The Lord of the Rings


The Lord of the Rings

Some stories can affect people emotionally, but once in a while a story can call a person to escape to it. The Lord of the Rings is an enchanting story with masterful use of setting and sensational characters that engages readers and can move them to experience life in a deeper way. As a child, J.R.R. Tolkien lived in Africa until his father passed away. Then his mother moved them to England. Mrs. Tolkien made certain that her children learned literature and languages. It was probably due somewhat to his mother’s influence that Tolkien became who he was: an author and a linguist (Corday).

Tolkien had a special interest in “obscure” languages, even to the point of creating his own. He called it High-Elven and often in his stories he used the language. Tolkien also invented an entire world called Middle Earth where The Lord of the Rings takes place. Because he had invented this world it had to bow to his will and rules. He was an accomplished linguist and this greatly helped his ability to vividly portray and create in the reader’s mind Middle Earth, a place that no person has ever been (Corday).

Charters defines setting as “the place and time of the story.” Also according to Charters, “When the writer locates the narrative in a physical setting, the reader is moved along step by step toward acceptance of the fiction” (Charters 1008).

Tolkien’s setting gives the reader a sense of goodness or malevolence. Unlike an environment that is removed from the work, Tolkien’s setting sometimes is the story. Possibly the setting could even tell the story if there were no characters. For example, in the house of Elrond of the elves, Frodo’s experience is defined by the setting. “He [Frodo] found his friends sitting in a porch on the side of the house looking east. Shadows had fallen in the valley below, but there was still a light on the faces of the mountains far above. The air was warm. The sound of running and falling water was loud, and the evening was filled with a faint scent of trees and flowers, as if summer still lingered in Elrond’s gardens (220).

This describes a peaceful place that is not quite reality. The rest of the world is moving into winter, but Elrond’s gardens haven’t realized that yet. Next, is another example of how Tolkien uses setting to create a picture that could not be obtained by just explaining the scenery. Tolkien is able to bring a place to life with words. We can see this when the Fellowship winds up going through the Mines of Moria.

The Company spent that night in the great cavernous hall, huddled close together in a corner to escape the draught: there seemed to be a steady inflow of chill air through the eastern archway. All about them as they lay hung the darkness, hollow and immense, and they were oppressed by the loneliness and vastness of the dolven halls and endlessly branching stairs and passages. The wildest imaginings that dark rumor had ever suggested to the hobbits fell altogether short of the actual dread and wonder of Moria (307).

This description is one of dread and fear, but like the experience at Elrond’s house, it is filled with word pictures. It tells the reader that this place is terrible and that some evil is afoot.

Of course Tolkien received criticism as all writers do. For instance, Burton Raffel takes the opinion that “his [Tolkien's] descriptions often fail to create ‘sense impressions’ needed to make language ‘more deeply felt and more deeply worked.” Raffel also claimed that “Tolkien’s nature descriptions are frequently somewhat overwrought…” (20).

Still, I maintain that Tolkien’s extraordinary ability to paint a picture with words takes the reader into a place they’ve never been and still manages to keep them following the story. The characters that Tolkien artfully created, accent the setting and bring them further to life. This is an attribute to a great setting. Charters explains that “setting must also have a dramatic use. It must be shown, or at least felt, to affect character or plot” (Charters 1008). All through The Lord of the Rings the setting is imposing feelings onto the characters (e.g. fear, dread, peacefulness).

Charters describes characters in literature as “the people who make something happen or produce an effect,” and explains that the “characters must come alive” (Charters 1006-1007). Tolkien received criticism on his characters by Raffel as well. Raffel feels that there is “too little meaningful truth about human reality and our own existences in Tolkien’s characters.” Kathryn Crabbe seems to disagree with this statement. In her efforts to describe the characters as heroic she also shows us they have some very modern human characteristics. Crabbe says that Frodo is “neither stronger than most men, nor braver than most…He is selfless in his love for his companions.” If there is not enough “meaningful truth about human reality” in Tolkien’s writing, then maybe it is because he portrays a picture of ordinary people at their best. The heroes in The Lord of the Rings do not succumb to evil. They do not inadvertently get caught doing good. They are selfless. Isn’t this exactly humanity at its best?

Middle Earth is a place where the spirituality of a person is closely connected to the reality of the person. Tolkien’s characters are not mere people. Each has a position and job in the universe as well, something to make them heroic and larger than life-right down to Sam whose purpose it would seem is to guard and protect his “master”. This is evident throughout the books but especially at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring when Sam, now understanding just what might lie ahead, insists on going with Frodo (397). The characters show that not just anyone is able to complete this quest. It requires a specific person for each job. For example, there is a reason that Tom Bombadil cannot take the Ring even though he is impervious to its power (259). Fate has chosen Frodo. In so doing Tolkien creates a story that even the average person can relate to. It propels people to see the possibilities of greatness amongst the commoners and restores our hope in the great ones. Almost anyone can find at least one hero among the fellowship.

One of the things that makes The Lord of the Rings so compelling is the way the setting and characters work together to produce the ultimate affect. The characters make the setting even more potent. As the external setting influences each character the reader sees how the struggle becomes internal. We are led to believe that the characters are closely connected to the earth. The diversity of the setting and characters simply propels us to see the uniqueness of each place. Where a group of caves might give us one thought, hearing Gimli discuss the majesty of his cave experience helps us to appreciate the diversity of the group and to see it through a cave dwellers eyes. “These are not holes,” said Gimli. “This is the great realm and city of the Dwarrowdelf. And of old it was not darksome, but full of light and splendour, as is still remembered in our songs”(307).

The Lord of the Rings is essentially a story about the struggle of good verses evil. The setting helps the story personify the difficulties the characters face. The characters go through the trials and share their feelings of fear and triumph with us. The two work together to make an excellent portrayal of external and internal struggles that yield an otherwise impossible effect.

Works Cited

Charters, Ann, ed. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Compact 6th ed.

Boston: Bedford-St. Martin’s, 2003.

Corday, Alina. “Master of Middle Earth.” Smithsonian 32.10 (Jan. 2002): 76 (6pp). Rpt.

EBSCOHost Academic Search Elite, 2002: Article No. 5749860.

Crabbe, Katharyn W. “The Quest as Legend: The Lord of the Rings.” (Originally published in

J.R.R. Tolkien. Revised and Expanded Edition, by Katharyn W. Crabbe. City: Frederick Ungar

Publishing Co., 1988.) Rpt. J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Modern Critical

Interpretations Series. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2000. 141-170.

Rpt. Cora’s Online Reserve, restricted access.

Raffel, Burton. “The Lord of the Rings as Literature.” (Originally published in Tolkien and the

Critics: Essays of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Ed. Neil D. Isaacs and Rose A.

Zimbardo. Univ. Of Notre Dame Press, 1968.) Rpt. J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

Modern Critical Interpretations Series. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2000.

17-35. Rpt. Cora’s Online Reserve, restricted access.

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Fellowship of the Ring, being the first part of The Lord of the Rings. [Rev.

ed. 1966.] Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1994.

© 2003, Josie Fenner
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Tonya Flowers
ENG 104, Prof. C. Agatucci
Midterm Literary Analysis Paper
29 October 2003

Chopin’s Artistry in “The Story of an Hour”

To be in conflict with traditional society’s beliefs is difficult for many to do; however, author Kate Chopin fights that battle to bring readers some of the most thought provoking literature that a person can get their hands on. Using to her advantage conventions of narrative stories such as character development, plot control, and irony, she is able to bring the reader into a world of emotions that society would scoff at. Kate Chopin demonstrates her incredible literary talent in “The Story of an Hour” by interconnecting the plot and character development, with her use of thought-provoking vocabulary and narrative irony.

Kate Chopin’s literary talent would have never been so strongly founded if it was not for the circumstances surrounding her life and upbringing. Her father died when she was only four years old, which left her mother and grandmother to raise, and shape her desires and ideologies (Charters 156). Having been raised primarily by strong willed feminine role models, Chopin developed a taste for more of an unconventional role for women in society. In her home town of St. Louis, she became know as the town’s “Littlest Rebel” (Davis). She was widowed and left with six children to bring up on her own (Charters 156). This situation developed more of her strong will to write about the passion and strength that women have. Much of her writing portrays women in their relations with men, children and their own sexuality (Charters 156). Her writing is classified in the literary movement know as Realism. The Realism movement took place in the 19th century (Agatucci 4). Realism is based on everyday events, ‘slice of life’ stories that depict ordinary people dealing with society and its forces on living (Agatucci 3). Realistic writing is characterized with everyday events, social controversy, and protagonist/antagonist interactions (Agatucci 3). There is often and ironic undertone to Realism, as is evident in “The Story of an Hour” (Agatucci 3). All of the characteristics of the Realism movement mentioned are active in this story. An example of Realism in “The Story of an Hour” is evident when Mrs. Mallard’s sister reveals to her the tragic news: “It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing (Chopin 157).” This brings out the slice of life quality of Realism because it is a display of how most people would break the news of a shocking death. Chopin enjoyed life and believed that real fiction was and is life (Chopin 861). Although she felt like a literary outcast, her frankness and honest look at women and their emotions is what makes “The Story of an Hour” and her other works literary jewels in our society today.

Chopin does a great job at integrating two of the conventions of narrative fiction, plot and character development. The plot of a story is “the sequence of events in a story and their relation to one another as they develop and usually resolve a conflict (Charters2 1003).” Within the plot of narrative stories there is an exposition, rise to action, climax, and a fall from action. The character development is the other convention that enables Chopin to write this thought provoking story. Character is “what stays with you after you have finished reading it. The action of the plot is performed by the characters in the story, the people who make something happen or produce an effect” (Charters2 1006). Chopin uses her character development to enhance the plot in order to bring the reader closer to the emotions of the story. In ‘The Story of an Hour” both of these elements are vitally interconnected to each other.

