugue amnesia is a condition where the victim loses consciousness of where he is, or what he is doing. It can last for a few minutes, days or sometimes weeks. And during that time would you say that person is responsible for his or her actions? No. thank you, Doctor.” (Sheldon, 226)
From the beginning itself Judge Williams opposed the case of Ashley’s Multiple Personality Disorder plea. Nevertheless, after she witnesses the behavior of Ashley’s alters in the filmed video, she believes that someone who is being demanded in this court is one who has Multiple Personality Disorder. This confession can be seen from the following example:
“There was a pause. I owe you an apology. Seated on the bench, Judge Williams said, both counsels have agreed that they will accept the opinion of a psychiatrist who has already examined the defendant, Dr Salem. The decision of this court is that the defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity.” (Sheldon, 257)
The raise of personality depends not only one kind of sex, but male and female, variety of ages and race, and also from family that is almost different from individual’s family that gets this disorder (all of this personality can occur to one individual). In general, the raise of personality sometime is on the contrary. In one instance an extrovert and in another instance an introvert individual and keeping his self alone.
An extrovert person is influenced by objective world that is the world in outside of his self. His point orientation is to the external; thinking, feeling, and his act principally are decided by his surroundings, either his social environment or non-social environment. He has positive behaving to society, opened heart, easy to associate, smooth in making relation to others.
An introvert person is influenced by subjective world. Namely, the world is inside of his self. His point orientation is directed to internal; thinking, feeling, and his attitude are decided by subjective factor. His adaptation to the external world is not so good. He is closed spiritual, difficult in connecting to other person, luck to be interested. His adaptation to his heart and his own self is good.
And there are two aspects of personality that operate in conscious and unconscious namely attitude (introversion-extroversion) and function (thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting).
Jung used attitude combination and function for describing man’s personal types. At the first Jung expanded theory of psychoanalysis paradigm in elaborating attitude concept and function using type paradigm. From attitude combination (introvert and extrovert) with function (thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting) will gain eight kinds of human types.
As mentioned before the study would try to analyze personality type of each personality. Based on Jung’s theory, types of personality are divided into eight types. The three personalities that are inside Ashley Patterson falls under three different personalities among the eight divisions of personality types as classified by Jung. Ashley Patterson:
Ashley is a woman in her late twenties, neatly dressed, with patrician features, a slim figure and intelligent, anxious brown eyes. There was a quite elegance about her, a subtle attractiveness. She always keeps herself from having fun. She is not interested in sports, dancing and singing or any other extra-curricular activities. She leads a routine life, going to office and returning to home and often goes for outing with her father, Doctor Steven Patterson.
“There was a pause. She tries to keep everybody from having fun. If I didn’t take over once in a while, our lives would be boring. Boring. She doesn’t like to go to parties or travel or do any fun things.” (Sidney, 278)
As the story progresses, we come to know that Ashley feels so alone in the world. She is the only child of a world-famous heart surgeon, who is often critical and overbearing. Although Ashley loves her father, she does not necessarily love his company and tries to avoid him.
“Ashley was dreading Christmas. She was tempted to call her father and tell him not to come … And each day Christmas was coming closer.” (Sidney, 78)
She does not want to be in her father’s company. She tries to avoid him somehow. Ashley’s father constantly tries to keep her away from her boyfriends. She is an introverted workaholic who never tries to make friends with anybody else in the neighborhood.