A Psychoanalytic Study of Two Iranian Novels Based on Albert Bandura's Theory of Cognitive-social Learning

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 PhD Student , Persian Language and Literature, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran, Tabriz

2 Associate Professor, Department of Persian Language and Literature, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran, Tabriz

10.22034/ijce.2021.251165.1224

Abstract

Psychology and literature add to each other's richness through interrelationships. Psychological theories help to understand literary characters, and the literature provides concrete examples to support the views of psychologists. Based on this thought, the aim of the present study is to analyze the hermeneutics of two Iranian novels “Showhar-e Ahoo  Khanom" (Ahoo  Khoum’s husband ) written by Mohammad Ali Afghani and " The Nocturnal Harmony of Wood Orchestra" by Reza Ghasemi based on Albert Bandura's theory of cognitive-social learning. The research method was a comparative type of qualitative content analysis and method of data collection was documentary. The research findings show that in both novels, the three key presuppositions of Bandura's theory, namely the interaction between people, environmental factors and key characters of the stories, are quite visible. The atmosphere of the stories also shows how observational learning is passed down from generation to generation. Another important finding is that the both novelists have shown that cognitive-social learning is impaired due to the conflict between tradition and modernism and has confused the characters of the stories. From an educational perspective, the present interpretation contributes to our understanding of the role of social change and the conflict between tradition and modernism in accelerating or disrupting the observational learning of the younger generation.

Highlights

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Keywords

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Article Title [فارسی]

تحلیل روانکاوانه دو رمان ایرانی براساس نظریه یادگیری شناختی _ اجتماعی آلبرت بندورا

Authors [فارسی]

  • فرهاد حامدی 1
  • کامران پاشایی فخری 2
  • پروانه عادل زاده 2
1 دانشجوی دکترا ، گروه زبان و ادبیات فارسی، واحد تبریز، دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی، ایران، تبریز
2 دانشیار گروه زبان و ادبیات فارسی ، واحد تبریز، دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی، ایران، تبریز
Abstract [فارسی]

روانشناسی وادبیات ازطریق رابطه متقابل بر غنای یکدیگر می افزایند. تئوری های روانشناسی به درک شخصیت های ادبی  کمک می کنند و ادبیات ، مثال هایی ملموس برای پشتیبانی از نظرات روانشناسان فراهم می سازد. بر بنیان این تفکر ، هدف پژوهش حاضر تحلیل روانکاوانه دو رمان ایرانی " شوهر آهوخانم" به نویسندگی محمد علی افغانی و " همنوایی شبانه ارکستر چوب­ ها " از رضا قاسمی براساس نظریه یادگیری شناختی _ اجتماعی آلبرت بندورا است. روش تحقیق حاضر تطبیقی از نوع تحلیل محتوی کیفی و روش جمع آوری داده ها کتابخانه ای با بهره گیری از نظریه پشتیبان آلبرت بندورا است . یافته های تحقیق نشان می دهد که در هر دواثر ادبی، سه پیشفرض کلیدی نظریه بندورا قابل مشاهده است بدین معنی که ارتباط متقابل بین افراد، عوامل محیطی و رفتار شخصیت های داستان مشاهده می شود. هم چنین فضای حاکم بر رمان ها و شخصیت های اصلی نشان می دهند که یادگیری مشاهده ای چگونه از نسلی به نسل دیگر منتقل می گردد. یافته مهم دیگر اینکه نویسندگان نشان داده اند یادگیری شناختی - اجتماعی به علت تعارض سنت با مدرنیسم دچار اختلال شده و شخصیت های داستان را سردرگم کرده است. از منظر تربیتی ، پژوهش حاضر به درک ما از نقش تحولات اجتماعی و تعارض سنت ومدرنیسم در تسریع یا ایجاد اختلال در یادگیری های مشاهده ای نسل جوان یاری می رساند.

