A psychological analysis on Soukou no Strain’s Sara Werec

I have been oscillating between different WP themes, because I wanted to change the look of my site. I am partial to this template mainly because its banner image is cute and purplish (and I like derivatives of purple), but I just decided to stick with my Chocolate Candy theme after staying with this theme for about a day. I’m just saying this because you may have seen different themes of this site at different times of day. I was just experimenting. I may have these irrational binges later on, so I ask pardon in advance. For the time being, however, what do you think of this template? I picked this template because I loved the banner image รขโ‚ฌโ€œ it just looks good to me.

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In this post, I will try to tackle the psychology behind Sara Werec in Soukou no Strain. Of course, this isn’t going to be your intensive psychology course; besides, I only know basic stuff and only write these things with research: I guess my only expertise, really, is writing in English.

This was Sara before …

We must recall that in the first episode Sara’s world immediately turned upside-down. Her brother became the most reviled enemy of their Union; her brother terminated the life of her friends, and her brother decimated her school while leaving her without answers as to why he did so. Who was once a bubbly Sara being groomed to graduate the top of her class now morphed to become a Sara Cruz who was quiet, numb, and antisocial.

This was Sara during …

She definitely smells like she’s developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to Santrock (2003, p. 532), PTSD is a psychological disorder that develops through exposure to a traumatic event, such as war; severely oppressive situations, such as the Holocaust; severe abuse, as in rape; natural disasters, such as floods and tornadoes; and unnatural disasters such as plane crashes.

Sara Werec has not only been exposed to one traumatic event; she’s been exposed to a lot at that time. First, in her perspective, her brother betrayed her: she dreamed that they would fly together and to be an ace pilot like her brother. Her brother remained an ace pilot, yes, but he also was of the other side. Second, her friends were killed off, and no less by her brother himself. Third, her instructors were killed off. Fourth, her school was decimated. Fifth, she must have felt the most alone and solitary person in the world then and there. If one compounds ALL of these, then, it is really highly probable for Sara to develop PTSD. It’s not only one traumatic event, but four (even more); and it’s not only severely oppressive: it was downright harrowing and appalling.

PTSD symptoms include:

  • Flashbacks, in which the individual relives the event

    Well, Sara has had a whole lot of flashbacks jarring her mental state, which at best is unstable.

  • Constricted ability to feel emotions, often reported as being numb, resulting to an inability to experience happiness, sexual desire or enjoyable interpersonal relationships

    She tries to push everyone away. Sexual desire is nil or close to it. She is unable to experience happiness. She is numb and stoic to everybody except her doll.

  • Feelings of apprehension

    She’s got these feelings. In fact, they’re too superfluous.

  • Impulsive outbursts of behavior, such as aggressiveness, or sudden changes in lifestyle

    You guys did see what she did in the fifth episode, right? She pushed EVERYONE else away just to engage her brother without regard to her life or the others’.

If that doesn’t take the cake yet, there’s also a term in popular psychology which is often recognized to go along with PTSD: survivor guilt.

This was Sara after …

Survivor guilt is a type of remorse felt by people who manage to survive a tragic event involving much loss of life, especially the lives of friends and loved ones or other people commonly associated with the survivor. Sufferers often feel guilty that they and their family get to move on with their lives, whereas other people and their families were not as lucky. It is commonly summed up by the phrase ‘I should have died with them,’ ‘I could’ve done something,’ or even ‘I should have died instead of them.’ I recall Sara having muttered ‘I could’ve done something’ in the previous episodes.

I just love the psychological realism that this series has. I don’t find that in anime series often, so I love it whenever I do. I’m just itching to do a comparative quasi-study on Soukou no Strain and Code Geass (as I’ve encountered some debate in the ASuki Forums), but that will have to come later on because I’m too lazy.

7 Responses to “A psychological analysis on Soukou no Strain’s Sara Werec”

  1. omo Says:

    It’s interesting to parallel Strain with its parent work, A Little Princess. The psychological transformation here seems to match with Princess Sara’s enslavement; her “wealth” translated into her emotional health?

  2. Michael Says:

    I always believed the Little Princess retained her cheerful and positive disposition toward life. Ms. Werec here has forgotten all about that, and all she wants at the time being are answers from her mysterious brother. Maybe the similarities are only in the names?

  3. Laurent Says:

    [i]For the time being, however, what do you think of this template?[/i]
    Ouch, not very good for the eyes: the text is way too small (in Firefox 2.0 especially; it’s a bit better in Safari, but not much). And the lack of color and decorations makes for a very bland look, the kind of look that would make me avoid your blog despite your quality writing. I know I sound harsh (and I’m sorry for that), but I just hope it’s a working version… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Michael Says:

    Darn it. Because of that comment of yours I have decided to stick with my older blog template. Haha.

  5. Laurent Says:

    ๐Ÿ™‚
    You made the right decision, this template is vastly superior, much smoother for the eye. Still I’d hate to have put a stop to your experimentations, so by all means keep on experimenting. Just expect further comments on the matter from me… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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