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Confessions Of A Shopaholic Movie Film Studies Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 3388 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Confessions of a Shopaholic is a 2009 American romantic comedy movie and quite popular in American. This movie adapts the two books The Secret Dream world of a Shopaholic and Shopaholic Abroad which in the United States were known as Confessions of a Shopaholic. The reason why the writer chooses this movie to be analyzed is because the writer very interested with the characters that makes this movie so fabulous and attractive. That’s why the writer uses the psychological theory to analyze the character in this movie. Before analyzing this movie, it’s better to know and understand the plot of the story first.

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Rebecca Bloomwood is a shopping addict who lives with her best friends, Suze. She works as a journalist, but she wants to work in her favorite fashion magazine, Allete. On the way to an interview with Alette, she buys a green scarf. Unfortunately her credit card is declined, so Rebecca goes to a hot dog stand and offers to buy all the hot dogs with a check, if the seller gives her back change in cash, saying the scarf is to be a gift for her sick aunt. The hot dog vendor refuses but a man offers her $20.

When Rebecca arrives at the interview, she’s told that the position has been filled. However, the receptionist tells her there is an open position with the magazine Successful Saving, explaining how getting a job at Successful Savings could eventually lead to a position at Alette magazine. Rebecca interviews with Luke Brandon, the editor of Successful Savings and the man who just gave her the $20. She hides her scarf outside his office, but Luke’s assistant comes into the office and gives it back to her. Rebecca knows the game is up and leaves.

That evening, drunk, she and Suze write letters to Alette and Successful Saving, but she mails each to the wrong magazine. Luke likes the letter she meant to send to Alette and hires her. Rather than completing a work assignment for a new column from Luke, Rebecca goes to a clothing sale. While inspecting a pair of cashmere gloves she has just purchased, she realizes it is not 100% cashmere and she has been duped. This gives her an idea for the column, which she writes under the name “The Girl in the Green Scarf” and success.

Rebecca later returns home to renewed confrontations with her debt collector, so Suze makes her attend Shopaholics Anonymous. The group leader, Miss Korch, forces Rebecca to donate all the clothes she just bought, including a bridesmaid’s dress for Suze’s wedding and a dress for a TV interview. After the meeting Rebecca can’t afford to buy back both and buys back the interview dress. During the interview, Rebecca is accused by debt collector not paying her debts and loses her job. Suze is angry when she finds out that Rebecca lost the bridesmaid dress. Alette offers Rebecca a position at the magazine, but Rebecca declines. She afraid she will make many mistakes in that magazine. She sells most of her clothes to pay her debts, including the green scarf. Meanwhile, Luke starts a new company, Brandon Communications.

Rebecca’s clothes sale makes it possible to pay her debts. Rebecca attends Suze’s wedding after reclaiming her bridesmaid dress, and Suze forgives her. Luke returns the green scarf after revealing that the person who bought it at an auction was acting as his agent. Rebecca becomes romantically involved with Luke and starts working at his new company.

Actually the plot is very interesting. The way that she was drops, it imagined with lost her best friend and boyfriend because her addict. That’s the last point why the writer chooses this movie.

Having considered the above facts, the writer purposes a study entitled A Psychological Study of the Main Character, Rebecca Bloomwood in Confessions of a Shopaholic Movie (2009): Jungian Psycho Analysis (Archetypal Approach).

Field of the Study

This study belongs to Literature and Film studies

Scope of the Study

This study will discuss about the image and lifestyle of the main character in this movie. It will be analyzed using one of the psychological theories, Jungian Archetypal Approach.

Problem Formulation

What are the descriptions of certain Jungian archetypal approach found in this movie that influence Rebecca’s character development?

What images does she create in the movie?

How does the Jungian Archetypes work in Rebecca Bloomwood?

Objectives of the Study

To explain certain Jungian archetypal approach that influence Rebecca’s character development

To explain what images that Rebecca creates in the movie

To describe how Jungian Archetypes work in the main character

Significance of the Study

The writer hopes by reading this study, the reader more understand about the image and lifestyle of main character in the movie. Besides, they also know about the psychological theory especially Jungian Archetypal Theory that can be references and benefit for those who wants writing about this theory.

Definition of Terms

There are several terms that used in this study:

The Archetype Theory :

This theory explains about the personality and behavior of the main character.

Theory of Individuation Process :

Based on the Carl Gustav Jung Theory, Individuation Process is a process to become mature, so he or she must to be aware to his or her self. They should open themself to make an improvement of their personality.

Collective Unconscious :

It is human’s innate tendency to react in particular way whenever their experiences stimulate a biologically inherited response tendency.

Persona :

The side of personality that people show to the world. The persona includes his or her social roles, kind of clothes that they choose to wear, and their individual styles to express themselves.

Shadow :

The person must be converted into a positive force by some supportive elements so that he or she can reach the balance.