The plot itself is taking place primarily in the mind of Mrs. Mallard, which makes imperative that the reader understands her personality and where thoughts are derived from. First Mrs. Mallard is described as having heart trouble, and being a tender woman (Chopin 157). This is important to the plot because it explains why her sister took great care to break the news to her. She is also described as being “young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength” (Chopin 157). This is a key piece of information in understanding why she grieves only momentarily. According to Webster’s Dictionary repression means: “to prevent the natural or normal expression, activity or development of; a process by which unacceptable desires or impulses are excluded from consciousness and left to operate in the unconscious” (Webster 527). Mrs. Mallard’s marriage did not allow her to express herself through any venue of release with the exception of her unconscious. She was never allowed to be ‘normal’ with her emotions or, to show or use her true strength, but instead had to suppress them. One can also see that in the plot, Mrs. Mallard resists the liberation she feels at first because of her characteristic trait of being weak, and is unable or powerless to resist them (Chopin 157). As the feeling of freedom sets in her mind she begins to describe herself as a “goddess of Victory” (Chopin 158). A goddess is a “female of exceptional charm beauty, or grace” (Webster 294). Mrs. Mallard began, for the first time in her marriage, to feel beautiful and charming in light of her victory over the battle of wills that she had been oppressed by. In the story she gets her first chance to show off her new found strength and beauty when she lets her sister in to see the “triumph in her eyes” (Chopin 158). The mix of character development and plot is not only evident in the case of main character, but is also found briefly in the case if Mr. Mallard. Chopin writes “There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime…” (Chopin 158). This is the only glimpse that the reader gets into Bentley Mallard’s character; however there is much revealed through this passage. He was controlling, forcing his will on her. He was powerful (in contrast to her being powerless) and blind to the fact that he was hurting his wife. The other minor characters are left to the imagination of the reader because they do not play major roles within the plot.

A fundamental characteristic of Realism is its use of irony. Chopin plays with irony to bring surprise to the climax, as well as enhance the depth of the story. Sara Davis has this to say: “The Story of an Hour” “turns on a series of artful modulated ironies that culminate in a somewhat contrived ending” (Davis). There are several examples of this, first off that of Brentley’s friend Richard takes the time to confirm his name with a second telegram, and then at the end of the story it turns out that he is not even involved in the accident (Chopin 157). Another example of irony is this: “Her pulse beat fast, and then the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body” (Chopin 158). In this sentence it is ironic that it was blood, the symbolic representation of life, that was fueling her, and then at the end her life ceases. Another ironic point is made within Mrs. Mallard’s thought process: “She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long” (Chopin 158).Her prayer was answered, and when she found out she immediately had a fatal heart attack. In addition to this irony of life and death, the reader is faced with yet another and maybe the strongest use of irony in this short story, and that is the use of the word ‘joy’. It is first used in Mrs. Mallard’s thoughts as a “monstrous joy” of being free from bondage, and tasting the elixir of life that is now so precious to her (Chopin 158). Secondly it is used by the doctors in the last line who naively state that she died “of heart disease—of joy that kills” (Chopin 158). It is ironic that it was not joy of seeing Mr. Mallard alive that killed her, but that of the terrible loss that she would never feel the monstrous joy she had felt before. Kate Chopin did produce an excellent example of Realism literature with her use of irony in this story.

Chopin does not allow her use of irony as her only tool to enhance the dynamics of “The Story of an Hour”. She also incorporates a variety of tools such as metaphors, narrative style, and thought provoking vocabulary that bring this story to life. Mrs. Mallard is described as having heart trouble (Chopin 157). One could argue that her ‘heart trouble’ was not that of a physical condition, but of an emotional and psychological condition derived from such a difficult marriage. Chopin also uses a wide array of descriptive words to bring to life the feelings that Mrs. Mallard is having about the death of her husband. Examples of this are seen throughout the text: “new spring life” “delicious breath of air” “blue sky showing through the clouds” “drinking in a very elixir of life” “summer days” etc. (Chopin 157-158). Chopin also uses the metaphor of an open window that she sits Mrs. Mallard in front of during the rise of the plot. The window is not just part of the setting, but a window into the heart and mind of the main character. It was her access to new life, new excitement, and new hopes of the coming years without Brently’s overpowering will on her. Jennifer Hicks brings out another point of narrative eloquence by stating that Chopin “elaborates upon this when the narrator says that Mrs. Mallard “would have no one follow her.” While the implication is that she would have no one follow her to her room, the reader wonders in hindsight whether Mrs. Mallard might have meant also that she would have no one interfere with her new life again” (Hicks). Kate Chopin used all of these tools to her advantage to bring the world a controversial look at a woman’s emotions.

It took many years after this story was written for its popularity to grow into what it is today. In “The Story of an Hour” Kate Chopin interconnects the plot, characters, irony, and narrative eloquence to produce a literary product that is arguably priceless in our society today. Fred Lewis Patte says in “A History of American Literature” that since 1870 the strength of Chopin’s work come from “what may be described as a native aptitude for narration amounting almost to genius” (Hicks). Readers of the future look forward to see if her ‘genius’ in this work will stand the test of time.

Works Cited

Agatucci, Cora. “Emergence of the Short Story.” Printed 10/14/03. .

Charters, Ann. “Kate Chopin.” [header note]. The Story and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford, St. Martin’s, 2003. 156.

Charters, Ann. “The Elements of Fiction.” The Story and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford, St. Martin’s, 2003. 1003-1015.

Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” [First published 1894] Rpt. The Story and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford, St. Martin’s, 2003. 157-158.

Chopin, Kate. “How I stumbled upon Maupassant.” [1896]. Rpt. The Story and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford, St. Martin’s, 2003. 861-862.

Davis, Sara de Saussure. “Kate Chopin, February 8, 1851-August 22, 1904.” Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 12: American Realist and Naturalist. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Ed. Donald Pizer and Earl N. Harbert. Detroit: Gale, 1982. 59-71 Rpt. Gale Literature Resource Center [online subscription database]. The Gale Group, 2002.

Hicks, Jennifer. “An Overview of ‘The Story of an Hour’.” Short Stories for Students. Detroit: Gale Research, 1997. Rpt. Gale Literature Resource Center [online subscription database]. The Gale Group, 2002.

Webster. Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus Deluxe Edition. Nichols Publishing Group 2001. Imprinted of Allied Publishing Group, Inc. 294, 527.

© 2003, Tonya Flowers
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Melanie Price
ENG 104, Prof. C. Agatucci
Midterm Literary Analysis Paper
29 October 2003

Impressions of Ordinary Life

One of the sweet comforts in life is curling up in a favorite chair with a short story that will carry us away from our everyday lives for an hour or two. On rare occasions, we find a tale that mirrors real life in such a way that we are strangely comforted by the normalcy reflected in the words. A perfect example of a story about ordinary life that will soothe the soul in search for some insight on understanding human behavior is Anton Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Little Dog.” This piece is definitive of the literary period of realism during the late nineteenth century that was influenced by this brilliant writer and others such as Guy de Maupassant and Kate Chopin. This style of writing has such a mass appeal because the “characters in [these] novels (and in short stories) wear recognizable social masks and reflect an everyday reality” (Charters 997). In his simple anecdote of a chance meeting between a middle-aged, chauvinistic, repeat-offender adulterer, unhappily married man, and a young, naïve, in-search-of-something-new, married woman, Chekhov paints a picture that gives a startling representation of how these two characters are influenced by the settings in which their chronicle takes place, especially with the budding of their relationship.

The narrative takes place in Yalta, a vacation spot for Eastern Europeans and Russians on the northern coast of the Black Sea. We are given a brief description of the main character, Gurov, who is a man that describes his wife as a woman “none too bright, narrow-minded, graceless,” (Chekhov 144) and has used these human imperfections as reasons to be unfaithful. We learn only minute details about his children and his employment, with more emphasis being given to his views on women, “an inferior race” (Chekhov 144), which are no doubt due to the sour experiences he has had in his extramarital affairs. We can use this information and the fact that Yalta is a place where one would go to search out “a quick, fleeting liaison” (Chekhov 144) to assess that this man is in Yalta looking for just that. As soon as Gurov gains sight of his prospective candidate and makes first contact with “the lady with the little dog” (Chekhov 144), the scenery begins to take shape and the setting is cheerful and airy, full of beautiful colors and tranquil light. After becoming acquainted, Anna and Gurov “strolled and talked of how strange the light was on the sea; the water was of a lilac color, so soft and warm, and over it the moon cast a golden strip” (Chekhov 145). Later, when he is alone in his hotel room, Gurov reflects on “her slender, weak neck, her beautiful gray eyes” (Chekhov 145) and his thoughts reveal that he has determined this young, vulnerable woman to be an ideal contender for another one of his many affairs that he just can’t help becoming involved in. As the story unfolds, we see how the color gray is an integral component in the sort of comfortable, yet, unresolved feeling that the relationship between Gurov and Anna emanates.

When things are heating up between the two lonely travelers, so is the weather, which is “stuffy, but outside the dust flew in whirls” (Chekhov 146) and their thirst is unrelenting no matter what they eat or drink to quench it. “There was no escape” (Chekhov 146), seemingly, from the desire for one another that is beginning to blossom. On this particular evening, the couple makes way for the jetty to watch the incoming ship. A crowd of people has gathered with many bouquets of flowers to greet arrivals. The churning ocean echoes the intensity of their attraction for each other, along with the mess of people surrounding them and Anna’s display of uneasiness and absentmindedness. As the crowd thins out, the mood is calm and dark; the air is full of the lingering scents of the flowers that are long gone with the people and commotion. This becomes the optimal milieu for the couple to surrender to their desires, free from the probing stares of the public.

Back in the hotel room, where it is again “stuffy” (Chekhov 146), Gurov is reminded of his past experiences in many similar situations, and it seems as though he may be fighting off the urge to run away from this potentially, if not, inevitably, disastrous scene. “Her features drooped and faded, and her hair hung down sadly on both sides of her face, she sat pondering in a dejected pose, like the sinful woman in a old painting” (Chekhov 147). Anna’s defenselessness is unappealing to Gurov, yet he is detached from his emotions in such a way that he will not even consider the prospect of the damage he could cause to this woman. Regardless of his indifference, there is an inkling of the feelings he is already beginning to have as he considers “the solitary candle burning on the table barely lit up her face, but it was clear that her heart was uneasy”(Chekhov147). The change from dark to light signals Gurov really does care for this woman and is aware of his changing feelings, but he is far from learning to accept this.

Once the relationship is consummated and Gurov is able to console Anna, the lightheartedness returns to the scene, as if a dark cloud has been lifted, and the two take off on an outing to Oreanda. “The leaves of the trees did not stir, cicadas called, and the monotonous, dull noise of the sea, coming from below, spoke of the peace, of the eternal sleep that awaits us” (Chekhov 148). It is at this point when the reality of what they have done sets in and the landscape begins to take on a resolute quality, ostensibly validating the intricate feeling the two are experiencing together. They are reminded of the fact that life goes on regardless of any mistakes and “if you thought of it, everything was beautiful in this world, everything except for what we ourselves think and do when we forget the higher goals of being and our human dignity” (Chekhov 148). As Gurov considers the “unceasing movement of life on earth” (Chekhov 148), the light changes and “in the glow of early dawn” (Chekhov 148) the feeling is gray and mystical, uncomplicated and convoluted all at the same time.