Keywords [فارسی]

  • یادگیری شناختی – اجتماعی
  • آلبرت بندورا
  • شوهر آهو خانم
  • علی‌محمد افغانی
  • ادبیات بینارشته‌ای

 

  1. Introduction

          Psychoanalytic critique of literary is an essential step in understanding the mindsets of authors and the social and educational context in which they have lived. Psychological theories also help to analyze literary characters - mostly real examples of which can be found in everyday life. It is obvious that the authors of literary create their works mainly without considering the theories of psychology. Of course, psychologists do not initially seek to find evidence in literary to present their views. Nevertheless, the relationship between literature and psychology is based on mutual benefit (Holland, 1990; Amir, 2016). As two separate scientific fields, literature and psychology also have something in common. The literature - and especially the novel - shows how characters, behavioral patterns, and the ways in which ordinary people learn and teach are formed (Akbari Soltan Baji, Fallahi & Chaldareh, 2020). Novelists describe events and role of people with the help of words and detailed descriptions. So far it seems that the novel is mainly a form of leisure entertainment. Scientific thinkers- such as sociology and psychology- by analyzing and criticizing events and characters, turn the novel into a scientific and contemplative work (Aras, 2015). In this way, the novel takes precedence over other literary works. The analysis of events and characters makes the novel a valuable work that can help explain the situation of society and people. Sociological and psychological analysis of events and personalities allows us to better critique ourselves, friends, strangers, and society as a whole.

 

          Thus, two conclusions can be drawn about the causes of societal progress: First, the greater the number of novels in a society means there are more writers who try to show people’s behaviors and personality in a lovable and pleasant way; how they have learned positive and negative thoughts and behaviors from the older generation and taught them to the younger generation; thoughts and behaviors that have not changed for centuries and have caused the social and educational challenges of society to be repeated over and over again. Second, the higher the sociological and psychological analysis of literary works in a society, the more in-depth knowledge about events and behavior of the people, and therefore the more opportunities for reform and development of society. With regard to these two perceptions, we can use the index of development of a society - instead of economic criteria - the abundance of literary works, especially novels (Cooray, & Rao, 2012). Let us explore this further to understand the necessity of present research:

 

Iranians have been and are very interested in poetry from all types of literary works. For this reason, Iran has introduced great poets such as Ferdowsi, Hafez and Rumi to humanity (Solati, 2015). Why the Iranian people are more and more interested in poetry requires attention to historical events as well as more research (Hoghogi, 2004). On the contrary, the novel should be considered a literary tradition that has become popular among Iranians during the last two centuries due to its contact with Western civilization (Mir Abedini, 1990). However, there is a fundamental difference between poetry and the novel. While the poem is based on conciseness and ambiguity, the novel benefits from detail (Kamshad, 2005). Therefore, although poetry, like the novel, has the capability of sociological studies and psychoanalytic critique, the prevailing conciseness of it has largely closed the hand of the analyst. On the contrary, in the novel, events and characters are presented with descriptions of physical, psychological and social details, and there is a more suitable space for accurate and unambiguous analysis. In this way, according to the prevalence of production and reading of the novel and its critique, the degree of development of societies can also be determined. This important point means that the more novels and their readers in a society, the higher the level of development, the more people will be aware of events, personalities and educational patterns, and the less likely they are to repeat bitter political, social and behavioral-educational events.

 

           With regard to this important point, it is now possible to provide both a brief analysis of why the level of development in Iran and the need to conduct the present study. A review of the research literature shows that during the last two centuries in Iran we have faced two phenomena: Firstly, the number of novels published during this period has been increasing and secondly, the number of readers of novels is not large compared to the population of Iran. Therefore, it can be said that in the process of development, Iran’s society is still plagued by the repetition of historical events and experiences. Reading, analyzing and interpreting the novel provide a good opportunity to prevent the repetition of history and increases the speed of development in Iran. Accordingly, the aim of the present researchers is the hermeneutical interpretation of the two Iranian novels “Showhar-e Ahoo  Khanom" and “The Nocturnal Harmony of Wood Orchestra" written by Mohammad Ali Afghani and Reza Ghasemi based on Albert Bandura's theory of cognitive-social learning. The sub-objectives of the research are:

 

  • Identifying and explaining the content of the novel “Showhar-e Ahoo Khanom " based on Bandura's theory
  • Identifying and explaining the content of the novel “The Nocturnal Harmony of Wood Orchestra " based on Bandura's theory
  • Identify and explain the similarities and differences between the two novels based on Bandura's theory

 

           According to this introduction, the next sections explain the following subjects: Research background, brief introduction of Bandura theory, research method, results (including four steps of brief introduction of authors, brief description of the content of each novel, matching the content of each novel with Bandura theory and comparison of two novels) and conclusion.

