The Anxieties and Defense Mechanisms of the main character in She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan: A Psychoanalysis Study


  • Ida Mariana Putri Sipayung Satya Wacana Christian University


Problems are something that people will always have to deal with in their life. Sometimes when people are dealing with their problems, they will be faced with anxiety. According to Freud, anxiety is a reaction to a situation of danger, which is accompanied by physical sensations (Freud 132). The danger, here, is what the ego feels when there is a conflict within the three agencies of mind–id, ego, and superego (Freud 81). When the ego is severely strained, friction or conflict will lead to the development of anxiety (Schultz 47). This study is conducted due to the interesting facts found in the novel She Who Became The Sun, which a queer fantasy retelling of The Rise of The Ming Dynasty’s First Emperor. The main point of analysis would be discussing how Zhu, a girl who took her brother’s identity, deals with her anxieties while facing problems in her life. This research will analyze the anxieties and defense mechanisms of the main character. The first finding is that Zhu experiences neurotic, reality, and moral anxieties while facing problems in childhood, life in the monastery, when she joins the rebels. The second finding is the defense mechanisms Zhu uses to deal with her anxieties. Zhu uses repression, rationalization, and regression to reduce her anxieties.


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