When Anna and Gurov have decidedly accepted their fate together, the relationship swings into full force and the “outings were successful, their impressions each time were beautiful, majestic” (Chekhov 148). And then “fate itself” (Chekhov 148) makes a well-anticipated appearance, and the lovers must part, most likely forever, “and a moment later the noise could no longer be heard, as if everything were conspiring on purpose to put a speedy end to this sweet oblivion, this madness” (Chekhov 149). With the brisk winds of fall, Gurov is left alone on the train platform to contemplate his worthiness of the nature of the feelings this woman has for him, “he had appeared to her not as he was in reality, and therefore he had involuntarily deceived her…” (Chekhov 149).

Anton Chekhov is a master of portraying the complexities of the human condition and the difficulties we all have with communication, both inward and outward. The settings are artfully represented by imagery that evokes real emotions in the reader who has gazed upon the landscape searching for answers to life’s obstacles. Richard Ford describes Chekhov as “a writer for adults, his work becoming useful and also beautiful by attracting attention to mature feelings, to complicated human responses and small issues of moral choice within large, overarching dilemmas” (Ford 868). There are relationships in life that will change the very way in which we view our surrounds and ourselves, and sometimes living vicariously through another’s experience will inflict the same realizations. “The Lady with the Little Dog” will give any reflective reader a delicious taste of life in perpetual motion, the ongoing cycle of learning to live and accepting being human.

Works Cited

Charters, Ann. “Appendix 2: A Brief History of the Short Story.” The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction
to Short Fiction. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 995-1002.

Chekhov, Anton. “The Lady with the Little Dog.” [First published, 1899.] Rpt. The Story and Its Writer:
An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s,
2003. 143-155.

Ford, Richard. “Why We Like Chekhov.” [First published, 1998.] Rpt. The Story and Its Writer: An
Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003.

© 2003, Melanie Price
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Arielle Samuel
ENG 104, Prof. C. Agatucci
Midterm Literary Analysis Paper
26 October 2003

Plot and Character in Maupassant’s “The Necklace”

“Life…is composed of the most unpredictable, disparate, and contradictory elements,” according to Guy de Maupassant. “It is brutal, inconsequential, and disconnected, full of inexplicable, illogical catastrophes” (“The Writer’s Goal” 897). Utterly to the point with his words, Guy de Maupassant’s fame as a writer stemmed from his “direct and simple way” of telling readers what he observed (Chopin 861). His short story, “The Necklace,” is no exception. “The Necklace” is evidence of the literary realism that dominated literature during the 19th century. Cora Agatucci, a professor of Humanities, states that the subjects of literature during this time period revolved around “everyday events, lives, [and the] relationships of middle/lower class people” (Agatucci 2003). In “The Necklace,” Maupassant describes an unhappy woman, born to a poor family and married to a poor husband, who suffers “ceaselessly” from her lower-class lifestyle, “[…] feeling herself born for all the delicacies and all the luxuries” (Maupassant 524). Through the unfolding of the plot and the exquisite characterization of Mathilde and her husband, Maupassant offers readers a dramatic account of what could happen when a person is not satisfied with her place in life.

Ann Charters defines plot as “the sequence of events in a story and their relation to one another as they develop and usually resolve a conflict” (Charters 1003). According to Charters, there are five major parts of a plot. The exposition explains the characters, the time period, and the present situation; the rising action introduces a major complication, with smaller conflicts occurring along the way; the climax, or the dramatic

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turning point in the action of the story; the falling action, which helps wrap up the major complication; and finally, the conclusion of the story (Charters 1004-1005).

Plot plays a vital role in “The Necklace,” particularly the exposition. Approximately one page is devoted entirely to Mathilde’s description, a description of both her physical appearance as well as her mentality, giving the readers a crystal clear picture of the main character and the reasons behind her depression. Mathilde “dressed plainly because she could not dress well, but she was as unhappy as though she had really fallen from her proper station,” undoubtedly a station of wealth and prosperity in her mind. Suffering “from the poverty of her dwelling,” Mathilde often dreamt of “silent antechambers hung with Oriental tapestry, lit by tall bronze candelabra” when her own drab furniture and dreary walls angered her to look at them (Maupassant 524). The exposition paints Mathilde as a woman who feels she’s been dealt a poor hand in life, a woman desiring riches far beyond her grasp, which foreshadows the events to come later in the plot.

“The action of the plot is performed by the characters in the story, the people who make something happen or produce an effect” (Charters 1006). Without the characters, the plot would be meaningless because the characters bring the plot to life. Charters also explains that characters can be one of two types: dynamic or static. A static character does not change throughout the story; he or she just stays the same, while a dynamic character is often described as “round” and often changes throughout the course of the story (Charters 1007). The way an author chooses to develop a character affects the entire story, particularly the climax. If a character developed as a calm and level headed

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person, he or she will react wisely to conflicts or emotional turning points; however, if a character is developed as greedy and self absorbed, the climax of the story will cause the character to make irrational choices in the face of conflict, as Mathilde, the dynamic main character of “The Necklace” illustrates.

Mathilde’s character is consistently unhappy with her own life and her own possessions, always longing for more than what she has. When her husband brings home the invitation to the ball, hoping his wife will be thrilled at the chance to attend such an exclusive gathering, she instead “threw the invitation on the table with disdain,” because she had nothing to wear. At her husband’s suggestion of wearing her theater dress, she simply cries with grief. When the dress dilemma is resolved, Mathilde is “sad, uneasy, [and] anxious” (Maupassant 525). Her lack of fine jewelry and gems makes her feel that she “should almost rather not go at all” (Maupassant 526). Clearly, Mathilde’s character is one with an insatiable greed for what she does not have.

Later in the story, after the precious necklace has been lost, Mathilde’s character appears to change, taking on the role of a poor woman with “heroism.” As she is forced to scrub dishes, wash laundry, and bargain with their “miserable” money, the reader would assume Mathilde has been humbled by her greed and the price she paid for insisting on wearing the diamond necklace. The reader questions the extent of Mathilde’s transformation when Mathilde sits at her window and ponders the evening of the ball, remembering her beauty and the attention she received.

Contrary to Mathilde is her husband, M. Loisel, a character who remains static throughout the course of “The Necklace.” M. Loisel seems happy with the small things

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in life, desiring only please his wife. When he sits down to a supper of soup, he exclaims, “Ah, the good pot-au-feu! I don’t know anything better than that” (Maupassant 524). Meanwhile, Mathilde is picturing food she feels she is worthy of, like “the pink flesh of a trout or the wings of a quail” (Maupassant 524). M. Loisel does look his patience once with his wife, saying to her, “How stupid you are!” (Maupassant 526) when she is upset about her lack of jewelry. Other than that small episode, M. Loisel remains fairly consistent throughout the length of the story.

The construction of the plot, such as the dramatic climax when Mathilde realizes she has lost the necklace, combined with the shaping of the two main characters, Mathilde and her husband, force the reader to realize the unspoken theme of the story. Mathilde’s envy of other people’s possessions leads to the eventual demise of her life, while her husband’s contentment with what he has allows him to remain essentially unchanged, illustrates the theme running throughout the story, which is the importance of being satisfied with who you are and what you have, as well as the importance of not wanting or envying what other’s have. This theme becomes obvious when, in the exposition, Mathilde’s perspective on her life makes her seem poor and underprivileged; yet, when the Loisels are forced to make drastic changes in their way of life, such as firing their maid and moving to more economical lodging, the reader realizes the poverty Mathilde suffers from is not poverty at all compared to the life they must lead after they are forced to replace the diamond necklace.

Without a strong plot that envelops the reader in the ongoing action, a story is not as powerful or effective; without good characterization of the main characters, there is no

Samuel 5

mechanism for the plot to unfold. If there is not an effective plot with identifiable characters, the theme of any story is lost to the reader, so clearly the three go hand in hand with each other. Maupassant’s ability to communicate facts and descriptions, leaving the emotional interpretation for the reader, is what he’s known for. In fact, this ability makes the reader feel as though Maupassant is telling the story for their ears and hearts only. Kate Chopin eloquently wrote, “I like to cherish the delusion that he has spoken to no one else so directly, so intimately as he does to me” (Chopin 862).

Works Cited

Agatucci, Cora (Professor of English, Humanities Dept., Central Oregon Community

College). “Emergence of the Short Story: Literary Romanticism and Realism-Poe

and Maupassant.” Handout & In-Class Presentation, English 104: Introduction to

Literature-Fiction, Central Oregon Community College [Bend, OR], Fall 2003.

Charters, Ann. “The Elements of Fiction.” [header note.] The Story and Its Writer: An

Introduction to Short Fiction. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 1003-1015.

Charters, Ann. “Guy de Maupassant” [header note.] The Story and Its Writer: An

Introduction to Short Fiction. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 523.

Chopin, Kate. “How I Stumbled upon Maupassant.” [First published 1969.] Rpt. The

Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters.

Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 861-862.

Maupassant, Guy de. “The Necklace.” [First published 1884.] Rpt. The Story and Its

Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed.

Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 524-530.

Maupassant, Guy de. “The Writer’s Goal.” [First published 1888.] Rpt. The Story and Its

Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed.

Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 896-898.

© 2003, Arielle Samuel
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Matthew Welch
ENG 104, Prof. C. Agatucci
Midterm Literary Analysis Paper
29 October 2003

The True Lord of the Rings

There is little doubt that J.R.R. Tolkien has become, in his short reign within literary fiction, nothing short of legendary. His stories, while only recently presented to the world, have ensnared and enthralled thousands of readers around the world. While many “cultured” critics still scoff at this work, the effect Tolkien has had on this world is nearly as profound as the control he had over Middle Earth in his novels. Tolkien, while certainly a master of all elements of fiction, displayed unquestionable proficiency in the areas of character and setting.

Ann Charters defines character simply as, “any person who plays a part in a narrative” (Charters 1045). Charters also defines flat characters as those which are, “simple, one-dimensional, unsurprising, and usually unchanging,” and round characters as those who are, “complex, full, described in detail, often contradictory, and usually dynamic,” or changing (Charters 1045). The interesting part of Tolkien’s work is that there are absolutely no flat characters. The world of Middle Earth is changing and all the creatures within it change as well. Tolkien’s ability to control the fates of the hundreds of characters in his novels may be the single most important aspect of his novels. It is with these characters that readers identify, and this identification moves the readers from a detached, on-looking relationship to an involved, personal experience within the world Tolkien creates.