 

            A review of the research literature shows that both selected works of the present study have been considered by many researchers and their dimensions have been criticized and analyzed in various dimensions. Sadeghi (2004) in an article entitled "Simultaneity of Nocturnal Harmony of Wood Orchestra with the Slaughterhouse No. 5 and the blind owl” has compared these three novels in terms of structure and narrative, the relationship between name of novels and the introduction of some characters. Kahdavi & Shirvani (2009) believe that Afghani has been more successful than other Iranian author Simin Daneshvar in depicting the status of Iranian women and their morale and existence. Hasanli & Joshaki (2010) by examining the narrator's role and narrative style in the novel " The Nocturnal Harmony of Wood Orchestra " came to the conclusion that understanding the story and characters of this novel is not possible without understanding the role of the narrator. The findings of Horoush (2010) showed that Ghasemi's novel has all the features of a postmodernist novel. Asgari Hassankloo & Bayat (2013) by examining the position of " Showhar-e Ahoo Khanom " in Persian fiction literature believe that this novel for reasons such as realism of the work and dealing with events and characters alive and familiar to the Iranian reader; time of publish when other famous Iranian writers were not active; attention to the tragic fate of Iranian women; and reflection and analysis of social issues was able to attract the readers of Persian novels. Hashemi & Kahnemouipour (2013) examining the two themes of water and fire in the novel “The Nocturnal Harmony of Wood Orchestra " found that water in this novel has two opposite roles of mortality and procreation. Fire is also a sign of death, destruction and punishment. Nikobakht, Gholam Hosseinzadeh, Roshanfekr & Tahoo (2013) examined the role of women in the Iranian novel “Ahoo Khanum's husband” and the Egyptian novel “Bayn al-Qasrayn” (Najib Mahfouz). The results of the research indicated that the main characters of the mentioned novels are women who are oppressed in a patriarchal society. These societies look down on women freedom, aspirations, interests and desires and trample on women's rights.

 

             Zahiri Nav & Ahadi (2013) found that the most important feature of the characters in Ghasemi's novel is personality disorder and feelings of homesickness. Samati & Momeni Shahraki (2014) with a comparative study of realism in the novel Ana Ahya (I Live) (1958) by Layla Balabakki and "Ahokhanam’s Husband" by Mohammad Ali Afghani point to social themes and attention to current events as common features of these two novels. Ghasemi & Jalali Pendari (2015) examining the characters of Ahoo Khanum's husband novel, determined that all three characters in the story have an extroverted personality. Khojasteh, Dehghanian & Fasaei (2016) in their article “Ahokhanam’s Husband in the Plant of Poststructuralist Criticism" emphasize that this novel is strongly influenced by democratic discourse and the ideal woman of the story lacks an active and dynamic social aspect and therefore the dominant ideology of the novel absolutely does not tolerate the aggression of social modernist forces. This ideology suppresses the wrongdoer and shows him a sloppy character, an enchanter and finally an anti-social element. Also, Khojasteh & Fasaei (2017) believed that this novel is known as one of the first feminist novels among Iranian fiction, although in reality patriarchy dominates the novel and society.

 

              This review of the research background shows that although both novels have been analyzed and criticized from different angles, so far no research has been done that has examined the characters of them from the perspective of Bandura learning theory. Bandura believes that learning does not happen through direct training alone. According to him, the social system, through encouragement and punishment, forces individuals to perform certain behaviors. This theory is based on the idea that human learning takes place in a social environment. We through the observation of others learn the usefulness, knowledge, rules, skills, strategies, beliefs, attitudes, and patterns of behaviors (Bandura 1986, Kurt 2019). According to this theory, much of the learning takes place through modeling and observing the consequences of the behavior of others. In fact, contrary to the view of behaviorists such as Watson, who emphasized the role of reinforcement and conditioning in the educational process, for Bandura, learning occurs based on socio-cognitive status and conditions (Bandura 1999; Pajares & Urdan, 2006).