Anima :

One supportive element for shadow that personifies all feminine psychological tendencies in a man’s psyche such as vague feelings and moods, prophetic hunches, receptiveness to irrationalities, capacity for personal love, feeling for nature.

Animus :

One supportive element for shadow that personifies all masculine psychological tendencies in a woman’s psyche such as rational, objective, formal and determinative, uneasily moved by feeling or tenderness, highly appreciate power and valor.

The Hero :

Hero is an archetype that represented in mythology and legends as a powerful person, sometimes one who fights evil.

The Self :

The self is the most important personality archetype and also the most difficult to understand.

Review of Literature

Psychological type is a theory of personality developed by Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung to explain the normal differences between healthy people. Based on his observations, Jung concluded that differences in behavior result from individuals’ inborn tendencies to use their minds in different ways. As people act on these tendencies, they develop predictable patterns of behavior. In this study, one of the psychological types that the writer uses is Jungian Archetypal approach. This approach will be used in this study to understand the image and lifestyle of the main character. The writer will only use some of Jungian theory related to the intended discussion such as the persona, the shadow, the anima/animus, the hero, and the self because the problem is only relevant with some particular part of theory.


Archetype is a universally recognizable element that recurs across all literature and life. It is an originally model or pattern from which other later copies are made, especially a character, an action, or situation that seems to represent common patterns of human life. Archetypes often include symbol, theme setting, or a character that some critics think have a common meaning in the entire human race. Psychologist Carl Jung called these elements a kind of “collective unconscious” of the human race, prototypes rather than something gained from experience. These not only manifest themselves in the subconscious material of dreams, but also persistently expressed in the more consciously constructed material of myths and literature. The collective unconscious is Jung’s boldest and most controversial concept. Jung identifies the collective, or transpersonal, unconscious as the center of all psychic material that does not come from personal experience. Its contents and images appear to be shared with people of all time periods and all cultures. Some psychologists, such as Skinner, implicitly assume that each individual is born as a blank slate, a tabula rasa; consequently, psychological development can come only from personal experience. Jung postulates that the mind of the infant already possesses a structure that molds and channels all further development and interaction with the environment. This basic structure is essentially the same in all infants. Although we develop differently and become unique individuals, the collective unconscious is common to all people and is therefore one (Jung, 1951a).

Jung’s approach to the Collective unconscious can be seen in the following passage from a letter to one of his patients: According Carl Jung, the archetype itself is not available directly to experience only its image and created patterns can become manifest and subject to experience by the psyche.

Archetypal theory begins with Carl Jung. In his theory contains literary archetypal analysis and one discussion of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Archetypal process is that these two postmodern movements might in a sense join forces, thereby strengthening each other and providing a common front against the deadening trajectory of late modernity, which threatens the life of individual with meaningless and the life of the planet with destruction. (David Ray 1875-1961) Archetypal psychology is a post-Jungian psychology (Samuel, 1985), a critical elaboration of Jungian Theory. The Archetypal is not a category but a consideration- a perspectival operation that an individual may perform on any image. Thus, Hilman (1977, pp. 82-83) says that any image may be considered as an archetypal.

Jungian Archetypes

Now the writer would like to explain about Jungian Archetypal theory. The first theory of Jungian Archetypes which is relevant to the problem is the Persona. The word Persona originally meant the mask that the actor put on to assume a part in a play. Jung used the basic definition to describe his psychological archetype. The persona is conscious outer face, social mask that put on to conceal the private self which lies within. It is necessary to maintain the persona so that can carry out the functions that society expects. The persona creates a lasting and favorable impression on society’s members and will make the individual more readily acceptable their eyes. One person might have more than one mask. Each mask simply helps to conform in various ways to a wide range of situations that face in public lives.

The persona has both negative and positive aspects. A dominant persona can smother the individual, and those who identify with their persona tend to see themselves only in terms of their superficial social roles and facades. In fact, Jung called the persona the “conformity archetype.” As part of its positive function, it protects the ego and the psyche from the varied social forces and attitudes that impinge on them. The persona is, in addition, a valuable tool for communication. In Roman drama the actors’ boldly drawn masks informed the entire audience clearly, if somewhat stereotypically, of the personality and attitudes of the role each actor was playing. The persona can often be crucial to our positive development. As we begin to play a certain role, our ego gradually comes to identify with it. This process is central to personality development.

This process is not always positive, however. As the ego identifies with the persona, people start to believe that they are what they pretend to be. According to Jung, we eventually have to withdraw this identification and learn who we are in the process of individuation. Minority group members and other social outsiders in particular are likely to have problems with their identities because of cultural prejudice and social rejection of their personas (Hopcke, 1995).

The second theory of Jungian Archetypes is The Shadow. The shadow is one aspect of that self tend to ignore and repress from consciousness. Many people tend to cover up their shadow with their persona. The shadow, furthermore displays a level of emotionality that is quite genuine and spontaneous.