His development of characters seems to focus on one main character at a time, shifting from one to another. Specifically, Tolkien shifts from Bilbo to Frodo Baggins. In developing those characters, much is learned about the world and characters around them. In the first chapter of Tolkien’s, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” Tolkien introduces Bilbo Baggins and seemingly focuses entirely on him. An observant reader will however notice that they are given insight into the character of dozens of characters. For instance, Ham Gamgee, “The old Gaffer,” tells other hobbits, “Elves and Dragons! I says to him. Cabbages and potatoes are better for me and you” (Tolkien 24). When no one objects to this statement, readers are given insight into the character of all hobbits. While Ham Gamgee may play only a small part in the rest of this story, readers also learn about the background of Sam Gamgee through this and other quotes from his father. It is this background that gives Tolkien’s characters the depths into which readers may delve. By telling us not only what the character is like and how they change throughout the story, but also why and how they became who they are, Tolkien gives his readers a sense of personal attachment, as if they really know the characters in the story.

Tolkien, while introducing minor parts, never fails to develop their character. Even Radagast the Brown, a wizard who is mentioned briefly on no more than two occasions is no exception to this rule. Tolkien tells his readers where Radagast used to dwell and explains his relationship with Gandalf, the only character with whom Radagast interacts (Tolkien 250). Glorfindel, the Elf-Lord who’s’ horse Frodo rides across the ford to Elrond, is a well developed character as Gandalf explains his nature and background to Frodo after their arrival in the House of Elrond at Rivendell (Tolkien 217-218). Through these descriptions of all the characters in his novels, Tolkien provides an emotional connection with Middle Earth and makes the story seem less fiction and more like a dream in which readers are completely immersed.

This immersion, while an exceptional accomplishment, is only one part of what brings readers into Tolkien’s world. The characterization makes readers feel as if they actually know the creatures in the story, while the setting makes readers feel as if they are walking alongside these characters on their journey through Middle Earth. When these two are combined, readers feel as if they become an integral part of the story.

In her essay, “Master of Middle Earth,” Alina Corday stated that Tolkien’s, “penchant for perfectionism slowed his progress mightily” while writing his novels (Corday 3). She also mentions that Tolkien found it necessary to learn how to stew a rabbit before including such an event in his novel (Corday 3). This perfectionism is evidenced greatly in his development of the setting. After the prologue and before the first chapter, Tolkien includes a detailed map of The Shire. At the end of the novel, he includes six additional maps, all of which are drawn in great detail and depict parts of the world he has created. Charters defined setting as, “The place and time in which a story’s action takes place” (Charters 1051). This simple definition is certainly fulfilled in nothing more than the maps and, perhaps, a dozen pages of the novel. Charters does not, however, end her definition there. She goes on to state that setting includes, “the culture and ways of life of the characters and the shared beliefs and assumptions that guide their lives” (Charters 1051). Tolkien even goes so far as to explain what hobbits smoke in pipes, the history behind it, and where the best “pipe weed” is grown (Tolkien 7-9).

As the story progresses, detailed descriptions are given of every area through which the story takes us. In fact, Tolkien often presents background on parts of the setting before they are formally introduced to his readers. For instance, The Old Forest through which the Hobbits pass upon leaving The Shire is discussed in detail before the party even decides to travel through it. It is described as a dark, treacherous place, and is obviously a place the Hobbits fear (Tolkien 104-109). Because they have this background, readers are able to experience the feelings of apprehension, surprise, and wonder in the same way the characters experience them.

In his obsession with perfection, Tolkien created an entirely new world, complete with customs, languages, races, songs, and countries. He also created a plethora of individuals through which his story is carried out and with which his readers identify. While he created this world and everything in it, he could not stray from the characters and lands he created. Because of this, he had little control over the events once he set them in motion. Tolkien, like the Lord of the Rings in the novel, had little control over the actions that took place. He could only set obstacles and helping hands before the characters and allow them to play out the story as they would, as if they were, in fact, real people in a real world that began in one man’s mind and now exists in the minds and hearts of thousands of readers throughout the world.

Works Cited

Charters, Ann. “Appendix 5: Glossary of Literary Terms.” The Story and its Writer: An
Introduction to Short Fiction. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Belford/St. Martin’s 2003. 1044-1053.

Corday, Alina. “Master of Middle Earth.” Smithsonian 32.10 (Jan 2002): 76 (6pp). Rpt.
EBSCOHost Academic Search Elite, 2002; Article No. 5749860.

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Fellowship of the Ring, Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings. [Rev. ed. 1966] Rpt. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1994.

© 2003, Matthew Welch
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Fall 2002 Midterm Examples:

Josh Goodall
ENG 104, Prof. C. Agatucci
Midterm Literary Analysis Paper
4 November 2002

The Mystery of the Mastery

Much of life results from choices we make. How we meet every circumstance, and also how we allow those circumstances to affect us dictates our life. In Anton Chekhov’s “The Lady With the Little Dog,” we are given a chance to take a look inside two characters not unlike ourselves. As we are given insight into these two people, their character and nature unfolds, presenting us with people we can relate to. Even if we fail to grasp the fullness of a feeling or circumstance, we are still touched on our own level, evidencing the brilliance of Chekhov’s writing.

In the exposition of the story, Chekhov immediately delves into his character generation, introducing us to both Anna Sergeevna and Dmitri Gurov, the main players in the story. He also gives us a physical description of Anna, as well as a beginning presentation of Dmitri’s character. Of Anna, Chekhov writes, “…a young woman, not very tall, blond, in a beret, walking along the embankment; behind her ran a white spitz” (Chekhov 144). Of Dmitri he comments, “Gurov, who had already spent two weeks in Yalta…began to take an interest in new faces” (Chekhov 144). Chekhov immediately offers a feel for how each character will shape up to be, and presents a chance for us (the reader) to attach ourselves to these perhaps not-so-unique individuals. Without further ado, Chekhov expounds on his initial description of Dmitri through the next five paragraphs. We learn that he is almost forty, has three children and a wife, but that he is not happy at home. He married early, and is not in love with his wife. He outwardly proclaims extreme chauvinism towards women, but we learn that “in the company of men he was bored, ill at ease, with them he was taciturn and cold, but when he was among women, he felt himself free and knew what to talk about with them and how to behave; and he was at ease even being silent with them” (Chekhov 144). Through this description, Dmitri gains a soul and personality. He becomes a round, developed character with whom we can relate and identify ourselves. Even if we are not completely like Dmitri, his “normal” character helps us to identify ourselves with him in some way.

Chekhov’s ability to define character and produce an effect in the reader is not limited only to the description and action provided in the story. He expertly weaves location and setting into the development of theme. “Setting is essential if the reader is to be given the opportunity to glimpse a truth about the internal life from the characters and the plot” (Charters 1008). The story begins in Yalta, obviously in warmer weather, which sets a happy tone for the exposition. However, once the couple meets, the weather begins to change. “A week had passed since they became acquainted. It was Sunday. Inside it was stuffy, but outside the dust flew in whirls, hats blew off” (Chekhov 146). Chekhov illustrates how the characters are developing through the change in the weather. In the beginning, when the relationship is mostly superficial, the sun is shining, and it’s a nice time for a stroll. However, as the adulterous relationship continues, the weather become tumultuous, foreshadowing the turmoil that will soon begin inside both Anna and Dmitri. After the lovers commit their adulterous deeds, “when they went out, there was not a soul on the embankment, the town with its cypresses looked completely dead…” (Chekhov 147), indicating the death inside both the lovers. There is no turning back at this point, and death may loom ahead. Through the environment the characters live in, we learn what they are going through, and understanding of the characters expand beyond mere words and actions.

The brilliance of Chekhov’s writing cannot be overstated. In “The Lady with the Little Dog” there is an untypical depth to the relationship between Anna and Dmitri. While the plot itself may be little more than that of a soap opera, the development and depth to which the characters are taken is far beyond any afternoon television program. As Richard Ford says, Chekhov “concentrates [his] narrative attentions not on the conventional hot spots – sex, deceit, and what happens at the end – but rather, by its precision, pacing, and decisions about what to tell, it directs our interest toward those flatter terrains of a love affair where we, being conventional souls, might overlook something important” (871). Sex, lies, and deceit do take place, but they are all off stage. Chekhov takes this critical time to develop character, showing us what is going on inside the souls of the adulterers, rather than sensationalizing on the outside events that are all too popular in today’s society (as well as back when the story was written).

Although Chekhov’s story is filled with complex issues of moral struggle and turmoil, it is a story we can all relate to. Everyone faces difficult decisions in life, and Chekhov brings the inner mayhem to light. Focus upon people rather than events impacts us in ways we cannot even describe. We are connected to the people in the story as we identify with the feelings and personalities of these fictional characters. “Everything that he [Gurov] found important, interesting, necessary, in which he was sincere and did not deceive himself, which constituted the core of his life, occurred in secret from others” (Chekhov 154). We are forced to reflect upon circumstances in our own lives, and all of life’s little nuances become significant once we realize that they affect the fiber of our being. Chekhov attracts “attention to mature feelings, to complicated human dilemmas, any part of which, were we to encounter them in our complex, headlong life with others, might evade even sophisticated notice” (Ford 869). We become more sensitive to human interaction, and begin to empathize with others, beyond the mere situation, and their deep inner struggles.

Without the brilliant illustration of Chekhov’s characters, we would miss much of the meaning of the story. “The importance of being honest with your feelings” could be a theme in “The Lady with the Little Dog.” If Chekhov did not produce such dynamic, realistic characters, we might be insensitive to the true feelings of Anna and Dmitri. This character development is essential to understanding of the theme. “And only now, when his head was gray, had he really fallen in love as one ought to – for the first time in his life” (Chekhov 155). Chekhov tells the reader, “It’s not too late. ‘Even when [your] head [is] gray’ you can still find true love.” Once the reader has identified with the character, they begin to take the practice (and success) of the character to bear in their own life. The theme is fully digested, and creates inspiration in the reader to begin their own quest for truth.

Works Cited

Charters, Ann, ed. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction.

Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford-St. Martin’s, 2002.

Chekhov, Anton. “The Lady with the Little Dog.” Rpt. The Story and Its Writer: An

Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed. Boston;

Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002. 143-155.

Ford, Richard. “Why We Like Chekhov.” Rpt. The Story and Its Writer: An

Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed. Boston;

Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002. 143-155.

© 2002, Josh Goodall
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Christalyn Grantier
ENG 104, Prof. C. Agatucci
Midterm Literary Analysis Paper
4 November 2002

Plot vs. Point of View in Chopin’s “Story of An Hour”

Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour” tells the tale of an evolution of a character in a single hour. Chopin accomplishes this by using a specific point of view and unique plot to carry out her vision. These elements work together to create a theme that has the greatest impact on the reader.