 

     In this theory, Bandura assumes that a person's cognitive processes, environment, and behavior interact, and that none of these three components can be considered in isolation from the other determinants of human behavior. He calls this tripartite interaction reciprocal force (Bandura 1989; Deaton 2015). Based on extensive research, Bandura concluded that most behaviors - good and bad, normal and abnormal - are learned by imitating the behavior of others. Bandura considers observational learning to consist of four main processes:

 

  • Attention processes: The extent to which we are exposed to or pay attention to behavior. To imitate a behavior, one must first pay attention to it because people observe many behaviors on a daily basis, many of which are not noticeable.
  • Retention processes: how quickly a behavior is recalled in our minds. Behavior may be noticed but not always remembered, which clearly prevents imitation. Therefore, it is important to form a memory of the behavior in the mind to be done later by the observer.
  • Reproduction processes: The ability to perform the observed behavior. We see many behaviors on a daily basis that we would like to be able to imitate, but this is not always possible due to various reasons.
  • Motivation processes: The desire to perform a behavior is based on possible rewards and punishments. If perceived rewards outweigh perceived costs, behavior is more likely to be imitated by the observer (Bandura 1986; Horsburgh, & Ippolito 2018)

 

            According to the four stages, the content analysis of the two selected novels will be shown by examining the behavior of the characters in each novel and the related words and sentences.

 

  1. Research Method

 

         The present research method is comparative using qualitative content analysis approach. The research population included all the works of selected novelists and purposeful sampling method was used based on the selection of only one novel from each author. Documentary method was used to prepare the content of the research literature and hermeneutic content analysis method for analyze the data. This analysis is a classical method in thematic analysis and a kind of retelling of the text or speech under study to clarify the messages hidden in the original text (Dowling, 2004). The present researchers have also used the text-centered approach to analyze and interpret the hermeneutics of the content of the two selected works, given its compatibility with Bandura's observational theory.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Findings

 

        In this first section, the biographies of two Iranian novelists - Ali Mohammad Afghani and Reza Ghasemi - are presented. Then, the story and main characters of the two selected novels are briefly described. In the third stage, the content of each novel is examined according to Bandura's theory and short sections are quoted from the text of each novel. In the last stage, a comparison is made between the two novels according to Bandura's theory.

 

First) Familiarity with authors

 

  1. Ali Mohammad Afghani

            Ali Mohammad Afghani (1925) was born in a poor family in Kermanshah, western Iran. He finished high school in his hometown and then entered the military academy in Tehran. Shortly afterwards, he received a scholarship from the United States, where he became acquainted with the literature of nations and novel writing. When he returned to Iran in 1954, he was arrested and imprisoned by military agents on charges of membership in the Communist Party. He wrote the thousand-page novel “Showhar-e Ahoo  Khanom” (Ahoo  Khoum’s husband) in prison. This book was the first real novel in Persian, which was published in 1961 and was immediately selected as the "Best Novel of the Year" by the "Iran’s Book Association". At the same time, the famous Iranian writer and translator, Najaf Daryabandari, who knew Afghani before his imprisonment, wrote in the press: This is the story of the lives of ordinary people in our society. Afghani has created a deep tragedy and scenes that remind works of Anwar de Balzac or Leon Tolstoy. Also because of the great popularity of the novel, a film of the same name was made in 1968. After his release from prison, Afghani wrote other books but none of them became as famous as “Showhar-e Ahoo  Khanom." Afghani immigrated to the United States after the 1979 Iran revolution and published his biography in English there (Afghani, 2016).

 

  1. Reza Ghasemi

              Ghasemi (1949) is a writer, composer and theater director born in Isfahan. His first work was the play "Eclipse", which he wrote at the age of 18 and staged at the University of Tehran two years later. In 1976, the first prize of the National Iranian Television for the best play was awarded to his other work. Since 1970, while studying at the Faculty of Fine Arts, he has been writing plays and directing theater. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he wrote several books and then immigrated to France in 1986. Ghasemi wrote his most famous novel, “The Nocturnal Harmony of Wood Orchestra”, in Paris and published it in 1996 in the United States. Ghasemi has also worked in the field of Iranian music and has composed and played (Bahrami 2015).