The third theory of Jungian Archetype is The Anima/Animus. Besides the shadow archetype, the collective unconscious contains a sub-personality of the person’s complementary gender. Jung postulated an unconscious structure that is the complement of the persona-the anima in man and the animus in woman. This basic psychic structure serves as a focus for all the psychological material that does not fit with an individual’s conscious self-image as a man or as a woman. Thus to the extent that a woman consciously defines herself in feminine terms, her animus will include those unrecognized tendencies and experiences that she has defined as masculine. For a woman the process of psychological development entails entering into a dialogue between her ego and her animus. The animus may be pathologically dominated by identification with archetypal images (for example, the bewitched prince, the romantic poet, the ghostly lover, or the marauding pirate) and/or by an extreme father fixation. (Moore, 19990)

The animus or anima initially seems to be a wholly separate personality. As the animus/anima and its influence on the individual is recognized, it assumes the role of liaison between conscious and unconscious until it gradually becomes integrated into the self. Jung views the quality of this union of opposites (in this case, masculine and feminine) as the major step in individuation.

The most important archetype of all is The Self. The self is the most important personality archetype and also the most difficult to understand. Jung has called the self the central archetype, the archetype of psychological order and the totality of the personality. The self is the archetype of centeredness. It is the union of the conscious and the unconscious that embodies the harmony and balance of the various opposing elements of the psyche. The self directs the functioning of the whole psyche in an integrated way. According to Jung, “[C]onscious and unconscious are not necessarily in opposition to one another, but complement one another to form a totality, which is the self” (1928b, p. 175). Jung discovered the self-archetype only after his investigations of the other structures of the personality.

The self is depicted in dreams or images impersonally (as a circle, mandala, crystal, or stone) or personally (as a royal couple, a divine child, or some other symbol of divinity). Great spiritual teachers, such as Christ, Muhammed, and Buddha, are also symbols for the self. These are all symbols of wholeness, unification, reconciliation of polarities, and dynamic equilibrium–the goals of the individuation process (Edinger, 1996). Jung explains the function of the self:

The ego receives the light from the Self. Though we know of this Self, yet it is not known…. Although we receive the light of consciousness from the Self and although we know it to be the source of our illumination, we do not know whether it possesses anything we would call consciousness…. If the Self could be wholly experienced, it would be a limited experience, whereas in reality its experience is unlimited and endless…. If I were one with the Self I would have knowledge of everything, I would speak Sanskrit, read cuneiform script, know the events that took place in pre-history be acquainted with the life of other planets, etc. (1975, pp.194-195)

Jungian psychology has amplified many facets of the archetype, but no one has attempted to probe more deeply into the fundamental structure of archetypal reality (Russell A Lockhart (234-237). Jung’s theory and practice require constant amplification of archetypal themes as found in literature, and by his theory, many others have implemented archetypal theory in literary criticism.

Research of Methodology

To understand the purpose of the study which discuss about image and lifestyle of the main character on the movie, the writer uses an internet and library research. Using this method, the sources included some thesis’s were collected from many books taken from Soegijapranata Catholic University library and also used online sources from the internet. By all these sources, the writer sees it an easier way to analyze the intended problem. The writer chooses original movie entitled Confessions of a Shopaholic produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The complete story of the movie can be seen as follows:

Type : Movie

Title : Confessions of a Shopaholic

Director : P.J. Hogan

City : New York

Year : 2009

Film Stars : Rebecca Bloomwood, Luke Brandon, Suze Cleath, Graham Bloomwood and Jane Bloomwood

Actually, there were many theories that can be used to analyze a literary work, but the writer decided to use one of Jungian theories because the writer agreed that only Jungian theory that provided a clear theory of Archetypal, which would be useful to analyze this study.

J.1 Method of Data Collection

In the beginning, the writer searched the materials after deciding what study or research that would be done which is a study of psychological approach. The next step, the writer will be collecting the story and data of “Confession of a Shopaholic Movie”. After finding some “Confession of a Shopaholic” data, the writer will continue to search the theory of bereavement especially the theory which described about psychological approach that can be supported to analyze that story. To complete the analysis of psychological approach in doing this study, the writer also uses Jungian archetypal approach to analyze the main character of this movie.

J.2 Data Analysis

In analyzing the study especially in explaining more about the research question from the problem formulation. (James 1972, p.186) says that Possibilities include analyzing a text like a dream, looking for symbolism and repressed meaning, or developing a psychological analysis of the main character.

The writer uses psychological approach by choosing Jungian Archetypal Approach for this study. The writer find the data about the story of the movie and Jungian Archetypal theories that are very useful to connect and explain descriptions of certain Jungian archetypal approach found in Confession of a Shopaholic Movie that influence Rebecca’s character development. To complete the analysis of that theory, the writer searched the explanation of Jungian archetypal approach for this study in the library. After the writer believes that the theories is connect with the idea of this study, the next step is to connect each theories and how does that theories wok in the main character of the movie.

Time Schedule
































Revision RM 1 and make a proposal

Revision for proposal

Examination of Thesis proposal


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