Ann Charters defines “point of view” as “the author’s choice of narrator for the story”(1009). “The Story of an Hour” is told from the viewpoint of a third-person narrator. This speaker is a “non-participant in the story” (Charters 1009). Never does the narrator include herself in the plot of “Hour.” Specifically, this speaker has only “limited omniscience” as she relates the story. According to Charters, a speaker with limited omniscience is able to know what is going on in the mind of a single character, but not have a full understanding of, or chooses not to reveal to the readers, the minds of all the characters (Charters 1009). For example, the emotions and thoughts of Mrs. Mallard are fully described within the story. We see her grief, but also the thoughts of freedom that begin to come to her mind (Chopin 157-8). Because the narrator does not show all the aspects of the story, it allows the fact of her husband being alive to be a surprise (Chopin 158). The narrator, because he or she is not a member of the story, may be able to be trusted more by the reader than a person involved directly in the story (Charters 1010). The narrator is considered more “objective” (Agatucci 4).

The author, Kate Chopin, was a great admirer of Guy de Maupassant, a writer of the realist genre (Agatucci 4). Maupassant stated that “The writer’s goal is to reproduce this illusion of life faithfully…” (Maupassant 898). Chopin used a point of view in “Story of an Hour” very similar to that of Maupassant when he wrote “The Necklace.” The author’s factual account allows a reader to experience this “illusion of life”. According to Maupassant, a writer should find a new way of looking at a situation (Charters 523). Chopin, in attempting to imitate the genre embraced by this author, looked at a situation of the death of a husband in a unique way. She accomplished this by presenting the true feelings of a widow and contrasting those feelings with society’s beliefs. Working in the realistic genre, Chopin presented a more “disillusioned” view of life (Agatucci 4). Chopin did not portray the accepted norms of society. She did not state that the wife could not go on without her husband. By contrast, she viewed her story with a new concept, that of a wife feeling empowered to go on living because her husband was no longer alive.

The thoughts and actions of these characters can be seen in the development of the plot. Point of view is how a reader is able to look into a story; the plot is the arrangement of the incidents themselves (Charter 1003, 1009). Charters defines plot as “the sequence of events in a story and their relation to one another as they develop and usually resolve a conflict”(1003). The sequences within this story are quite short because this story occurs in the course of a single hour. The conflict present in this story is all within the protagonist, “the main character of [the] narrative” (Charters 1051). Without the view which allows the reader to see inside the mind of Mrs. Mallard, the reader would not be aware of the true conflict. Without this insight, a reader might assume, like Mrs. Mallard’s sister, that the conflict of the wife was the grief associated with her husband’s death (Chopin 158). The point of view allows the reader to see the true conflict within the plot and to sense the freedom that is eventually embraced by the protagonist (Chopin 158).

The life of the author seems to have an impact on the plot. Kate Chopin had a very similar experience as Mrs. Mallard in the tragic death of her father. Chopin’s father perished when she was young in a train accident (Chopin 157; and “Katherine Chopin”). Also, she did not begin writing until after her mother and husband had both passed away (“Katherine Chopin”). She herself stated that “If it were possible for my husband and my mother to come back to earth, I feel that I would unhesitatingly give up every thing that has come into my life since they left it and join my existence again with theirs. To do that, I would have to forget the past ten years of my growth — my real growth” (O’Brien). This suggests Chopin sympathized with Mrs. Mallard, who had found new freedom in the death of a loved one (Chopin 158). Kate Chopin had a bicultural background. According to Contemporary Authors, this author’s great-grandmother related stories of her ancestors, including those about “notorious infidels” (“Katherine Chopin”). This may have given Chopin confidence to explore topics not generally discussed by the society of her day.

The plot itself has some very distinct characteristics that are of the literary realism genre. First, it is believable. Most people believe that heart disease and train accidents do exist (Chopin 157). Authors writing within this style often chose to look at the nature of human beings (Agatucci 3). The entire plot of “Story of An Hour” is that of describing the nature of the characters. The plot begins by depicting the reaction of Mrs. Mallard’s sister and Mr. Mallard’s friend (Chopin 157). The evolution of the emotional nature of Mrs. Mallard is described as she sits alone (Chopin157-158). Finally, we see the nature of society at that time, totally ignorant of the true feelings felt by the wife about her husband. Agatucci describes this impact on characters such as Mrs. Mallard as “ordinary people of contemporary times live it in society, caught up by social…forces” (3).

The social forces of this time included, what could be referred to as society’s “repression” of women. Seyersted describes this time period as a society in which “a society where man makes the rules, woman is often kept in a state of tutelage and regarded as property or as a servant”. Seyersted quotes Chopin herself in saying, “As Mme. de Stael’s Corinne is told: Whatever extraordinary gifts she may have, her duty and ‘her proper destiny is to devote herself to her husband and to the raising of her children’.” This type of society had a great impact on the plot of this story. The reader can better understand the situation of Mrs. Mallard. Her destiny was that of devoting herself to her husband. Even though she loved him and would weep upon seeing him dead, she welcomed the “procession of years that would belong to her absolutely” (Chopin 158). Maureen Anderson refers to Chopin as having an “authorial skill through which she elegantly addresses society’s flaws” present in all her works.

In conclusion, both the point of view and the plot of “Story of an Hour” work to create the theme of this story. Theme is “a generalization about the meaning of a story” (Charters 1013). The theme of Chopin’s story is how ignorant society was at that time of the true feelings experienced by repressed women. First, the point of view allows us to see the inner emotions expressed by Mrs. Mallard. Without a speaker with limited omniscience, a reader would never realize what was truly being felt by the protagonist, and the theme would be lost. Because the narrator is outside the story and could be considered more objective, the reader is more likely to believe that these feelings experienced by Mrs. Mallard are true. If Mrs. Mallard or the sister had told the story, readers would have gotten two different, biased accounts. The point of view allows a reader to feel that this really could have happened, an “illusion of life”, thereby making the theme more powerful. The plot allows Mrs. Mallard to explore her feelings of repression and finally accept the fact that she can rejoice in the freedom of being a widow (Chopin 158). The surprise ending, the return of Mr. Mallard and the death of Mrs. Mallard, gives the reader a chance to understand the ironic beliefs of society (Chopin 158). The irony can be seen in the totally contradictory feelings of the protagonist and society. Mrs. Mallard, upon seeing her husband alive, was suddenly thrown back into a situation in which she had “thought with a shudder that life might be long” (Chopin 158). It was this great shock and grief that led to her death, not the “joy that kills” (Chopin 158).

Works Cited

Agatucci, Cora. (Professor of English, Humanities Dept., Central Oregon Community College). “Emergence of the Short Story: Literary Romanticism and Realism- Poe and Maupassant; Myth Lit. Theory”. In-Class Presentation, English 104: Introduction to Literature-Fiction, Central Oregon Community College [Bend, OR]. Fall 2002. Handout.

Anderson, Maureen. “Unraveling the Southern Pastoral Tradition: A New Look at Kate Chopin’s At Fault.” Southern Literary Journal 34.1: 1-14. Rpt. Ebsco Host Academic Search Elite, 2001; Article No. 6124416.

Charters, Ann. “Appendix 3: The Elements of Fiction.” The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Compact 6th Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 1003-1015.

Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour”. [First published 1894.] Rpt. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 6th Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 157-158.

“Katherine Chopin, 1851-1904.” [New Entry: 28 Apr. 1998.] Contemporary Authors Online. The Gale Group, 2000. Rpt. Gale Literature Resource Center [Online Subscription Database]. The Gale Group, 2002.

Maupassant, Guy de. “The Writer’s Goal”. [First published 1888.] Rpt. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 6th Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 896-898.

O’Brien, Sharon. “Bored Wives and Jubilant Widows”. The New York Times 30 Dec. 1990, late. ed., sec. 7: 10. Rpt. Lexis-Nexis. 28 Oct. 2002.

Seyersted, Per. [Excerpt from] Kate Chopin: A Critical Biography. Louisiana State University Press, 1969. 246. Rpt. World Literature Criticism Supplement, Vol.1. Gale Literature Resource Center [Online Subscription Database]. The Gale Group, 2002.

© 2002, Christalyn Grantier
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Jennifer Stewart
ENG 104, Prof. C. Agatucci
Revised Midterm Literary Analysis Paper
25 November 2002

Literary Analysis of Maupassant’s “The Necklace”

One of Guy De Maupassant’s literary influences was Gustave Flaubert, who taught him to write. Flaubert’s teaching principles suggested that the “writer must look at everything to find some aspect of it that no one has yet seen or expressed,” thus providing the reader a new or different view of life (Charters, “Maupassant” header 523). Maupassant succeeded in being a writer “who had entered into himself and looked out upon life through his own being and with his own eyes,” according to Kate Chopin (861). He wrote “realistic fiction” and greatly influences writers still (Charters, “Brief History” 998). “The Necklace” was written in the 19th century Literary Realism period. The story focuses on “everyday events, lives, [and the] relationships of middle/lower class,” and it provides a glimpse of normal people and how they are influenced by “social and economic forces” (Agatucci 4).

The meaning of “The Necklace” is developed through the depiction of the characters and the plot of the story. Maupassant stated that the story is not only a form of entertainment but a tool “to make us think and to make us understand the deep and hidden meaning of events” (“Writer’s” 896). I found that the theme of “The Necklace” exhibits the importance of honesty and being happy with who you are. It shows that things are not always what they seem, material things do not define the person and that money cannot solve all problems and may in fact create them. Donald Adamson describes the main character, Mathilde, as a “poor but an honest woman,” I disagree with his opinion. Mathilde’s dishonesty changes her life and forces her to know “the horrible existence of the needy” (Maupassant 528). “The Necklace” is a story about Mathilde, a miserable and selfish wife of a “little clerk” who suffers “from the poverty of her dwelling,” and dreams of a rich and elegant lifestyle where she is beautiful and “envied” (Maupassant, “Necklace”, 524). This conflict within Mathilde drives her throughout the story. Her dedicated husband, M. Loisel, is content with their life and wishes to make her happy despite everything he must endure. After obtaining an invitation to a ball that was an “awful trouble to get,” he eagerly takes it home to his wife who is ungrateful because she does not feel that she has anything suitable to wear (525). After having a new dress made, Mathilde can’t imagine going to the ball without “a single jewel” so she borrows a beautiful necklace from her friend Mme. Forestier (526). The day of the ball proved to be everything Mathilde imagined, but it all ends when she loses the necklace. Although M. Loisel and Mathilde find a replacement necklace, they spend “ten years in grinding poverty until they finally paid off their debt,” only to discover that the necklace was not a diamond necklace but just “mere costume jewellery” (Adamson).