 

Second) Brief description of the selected novels

 

1) Showhar-e Ahoo  Khanom

           Showhar-e Ahoo  Khanom was first published with the author's investment in 1961. The story takes place during the year 1934 in the city of Kermanshah, western Iran - where the author spent his childhood. The three main characters of the story are a man named Seyed Miran Sarabi, the head of the bakers' union, and his two wives. Miran, a middle-aged and a flattering man of political regime, falls in love with "Ahoo” - a divorced woman with four children. The first and second chapters of the novel deal with the life and past of Ahoo  and its coexistence with Miran. In the third chapter of the book, Miran allows Homa - a beautiful and at the same time lustful woman - to enter his life and marries her. Many parts of the novel are spent arguing between these three. Syed Miran, who is being held captive by Ahoo ’s female charmer, abuses her, beats her and curses her. Homa is a woman who loves modern looks and forces Miran to change his traditional and businesslike appearance. In this way, Homa becomes more attached to her desires day by day and takes her husband with herself. Meanwhile, Miran's wealth is diminishing every day. Poverty destroys the relationship between Homa and Miran. Miran drives Ahoo out of the house and she returns to her native village. Miran and Homa decide to go on a long journey, but Ahoo, who is informed of this incident, returns Miran home. Homa also leaves the city with a driver. Ahoo tries to reorganize its broken life (Afghani, 2011).

 

2) The Nocturnal Harmony of Wood Orchestra

           The novel, first published in the United States in 1996 and reprinted more than 15 times by 2018, is the story of a man named Yadollah who lives on the sixth floor of a building in France. A self-proclaimed exile, he has lived in the apartment for a year with several of his compatriots and immigrants from other countries. With the arrival of a person named “Prophet” (Messenger) who considers himself an agent from God, the relative peace of the Floor Six and the narrator is lost and they are subjected to events that eventually lead to the murder of the narrator by Prophet. The time of the novel is completely non-linear and the way of narration is like a puzzle that parts of it are solved as we move forward and a part of its vague and dreamy narrative becomes clear. Finally, the narrator - who is apparently dead - and throughout the novel speaks to the angels of the first night of the tomb (whom the narrator sees as Faust of Murnau and an Indian over the Cuckoo's Nest), dissolves into the body of the owner dog (Gabik) and a part of the novel is narrated from the language and mind of that dog.

 

Third) Identification and explanation of content of selected novels based on Bandura theory

 

1) Showhar-e Ahoo  Khanom

          As mentioned earlier, according to Bandura's theory, the first necessary process for observational learning to occur is attention. This stage shows how the characters in the story pay attention to objects, things, behaviors, words and deeds in the first place. This attention is the first step in reproducing all actions in the form of behavioral patterns that expose themselves in social relationships.

 

"The smell of paint filled the space and those who dealt with shops and stores were very careful not to rub the doors ..." (Afghani, 2011: 22)

 

         Therefore, attention is a requirement for learning. Anything that disturbs human attention will have a negative effect on observational learning.

 

"... Well, what did you say?" Tell me what I have to say, when I still do not know what language to speak to him. They say that he is very naughty and bad-mouthed ...” (Ibid: 28)

 

          If the whole phenomenon or aspect of the situation is new to the individual; it attracts her/his attention more.

 

"During the few days of Ramadan, as was the custom every year, Sayyid Miran Sarabi often went to the mosque in the afternoon. Behind the mullah, he prays in the mosque and listens to the sermon of the Imam of the mosque with peace of mind and inner freshness. He listened to hadiths and allegories and learned things ...” (Ibid: 33)

 

          The novelist shows that in the beginning, the character of the story went to the mosque as a repetitive and habitual behavior, but little by little, he paid attention to the topics that were said by the cleric of the mosque and learned things. Also, the process of observational learning is a repetitive process that has existed since childhood. In the continuation of the first stage, the stage of maintaining and remembering events and behaviors is formed. Many things that people observe cannot affect them unless they remember what they saw. The observer, after paying attention to the pattern or the observer remembers its actions and behavior - by symbolic encoding and conversion into code.

 

"Homa was a fearful soul and in search of freedom" (Ibid: 103)

 

"She sincerely rolled up her sleeves to her armpits and washed the edges of her arms. By doing so, she wanted to make it clear to Seyyed Miran that she wanted freedom in her home" (Ibid: 368)

 

        At this stage, the ability to store and maintain information plays an important role in the learning process, although several factors can affect retention:

 

"... His judgment of the woman in the white veil did not go beyond a curious and cautious curiosity. The beauty and tenderness of the face of this Angel-like customer, for all its simplicity, had such a dazzling and superficial appearance ... "(Ibid: 35)

 

         This sentence shows that the character of the story (baker) completely remembers the face of the female customer and the memory of her physical movement is recorded in the mind of the observer.

