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Sibling Incest in Tabitha Suzuma’s Forbidden and Kate Avelynn’s Flawed

Sri Winarsih, Fabiola D. Kurnia, Ali Mustofa


This study purposely appoints the topic of sibling incest as reacted from the phenomenon of proliferation of illicit relationships that are increasingly being shown blatantly especially in social media. Through literary works such as novel, the phenomenon can be analyzed since those works are the portrayal of real life. ‘Forbidden’ by Tabitha Suzuma and ‘Flawed’ by Kate Avelynn were analyzed with three objectives; 1) describing sibling incest in both novels, 2) finding out the causing factors, 3) describing the impact toward the characters’ life. To achieve those objectives, the concept of incest, theory of psychoanalysis by Karen Horney and theory of comparative literature were applied. While in analyzing the data, it used interpretive perspective with author-oriented approach which concerns with psychoanalytic criticism. The results of this study reveal that the sibling incest in the two novels is different in type although the offenders’ composition is the same, incest between older brother and younger sister. ‘Forbidden’ shows non-abusive incest since it is done on mutual willingness which is motivated by affection, while ‘Flawed’ shows abusive incest since it is done forcefully by the older brother against his sister which is motivated by affection, eroticism, and aggression. The similar factors causing the sibling incest found in both novels are dysfunctional family and between ages peers, while the factor of Law of Homogamy is only found in ‘Forbidden’. Those factors do not cause the sibling incest just like the way without any influences of the characters’ psychological condition which is shaped by their childhood experience and neurotic needs. This study also reveals how sibling incest impacts the characters’ life. They suffer from psychological problems such as anxiety, self disgust, depression, self-destruction, self-blame, low self-esteem, and trauma. The enactment of incest taboo in their state also impacts them to self-isolation and prosecution. Evidently, this study reveals that any kinds of sibling incest with any reasons behind it lead into bad impact and dark phase of the offenders’ life.         


flawed; forbidden; incest; sibling incest

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