Charters defines plot as the “sequence of events in a story and their relation to one another as they develop and usually resolve a conflict” (“Elements” 1003). In the exposition of “The Necklace,” Maupassant provides a detailed “character portrait” of Mathilde and offers some important details about M. Loisel (Adamson). It is obvious that conflict exists inside of Mathilde. She feels she is too good for the life she leads. She is unhappy with who she is and dreams of being someone else. On the contrary, M. Loisel is happy and satisfied to come home to his wife who prepares him an “economical but tasty meal” (Smith). Mathilde is very materialistic and believes that riches would end her suffering, she won’t even visit a rich friend and “former classmate at the convent” because she is so jealous and envious.

The rising action of the plot begins when M. Loisel presents the invitation to Mathilde. This presentation only aggravates the conflict that exists within Mathilde and she cannot imagine going to the ball in any of her old dresses. Mathilde sheds two pitiful tears and M. Loisel “quickly decides to sacrifice his savings” so that she may purchase a new dress (Smith). Mathilde is not satisfied with just a new dress! She believes it would be a disgrace to show up at the ball without jewelry. She must not “look poor among other women who are rich” (Maupassant 526). So she borrows a “superb necklace of diamonds” from Mme. Forestier (526). In this passage Maupassant convinces the reader that the necklace is real diamonds; “he misleads the reader into believing that the necklace really is valuable” (Adamson). This creates more excitement for the climax of the story when Mathilde loses the necklace on her way home from the ball. M. Loisel responds by going to search for the necklace to no avail. He does not find the necklace and instructs Mathilde to lie to Mme. Forestier and tell her that she has broken the necklace and will need time to have it repaired. If Mathilde would have chosen to be honest at this point, Mme. Forestier would have told her that the necklace was only “paste…worth at most five hundred francs” (530). Instead they find a suitable replacement necklace that costs thirty-six thousand francs. After one week M. Loisel “had aged five years,” and was forced to use his inheritance and borrow money “risking his signature without even knowing if he could meet it” to buy the replacement necklace (Maupassant, “Necklace” 528). Upon returning the necklace to her friend, Mathilde discovered the “horrible existence of the needy” (528). They “dismissed their servant” and gave up their flat. Mathilde became a “woman of impoverished households – strong and hard and rough” (529). She was forced to haggle and defend their “miserable money” (529). It took them ten years to pay off all of their debts. Mathilde was no longer pretty and charming, she now had “frowsy hair… and red hands” (529).

These trials and tribulations represent the falling action of the story, where the conflict is moving toward a resolution (Charters, “Elements” 1005). Guy De Maupassant’s narrator and Donald Adamson use the term hero when describing Mme. Loisel, but I do not feel that her actions were heroic. She was just fulfilling the duties that were always expected of her, but that she felt she was too good for. I do not believe that dishonesty is a trait of a hero. Perhaps if Mathilde would have been honest with Mme. Forestier from the beginning about losing the necklace, she would have explained that it was not real diamonds and they could have avoided all of the hardships they endured. Some may argue that Mathilde was heroic because she took responsibility for her mistake, gave up her lifestyle and worked to repay the debt. It was admirable that she did not expect her husband to bear the burden alone. The conclusion of “The Necklace” undoubtedly contains an element of surprise. Mathilde discovers that the necklace was not made of diamonds, but imitation gems. This devastating discovery leaves many unanswered questions.

Maupassant’s narrator uses limited omniscient narration by describing Mathilde with her thoughts. She is a round character capable of choosing alternative responses to the situations presented to her (Charters, “Elements” 1007). I believe Mathilde is both a dynamic and a static character. She is dynamic because she does undergo a significant change and takes on the duties of a poverty stricken housewife. Yet she remains static in that she is still not content with her life and dreams of that “gay evening long ago, of that ball where she had been so beautiful” (Maupassant, “Necklace” 529). Her husband M. Loisel is also a round character, the “play and pull of his actions and responses to situations” could be observed throughout the story (Charters, “Elements” 1007). When Mathilde is unhappy with the invitation to the ball he offers to buy her a new dress. When she wants jewelry he recommends borrowing from Mme. Forestier and when she loses the necklace he collects the money to replace it. Although M. Loisel does experience some change, he is a static character. I believe he is content and happy with his life throughout the story. He continues to work hard and stays dedicated to Mathilde. The themes of “The Necklace” are evident throughout the plot of the story. If only Mathilde would have been honest with Mme. Forestier and happy with who she was, she could have prevented the whole ordeal. Her misfortune proves to the reader that honesty is the best choice. Maupassant warns the reader of the afflictions that vanity may cause. There was no need for Mathilde to wear a diamond necklace; she was too concerned about what others would think of her. The fake diamond necklace proves that things are not always what they seem, although Mme. Forestier appeared to be rich, she chose or may have only been able to afford costume jewelry. I believe “The Necklace” serves as a reminder of the importance of being happy and proud of who we are regardless of the amount of material things or money that we possess.

Works Cited

Adamson, Donald. “”The Necklace’: Overview.” Reference Guide to World Literature. 2nd ed. Ed.

Lesley Henderson. St. James Press, 1995. Rpt. Gale Literature Resource Center

[Outline Subscription Database]. The Gale Group, 2002.

Agatucci, Cora (Professor of English, Humanities Dept., Central Oregon Community College).

“Emergence of the Short Story: Literary Romanticism and Realism – Poe and Maupassant; Myth Lit. Theory.” Week #4 Presentation/Handout Outline.

Charters, Ann. “Appendix 2: A Brief History of the Short Story.” The Story and Its Writer: An

Introduction to Short Fiction. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford-St. Martin’s, 2003. 995-1002.

Charters, Ann. “Appendix 3: The Elements of Fiction.” The Story and Its Writer: An

Introduction to Short Fiction. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford-St. Martin’s, 2003. 1003-1015.

Charters, Ann. “Guy De Maupassant” [header note]. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to

Short Fiction. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford-St. Martin’s, 2003. 523.

Charters, Ann. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Compact 6th ed.

Boston: Bedford-St. Martin’s, 2003.

Chopin, Kate. “How I stumbled upon Maupassant.” [First published 1896] Rpt. The Story and Its

Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact Sixth ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003.

Maupassant, Guy De. “The Necklace.” [First published 1884.] Rpt. The Story and Its Writer: An

Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact Sixth ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 524-530.

Maupassant, Guy De. “The Writer’s Goal.” [First published 1888.] Rpt. The Story and Its Writer:

An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact Sixth ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 896-898.

Smith, Christopher. “The Necklace’: Overview.” Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Ed. Noelle

Watson, St. James Press, 1994. Rpt. Gale Literature Resource Center [Online Subscription Database.] The Gale Group, 2002.

© 2002, Jennifer Stewart
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Ruzha Todorova
ENG 104, Prof. C. Agatucci
Literary Analysis Paper
4 November 2002

A Cure for Temporary Depression

The Yellow Wallpaper, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a story of a young depressed woman, traveling to the country with her husband, so that she can be away from writing, which seems to have a bad impact on her psychological condition. Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar call it ”a striking story of female confinement and escape, a paradigmatic tale which (like Jane Eyre) seems to tell the story that all literary women would tell if they could speak their ‘speechless woe’” (874). In this story theme and point of view interlace and work together to create an intense description of an almost prison-like prescription for overcoming depression. She struggles with male oppression, because she is told by her husband and her brother many things about her own health that she disagrees with. She strives for independence, and she wants to break free from the bondages of that oppression. The story is written from the character’s point of view in a form resembling journal entries, which describe her stay in the house. The house itself is an old mansion, and the yellow wallpaper in the character’s bedroom seems to be really disturbing. She believes that there is a woman locked behind bars living in the pattern of that wallpaper. She spends a lot of time trying to figure it out, and in the end she completely breaks away even from her own mind.
Ann Charters defines theme as the “generalization about the meaning of a story” (1013). The theme in The Yellow Wallpaper describes the struggle of women to live in a male-dominated society. Gilman portrays the man as insensitive and lacking in emotional support. From the beginning of the story forward the narrator speaks of how her husband and other men in her life direct her so that she will recover quickly. The narrator shows that even though she is convinced that she knows what to do about her depression, she is still influenced by her husband with the following passage: “I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus – but John says the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad” (306). Her husband seems to be the one who can change her thoughts because he is a man or because he is her husband. Nonetheless, she is still being suppressed by a member of the opposite sex. Many times the narrator also speaks in a way that suggests that because a man speaks she has no means by which to disagree with him because she is a woman. A perfect example of this is presented in the beginning passages of the story, where the narrator states, “Personally, I disagree with their ideas. Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good. But what is one to do?” (306). This last sentence “But what is one to do?” exemplifies wonderfully her oppressed female stature in the society of her life. She states right from the beginning that “John is a physician, and perhaps – (I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind) – perhaps that is the one reason I do not get well faster” (306). She obviously loves her husband and trusts him but has some underlying feeling that maybe his prescription of total bed rest is not working for her. In the second passage the narrator becomes comfortable with the room, now she likes the room enough and is curious enough to open up to her husband and tell him what she thinks she has been seeing. John becomes terrified of these ideas she has in her head and what she might believe to be real and not real. He begins to plead with her and tries to convince her that she must control all of her ambitions and act sanely. Later John is trying to manipulate the narrator with guilt. He is implying that she must think of herself as getting better, mind and body, for the sake of other people, rather than herself. The narrator is, however, doubting that she will ever recover mentally. Although John says her appearance has improved, she believes that she is not physically better. The final passages of the story, at last, successfully manifest a display of power and possible regain of self-governance through the narrator’s finally standing up to her husband by locking him out of the room in which he has imprisoned her supposedly for her benefit. Whereupon, for the first time in the story, he must listen to her entreaties to discover where the key is hidden (317).
According to Charters, point of view is “the author’s choice of a narrator for the story” (1009). In this story the narrator is a first person narrator. We can easily see what is going on the head of the main character. We can feel sorry for her because she is a victim of male oppression. However, we are presented with a biased story. We can only see the events that take place from her point of view, which turns out to be quite distorted. She stares at this wallpaper for hours on end and thinks she sees a woman behind the paper. “I didn’t realize for a long time what the thing was that showed behind, that dim sub-pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman” (313). She becomes obsessed with discovering what is behind that pattern and what it is doing. “I don’t want to leave now until I have found it out” (314). Once the narrator determines that the image is in fact a woman struggling to become free, she somehow aligns herself with the woman. We don’t see that until she mentions that she often sees the woman creeping outside: “I see her in that long shaded lane, creeping up and down. I see her in those dark grape arbors, creeping all around the garden…. I don’t blame her a bit. It must be very humiliating to be caught creeping by daylight! I always lock the door when I creep by daylight. I can’t do it at night, for I know John would suspect something at once” (315). This shows the narrator seeing herself in the woman and when she sees the woman creeping outside, she sees herself. When she creeps outside she locks the door. She is afraid her husband will take away the only comfort she has. She continues to pursue this obsessive idea that she has to get the woman out. The narrator wants the woman to be free of the paper but does not want to let her go, because the woman is what keeps her focused and sane: “I don’t want to go out, and I don’t want to have anybody come in, till John comes. I want to astonish him. I’ve got a rope up here that even Jennie did not find. If that woman does get out, and tries to get away, I can tie her!” (317). She peels all the wallpaper that she can reach. She wants to help the woman get out, and she becomes quite extreme: “I am getting angry enough to do something desperate. To jump out of the window would be admirable exercise, but the bars are too strong even to try. Besides I wouldn’t do it. Of course not. I know well enough that a step like that is improper and might be misconstrued” (317). She goes on to say, “I don’t like to look out of the windows even–there are so many those creeping women, and they creep so fast. I wonder if they all come out of that wallpaper as I did?” (317). It seems she has released the woman and it is indeed herself. As if she enjoys being out and doing as she likes but at night her husband will be around and she mustn’t creep around her husband. He might find her mad. But at last she finds the courage to confront her oppressor and stand up for herself. “‘What is the matter?’ he cried. ‘For God’s sake, what are you doing!’ I kept on creeping just the same, but I looked at him over my shoulder. ‘I’ve got out at last,’ said I, ‘in spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!’” (318). Jane is undoubtedly the narrator herself. She is the result of a distorted mind trying to free herself from the male oppression. From the narrator’s point of view we had this fact hidden throughout the story. However, as soon as her mind has freed itself, she had freed herself both from her husband and from her own identity.
In order to read and understand this story, we must consider many things. First the time frame in which the story was written, and that society’s attitude of the story content at that time. Written in 1892, a woman suffering from depression was not clearly understood and was treated with isolation. This would clearly drive any person mad. The narrator made attempts to bring to her husband’s attention what she felt was a better way of making her better but he refused to listen and ignored her wishes to involve herself in more activity. This was the experience of Gilman herself. She shares that she wrote The Yellow Wallpaper “to save people from being crazy” (879).