 

"... During the prayer in the mosque, his memory darkly and vaguely helped him to remember that among the customers of the previous day, a woman of the same height and size had bought from the bread shop. Little by little, he remembered ... "(Ibid: 35)

 

         Often social learning is not instantaneous, so the ability to store the information learned is an important part of the learning process. There are many factors that affect retention, but the ability to extract this information and act accordingly is very important in learning observation.

 

" If you had work to do tomorrow night, remember that you have disappointed the old woman with me forever? ..." (Ibid: 67).

 

          This emphasis is used to help recall previous events by different characters in the story. In fact, it can be said that remembering memories or forgetting them causes a person to repeat mistakes or avoid repeating them in future life situations. The third process in imitation is the issue of motor reconstruction or production of behavior. For example, the child may pay attention to the model (observed) and turn the results of his observations into code, but due to limitations in motor skills, he will not be able to reconstruct the activities of the pattern. Paying attention to the actions of the model and remembering it does not mean that one can imitate the observed actions exactly. To do this, in addition to having the necessary abilities, you need practice and feedback. This is especially true for complex behaviors. In practice, a person may not be able to use what he or she has learned or may interpret the observed behavior in a cognitive framework and his or her behavior may be somewhat different from what he or she observed. The observer's behavioral response may also occur long after the pattern is observed. Stored cues act as role models to which the observer compares his behavior and gradually corrects himself.

 

"... Unless we dream in those days that the miller in the baker's hand was softer than wax! When they heard the name of the baker, their hair became straight "(Ibid: 26)

 

          As soon as people pay attention to the model and store the information in their memory, it is time to actually perform the behavior they have observed.

 

"... He began to weigh in on the offers he wanted to make to his strong partner in the new contract. Before, he had talked about this once or twice with Yavar, who was a gentle and moral man." (Same: 30)

 

        When you pay attention to the model and store information, the next step is to do the learned behavior. Subsequent exercises of the learned behavior lead to the improvement and increase of skills in the individual.

 

"... The woman turned her head to the other side, changed the hand with which she was holding her chador with the same pleasant simplicity, and after a moment of hesitation and pause, her lips moved in response" (Ibid: 31)

 

          The fourth process of observational learning is motivation. Remembering and even having the necessary power is not enough to imitate the pattern and motivation is essential. Without sufficient encouragement and motivation, the learning process will not be realized as it should be. The consequence of action, that is, the expectation of reinforcement and punishment, is effective in imitation. Bandura, of course, does not see reinforcement as a necessary factor in learning, and says that one's performance - not one's learning - depends on reinforcement or reward. Therefore, the role of reinforcement in Bandura theory is different. He distinguishes between learning and performance because people do not necessarily do everything they have learned. For observational learning to be successful, one must have sufficient motivation to imitate the behavior being modeled.

 

"Yes, Mr. Shoja, not only I have visited all the shops, but, as you are certainly aware, I have invaded the gentlemen's houses in the middle of the night. To make a promise of honor; somewhere I have made a commitment and in another place I have begged until I have finally been able to satisfy them for the meeting of the twelfth day of Ramadan, that is, this hour ... "(Ibid: 25)

 

           The desire to do the behavior, the rewards, and the punishments that follow the behavior will be considered by the observer. If perceived rewards outweigh perceived costs, the behavior is more likely to be imitated by the observer.

 

“The day you was selected instead Qasim Khan as head of the bakers' union, my happiness and that of many others was that we found at least one knowledgeable, enterprising and, most importantly, disinterested person.(Ibid :27  )

 

          The last step to successful observational learning is to motivate people to imitate behavior. Internal and external reinforcements as well as punishment also play an important role in motivating people.

 

"... He did not have the patience to sit, to preach and to listen. At least he could reach the mosque in ten minutes or a maximum of a quarter of an hour by placing the caliph of the shop behind him, perform a prayer, and return to work with the purity of heaven, ablution on the face, and the remembrance of God on the lips ... »( Ibid: 34)

 

2) The Nocturnal Harmony of Wood Orchestra

 

         Observing the behavior of others not only teaches new behaviors, but also reinforces previously learned behaviors that have not yet occurred due to lack of incentives or for other reasons. When a behavior is observed and noticed, not only the behavior itself is learned, but also various situations, objects, and contexts provide information that a person can use in later situations.

 

"... His face resembled that of Gary Cooper. The only difference was in the hair, which, unlike Gary Cooper's hair, was both long and a little messy. The crooked light that illuminated the right half of his face gave him an eerie mood that involuntarily reminded me of German expressionist cinema ... "(Ghasemi 2019: 11).

 

           Attention to sound is also one of the features of Ghasemi's novel. The narrator's ear is full of strange and startling noises: powerful sound of a cello, the sound of a saw, the ominous melody of a number of Laughing doves, the sound of electric sandpaper, the loud sound of opera singers, the tiny sound of glass marbles, the rustling of a ragged bed, and the sound of coughing. The observer must pay close attention to the observer in order to obtain the information necessary to imitate his behavior. In this case, usually several variables affect the attention processes, which can be noted as attractiveness, reputation, and competencies of observed. Consider two examples in Ghasemi's novel:

 

"... Let me reassure you, it was all advice; do not forbid all; nobody said what to do. One of them said, "Do what you can ..." Finally, he did not say what to do. It so happened that I learned nothing; including resisting ...” (Ibid: 12).

"... I was afraid. I realized a few things together in an instant: First, Faust of Murnau is not alone and someone is holding him. Secondly, this close friend is not visible. Thirdly, what is the meaning of "special issue" ... (Ibid: 13)

 

        In addition to model features - which are effective in attracting the learner's attention - the learner's own characteristics also draw his attention to observational learning; Characteristics such as perceptual and cognitive talent and readiness, level of arousal and acquired preferences.

 

"... This upholstery, which took place in an unusual direction, was a clear sign of the calamity that was to come. But I was amazed at something else ... "(Ibid: 17)

 

       Developing cognitive processes and perceptual skills requires that one be able to pay full attention to the model in order to imitate behavior.

 

"... Sayyid was right in front of me. He listened with full interest and often made points about the other party's speech that were a sign of his deep attention ... "(Ibid: 31)

 

"... Faust Morenau, ignoring my stupid laughter, looked at the office as if he had seen something new in it ..." (Ibid: 34)

 

         In the reminding phase, Ghasemi uses cognitive processes to encode or form mental images and verbal descriptions of behavior. The narrator has three deadly diseases: Time lapse, self-destruction and the mirror. In the first disease, he points out that he suffers from a kind of forgetfulness and inability to remember things.

 

I had to wash my head several times while taking a shower, because I had time breaks each time in the middle of work; because I do not know whether I finally washed my head or not. Do not fast doubtfully and start working again.

 

          In the third stage of observational learning, the behavior of the model (observant), which has a high status, may be imitated.

 

"... However, like me, he had not yet reached an important position in his life. In this respect, we had a strange resemblance ... "(Ibid: 32)

 

         We learn more from the behavior of someone of the same sex than opposite sex. In addition, we are more likely to be influenced by the behavioral patterns of peers.

 

"... No, It's over for me. I realized this as soon as you appeared on the doorstep. What a dizzying youth! It was as if I saw myself in the mirror of my fourteen years old. The eyes were the same as the eyes ...” (Ibid: 41)

 

        The last step in Bandura's theory for observational learning is sufficient motivation to imitate model behavior. At this stage, encouragement and punishment play an important role. Just as dealing with these stimuli can be very effective, observing the encouragement or punishment of others is also effective.

 

"... I was bleeding profusely and I no longer needed external motivation to play my role, so I quickly reached out to him ..." (Ibid: 39)

 

Fourth) Comparison of two novels

 