Works Cited

Charters, Ann. “The Elements of Fiction”. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 1003 – 1015.

Gilbert, Sandra m., and Gubar, Susan. “A Feminist Reading of Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’.” [First published 1979.] Rpt. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 873 – 875.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” [First published 1892.] Rpt. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 306 – 318.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “Why I Wrote ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’.” [First published 1913.] Rpt. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 878 – 879.

© 2002, Ruzha Todorova

Sheena Van Landuyt
ENG 104, Prof. C. Agatucci
Literary Analysis Paper
27 November 2002

To complete a puzzle properly each and every piece must be accounted for; otherwise the final product is never comprehensive. A puzzle with missing pieces is very much like a story with missing elements. Every element plays an important role in the meaning and the integrity of the story. Clearly, with a puzzle there are pieces that are more consequential if missing than others. Just like a puzzle there are significant elements in a story that make a big difference. If such elements are removed some of the realistic aspects a story needs for readers to be able to relate are missing as well. Although there are many elements that go into a story there are two that are profoundly important to have in a story. These two elements are recognized as the plot and characters.

A plot can be described as the “sequence of events in a story and there relation to one another as they develop and usually resolve a conflict” (Charters, “Elements” 1003). It is usually desirable for the author to present the plot in the beginning of the story, laid out so readers can easily follow the events and their significance (Charters, “Elements” 1003). The conflict within the story is profoundly important to how the plot is going to be laid out since the plot itself is usually impacted by the conflict throughout the story. This point can be seen in Maupassant’s “The Necklace” extremely well.

In the beginning of the story “The Necklace” Maupassant lays out the foundation of the conflict for his readers. Mme. Loisel is a pretty woman who longs for something more than she has and she pays for this throughout the story ( Maupassant 524). This internal conflict expands throughout the entire story. Mme. Loisel wants to be richer but she is married to a clerk and is far from rich (Maupassant 524). This first conflict illustrated by Maupassant drives the story very well. The second conflict presented in “The Necklace” was when the dinner invitation came. This conflict seems to be more external, because it is not a conflict Mme. Loisel has been struggling with internally for years. However, when the dinner invitation is presented another conflict is introduced. Mme. Loisel wants to attend this elaborate dinner, but not unless she can be in the most magnificent clothing and jewelry (Maupassant 525). This point is well illustrated when Mme. Loisel states, “there is nothing more humiliating than to look poor among other women who are rich” (Maupassant 526). Continuously after these two conflicts are introduced, she is introduced to more that get her into trouble. Thus the conflict within the story is driving the plot and consistently reappearing (Charters, “Elements” 1003).

Within the plot there are components that are critically important when exploring a story. These components consist of exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and conclusion (Charters, “Elements” 1004-1005). Exposition includes the “introduction of characters, scene, time, and situation (Charters, “Elements” 1004). In “The Necklace” the exposition seemed to be in the beginning when the introduction of Mme. Loisel is taking place. At this point the author gives only a brief background of the past and present dimensions of her life (Maupassant 524). The rising action of a story is generally “the dramatization of events that complicate the situation and gradually intensify the conflict” (Charters, “Elements” 1005). In “The Necklace” this point would be when the couple is invited to the dinner party the reader can not tell at this point that the invitation is significant but it is (Maupassant 525). The climax can basically be described as the “turning point” in the story (Charters, “Elements” 1005). The climax is this particular story would surely be when Mme. Loisel discovers her necklace as missing (Maupassant 527). The falling action moves the conflict towards a solution (Charters, “Elements” 1005). In Mme. Loisel’s case this would be when she sees her friend Mme. Forestier on the street and confronts her. Once the conclusion sets in and ties together all the loose strings, the reader get the surprise that the necklace was fake the entire time (Maupassant 530). As one can see the plot plays a huge role in the development of a short story.

Another important aspect of developing a short story is the character developed in the context of the story. It is important that characters be realistic in any story. Writers can accomplish the task of reality by making the characters either dynamic or static (Charters, “Elements” 1007). A static character is one that does not change throughout the story, while a dynamic character changes. Mme. Loisel is both a static and dynamic character. Mme. Loisel changes when the necklace disappears making her dynamic. This is true in the beginning she is from lower middle class where she has a comfortable home and servants (Maupassant 524). However, when the necklace disappears and must be replaced, she is forced to release her servants and change her lodging in order to pay off her debts. This change in Mme. Loisel is permanent thus making her a dynamic character (Maupassant 528).

It is also easy for one to see Mme. Loisel as a static character also. This is due to the fact that Mme. Loisel never really changes in some aspects. Throughout the entire story she is envious of other people. One can see this at the beginning of the story with the introduction of the invitation. At this point Mme. Loisel insists on an expensive dress and necklace (Maupassant 525-526). It can also be seen at the end of the story when Mme. Loisel sees her friend Jeanne again for the first time in awhile and is still envious of her wealth and beauty. This aspect of Mme. Loisel’s character also makes her static (Maupassant 529-530). One can see how the plot and characters’ play an important role together in shaping the story and laying it out for the reader to understand. The plot helps to set the conflict, which in turn drives the plot as well as characters actions and motives.

As an author, having the ability to integrate such important elements of a story successfully can be very difficult. Guy De Maupassant was not a naturally gifted writer, which makes the morals and outline of his stories even more believable (Charters, “Guy De” 523). Maupassant had difficulties in school while he was younger, which may explain why he joined the army during the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War (Charters, “Guy De” 523). Maupassant was later taught how to write by a relative of the name Gustave Flaubert. Maupassant recalled writing, “verses, short stories, longer stories, even a wretched play. Nothing survived. The master read everything” (Charters, “Guy De” 523). It seemed that Maupassant was not a natural talent when it came to writing, which makes his writing meaningful because he must have struggled to write well and overcame the challenge. Flaubert instructed Maupassant that “talent is nothing other than a long patience. Work” (Charters, “Guy De” 523). This may be an important aspect of Maupassant’s life to examine. Maupassant writings seem to be packed with morals and hidden messages possibly due to lessons installed by Flaubert.

Another important lesson Flaubert tried to install in his pupil was to look at everything within the context of any literary work and discover the one component that every other reader has missed. Flaubert explained the fact that every piece has some hidden labyrinth or message unexplored (Charters, “Guy De” 523). The lessons installed in Maupassant by Flaubert may be a large factor in the way he wrote. Since Flaubert focused so much on details and hidden unexplored messages, it is easy to see why there are so many subtle clues in “The Necklace” that readers can discover and interpret as they wish.

Another important influence on Maupassant’s writing may simply be the era he was living in while he composed his stories. Ann Charters explains that “Maupassant’s plots are tightly organized and usually conclude with a decisive action” (Charters, “Brief History” 998). Maupassant plays close attention to physical and mental details. As a writer he favors a surprise ending, as one can tell by the ending of “The Necklace” (Charters, Brief History 998). Maupassant’s literary era could be classified primarily as 19th Century Literary Realism (Agatucci 3). This period of literature involved real people with everyday events in which ordinary people could relate. Also this period places a large importance on classes and relationships between upper and lower classes, which is what Maupassant does extremely well (Agatucci 3).

Maupassant is an exceptional writer and as explained in her essay “How I Stumbled upon Maupassant,” Kate Chopin explains how readers may not realize just how wonderful he is until they truly understand him. Kate Chopin explains her findings of Maupassant’s writing as somewhat of an inspiration. Chopin believes that his writings do not speak to everyone as a group but to each reader individually, by what the reader sees and hears within the pages (Chopin 861). Chopin describes Maupassant “as a man who escaped from tradition and authority, who had entered into himself and look out upon life through his own being” (Chopin 861).

It is almost as if Chopin found herself as a writer when she began to study Maupassant’s work. Also she sees him as secretly telling hints of his stories within the pages. Maupassant does not just come out and explain the important hidden messages within his stories; he expresses them through the feelings each reader experiences while reading his literature (Chopin 861).

It takes many special components to write a story. Maupassant had the opportunity to show his readers the elegance of his writing. Maupassant had a gift at combining elements of fiction like characters and plot. Through the combination of his history, era and hard work he developed stories literature readers could enjoy and relate to for generations.

Works Cited to come . . .