       The first thing that can be said about both novels is the influence of the authors on the social events of Iran. The atmosphere of the novel and the characters of Ahoo Khanam’s husband mostly reflect the relationship between men and women in the first decades of the twentieth century in Iran, where society was transitioning from traditional values ​​to new values ​​that were mainly inspired by the West. Afghani in Ahoo Khanum’s husband shows how the relationship between men and women, the rich and the poor, and the worker and the employer has been passed down from generation to generation through traditional learning. For this transfer, all four stages of Bandura's observational learning seem to have been fully observed. Learning that, of course, has always happened without encountering any major obstacles with the introduction of Western values, for the first time in the process of observational learning of Iranians is disrupted. Ghasemi's novel also reflects the impact of social and political events in Iran - especially the victory of the Islamic Revolution - on the process of observational learning in Iranian immigrants living far from home in fear. The novel " The Nocturnal Harmony of Wood Orchestra " shows the process of observational learning and its outputs are challenged - namely daily habits, moral principles, family relationships, social etiquette, gender divisions, political thinking and many values that are native to the individual and seem to be obvious. Immigrant people - whether in conflict or in harmony with a foreign culture - are forced to reflect on the validity and effectiveness of their previous behavioral imitation methods, values, and standards. Conflict with new heterogeneities and conditions can lead to complex educational, social, and identity problems. In Ghasemi's novel, Iranian immigrants face exactly these crises (Khodaei, 2010). In this situation, they are not able to resolve the psychological crises resulting from observational learning in migration, and they face strange conflicts - with themselves and outside with society.

 

         The second similarity between the two novels - as can be seen in the sentences above - is the conflict between cultures and the disruption of the characters' observational learning process. In both novels, the authors show how different characters collapse in the conflict between previous learning and new patterns of behavior and education. This, of course, is still an unsolvable problem in Iran society. Despite more than half a century between the events of the two novels, the conflict between tradition and modernism has not yet been resolved in Iran. The third common denominator of each period is a change in observational learning related to the educational practices that govern sexual relations. In Ahoo Khanum’s husband, the main character of the story is caught between two women: The first woman - who symbolizes the effects and charms of traditional culture - and second woman - who follows modern behavioral patterns and does not want to accept the ruling and condemned relationship between Iranian men and women. . In Ghasemi's novel, too, the characters are caught up in various forms of legitimate and illegitimate sexual relations. This sexual diversity also completely disrupts the traditional frameworks of past observational learning. The main difference between the two novels is Afghani’s strong emphasis on environmental cues (locations and native language) in the process of observational learning, while Ghasemi emphasizes the role of sounds. Throughout the novel, Afghani acquaints readers with places such as mosques, streets and alleys, gardens and springs, as well as local proverbs in Kermanshah, so that events and happenings are constantly evoked by readers. On the contrary, Ghasemi chooses the sixth floor of a dilapidated apartment in Paris to take advantage of the role of different voices to pay attention, remind and motivate.

 

  1. Conclusion

 

        The novel provides a pleasant opportunity to examine abstract theories of psychology. Believing in this mental presupposition, the aim of study was to show how two Iranian novelists - by creating completely different novels with a time interval of about half a century - were able to create scenes and characters to explain Albert's cognitive-social theory. Bandura's goal was to prove that learning does not necessarily follow a linear- conditioned process. In his view, individuals - as inclusive - have an interactive relationship with the social environment. This interactive relationship is generally not very challenging for ordinary people in a culturally unit society. People have learned customs, traditions, behavioral patterns, and social relationships from their parents for centuries. These learning occurred mainly through observation. The important finding of the present study is that both authors have tried to reveal that a new challenge has been created in the structure of Iranian cognitive-social learning process during the last hundred years. Both novelists also highlighted that the characters in their novels are caught up in the conflict between tradition and modernism.

 

         Afghani tactfully portrays the conflict between tradition and modernity in the form of the behavior of two women: One tends to tradition and returns from the city to village, and the other, interested in new patterns of behavior, migrates from a small town to Tehran, a symbol of modernity; while the man is caught between the choices of the two. Ghasemi also shows through his protagonists that a complex cultural composition is gathered in one floor of a dilapidated building: A highly religious person, an absurdist, and an unidentified and wandering figure. The present researchers tried to prove how, First of all, literature and psychology show “what is the educational and social challenge of Iranian society for observational learning”. Secondly, how, despite the passage of more than half a century and the occurrence of great events such as revolution, war and technological developments, still Iranians confused between tradition and modernism have not been able to reconcile the two. All this indicates that the educational system of Iran society - both within the family and in schools and universities - has failed to provide a coherent pattern of behavior. Everyday events show that the Iran educational system has not been successful in providing appropriate behavioral patterns between men and women, the poor and the rich, and the State and nation. Therefore, a fundamental revision must be made in the process of observational learning.

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