© 2002, Sheena Van Landuyt

Anonymous #1
ENG 104, Prof. C. Agatucci
Literary Analysis Paper
27 November 2002
[Untitled: On Chekhov's "The Lady with the Little Dog"]

Anton Chekov is said to “ [to be] extremely modest about his extraordinary ability to empathize with the characters” that he wrote about in his stories (Charters, 134). He was careful not stereotype any of the characters he portrayed nor did he over dramatize the story’s plot. The characters emotions and reactions to those emotions were the vehicle for the stories plot. Chekov’s only desired to write about real people with real feelings which allowed his writings such as “The Lady with the Little Dog”, the seriousness and sympathy it deserves. Chekov emphasized on the man and the woman always being “ the two pole [of every story] (p. 949). Just as there are pulls toward poles of the earth so are the pulls on the characters in his stories; these pulls being forces of life and life circumstance. “The Lady with the Little Dog” demonstrates how reality forces undesired role play between a man and woman in love which is one of the definitive of literary realism established by Professor Agatucci; “[The Lady with the Little Dog] is an example of “A slice of life” such as ordinary people of contemporary times live in society caught up by social forces” (p. 3). The story’s main characters, Anna and Dimitri, their desire to be together are conflicted with the duties they have in common which are husband and wife to two different people. However, the love that Dimitri and Anna share represents the struggle of duties just as the desire for most people in society to want to break from reality.

Dimitri, unlike Anna, was not upset or regretful of their love affair because “he had begun to be unfaithful to [his wife] long ago, was unfaithful often, and, probably for that reason, almost always spoke ill of women, and when they were discussed in his presence, he would say of them: ‘An inferior race!’”(p.144). Dimitri was introduced in the story as taking on an egotistical and selfish role knowing very well that not only was he beyond so many years to Anna but also, “in his tone and caresses, there has been a slight shade of mockery, the somewhat coarse arrogance of a happy man” (p. 149). He seemed to have had his way with Anna and did not want to fall short of this good thing. In contrast, Anna responded in way that she was new to being unfaithful to her husband and maybe even realized that she was not Dimitri’s first mistress. She admits, “ I love an honest man, pure life, sin is vile to me, I myself don’t know what I’m doing”(p. 147). Anna knew right from the first day she met Dimitri that she loved him but those feelings over powered her judgment and duty to her husband. She could only try to justify that this was not real love that they shared but a scandalous and un-righteous thing to be apart of.

Anna and Dimitri are considered to be dynamic characters because not only to do they change the way they feel about each other but they also change the way they feel about their life circumstances. Moreover, are also considered to be well-rounded characters encompassing the substance of the story Chekov intended. Dimitir’s wife is only mentioned a few times and is considered to be a flat character because we do not get a sense for how she reacts to Dimitri’s scandalous love affairs. However, we do have Dimitri’s point of view of her to be a woman “who loved without sincerity, with superfluous talk, affectedly, with hysteria, with an expression as if it were not passion” (p. 146). He obviously had a very superficial relationship with his wife that only made him compare his happiness and love with Anna. Anna followed Dimitri everywhere, he could hear her breathing and saw resemblances of her in the oddest of places (p.150). His life back home was boring and uninteresting to him. He only became so appreciative by Anna’s beauty and the excitement that he gave him when she was away. Meanwhile, Chekov did not explain to us the process by which she changed in her character however, Anna admitted that she adored him and he was all that she could think about. She realized her triteness before when she tried thought that she was just a “trashy woman”(p.147).

Dimitri’s desire to find Anna after many years of being in Moscow is considered to be an important turning point in the story. Dimitri forfeits his strength that he could live without her because his emotions were too high strung and he valued being with her too intensely. After meeting up with Anna at the Geisha, he was able to test Anna and wait for her to reveal her true feeling so that he was not just imaging she was in love with him. And so the climax begins, Anna reveals, “ I think only of you all the time, I’ve lived with only thoughts of you.” Furthermore, the falling action of the story is the plan of continued rendezvous’ in Moscow secretly. He and Anna “loved each other like very close dear people, like husband and wife, like tender friends; it seemed to them that fate itself had destined them for each other, and they could not understand why he had a wife and she a husband” (p. 155). They were bound like soul mates and did want to live the false lives they had with people they were not in love with. So they knew that their problems were far from few and “ the most complicated and difficult part was just beginning” (p. 155). The conclusion of a “happy ending” is left by the reader to implore because Chekov left it open with a purpose. The purpose was to leave it less dramatic and predictable.

The love that these two people shared simplified the term “ love is pain” but more importantly they finally found each other and they did not have to live in falsity. This true love was a new and treacherous territory that they did not want to avoid. The willingness they had caused them to want to break away from the roles that bound them for such a long time. Chekov showed transformation and humbleness of the characters in “The Lady with the Little Dog” and is a story that many could appeal to because of its deepest emotional level between the characters of Anna and Dimitri.

Works Cited

Agatucci, Cora (Professor of English, Humanities Dept., Central Oregon Community College). “Emergence of the Short Story: Literary Romanticism and Realism. Poe and Maupassant; Myth Lit. Theory.” In-class Presentation, English 104: Introduction to Literature: Fiction, Central Oregon Community College [Bend, OR.], Fall 2002. Online Handout –Outline [accessed] 21Oct. 2002: /cagatucci/classes/eng104coursepack/shortstory.htm

Carver, Raymond. “The Ashtray.”[First published 1984] Rpt. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martins, 2003. 949.

Chekov, Anton. “ The Lady with the Little Dog.” [First published 1899]. Rpt. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charter. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s 2003. 143-155.

Ford, Richard. “ Why We Like Chekov”. [First published 1998] Rpt. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Story Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. 869-873.

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Unsur Instrinsik

A. Tema

Persahabatan 10 anak yaitu Ikal, Mahar, Lintang, Harun, Syahdan, Akiong, Trapani, Borek, Kucai, dan satu-satunya wanita di kelas mereka Sahara. Mereka ingin bersekolah di sekolah Muhammadiyah.

B. Alur

Jenis Alur

  • Beralur gabungan, alur maju terjadi pada saat Ikal ingi bersekolah di seolah Muhammdiyah dan alur mundur terjadi pada saat Ikal menceritakan masa kecilnya kepada Sahara.


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Karya Andrea Hirata


Andika Nugroho, Candra Novita Hariani, Reni Widiantika. ANALISIS NILAI-NILAI PENDIDIKAN NOVEL SANG PEMIMPI KARYA ANDREA HIRATA. Skripsi. Surakarta: Fakultas Keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan. Universitas Sebelas Maret Surakarta, Agustus 2010.
Tujuan penelitian ini adalah untuk mendeskripsikan: (1) nilai-nilai pendidikan yang digunakan pengarang dalam novel Sang Pemimpi.
Penelitian ini berbentuk deskriptif kualitatif. Metode yang digunakan adalah metode content analysis. Sumber data adalah novel Sang Pemimpi cetakan ke-15 dan artikel-artikel dari internet. Teknik pengumpulan data menggunakan teknik catat. Validitas yang digunakan adalah triangulasi teori. Teknik analisis data yang digunakan adalah analisis mengalir (flow model of analysis) yang meliputi tiga komponen yaitu reduksi data, penyajian data, dan penarikan kesimpulan. Prosedur penelitian yang dilakukan terdiri atas beberapa tahap yaitu pengumpulan data, penyeleksian data, menganalisis data yang telah diseleksi, dan membuat laporan penelitian.

Berdasarkan hasil penelitian dapat disimpulkan: dalam novel Sang Pemimpi Andrea Hirata ingin menyampaikan nilai-nilai pendidikan yang sangat bermanfaat bagi para pembaca dengan menghidupkan isi cerita di dalamnya, sehingga dapat menjadi lebih hidup dan menambah variasi serta menghindari hal-hal yang bersifat monoton yang dapat membuat pembaca bosan. Nilai-nilai pendidikan yang terdapat dalam novel Sang Pemimpi, berdasarkan hasil analisis terdiri atas empat nilai. Nilai-nilai pendidikan tersebut yaitu: (a) nilai pendidikan religius merupakan sudut pandang yang mengikat manusia dengan Tuhan pencipta alam dan seisinya, dalam novel Sang Pemimpi, (b) nilai pendidikan moral yaitu suatu nilai yang menjadi ukuran patut tidaknya manusia bergaul dalam kehidupan bermasyarakat, dalam novel Sang Pemimpi, (c) nilai pendidikan sosial yaitu suatu kesadaran dan emosi yang relatif lestari terhadap suatu objek, gagasan, atau orang, dalam novel Sang Pemimpi.

Puji syukur kehadirat Allah SWT yang telah melimpahkan kesehatan, karunia, rahmat, dan hidayah-Nya kepada kita semua, terutama penulis dan keluarga. Hanya kepada-Nya kembali segala sanjungan, kepada-Nya kami memohon pertolongan dan ampunan, dan atas ridlonya sehingga penulis mampu menyusun skripsi ini dengan baik, yang merupakan persyaratan untuk mendapatkan gelar Sarjana Pendidikan.
Dalam Penyusunan skripsi ini, penulis menyadari tidak dapat bekerja seorang diri melainkan bekerja sama dengan berbagai pihak. Maka atas terselesaikannya skripsi ini, penulis meyampaikan ucapan terima kasih kepada:
1. Dr. Gatot Sarmidi Kaprodi Fakultas Bahasa dan Sastra Indonesia, Universitas Kanjuruhan Malang yang telah membimbing tugas ini hingga selesai.
2. Teman-teman kuliah kelas A untuk khususnya teman kelompok Bahasa Indonesia yang senantiasa membantu dan bekerjasama.
3. Keluargaku yang tidak lelah dan bosan memberi motivasi dan dukungan, baik dukungan material maupun dukungan spiritual.
4. Bapak dan Ibu Dosen Program Pendidikan Bahasa dan Sastra Indonesia yang telah memberikan bekal ilmu kepada penulis;
7. Semua pihak yang telah mendukung dan membantu sehingga penulis mampu menyelesaikan tugas ini.
Penulis telah berusaha semaksimal mungkin untuk menyelesaikan tugas ini serta tidak lupa mengucapkan terima kasih kepada semua pihak yang telah membantu dalam proses penulisan skripsi ini. Penulis berharap semoga tugas ini dapat memberikan manfaat bagi perkembangan dunia pendidikan, khususnya dalam bidang bahasa dan sastra Indonesia.

Malang, November 2011



JUDUL ………………………………………………………………………………………………. i
ABSTRAK …………………………………………………………………………………………. v
KATA PENGANTAR …………………………………………………………………………. viii
DAFTAR ISI ………………………………………………………………………………………. x
DAFTAR GAMBAR …………………………………………………………………………… xii
DAFTAR TABEL ……………………………………………………………………………….. xiii
DAFTAR LAMPIRAN ………………………………………………………………………… xiv
A. Latar Belakang Masalah ……………………………………………………………. 1
B. Rumusan Masalah …………………………………………………………………….. 4
C. Tujuan Penelitian …………………………………………………………………….. 4
D. Manfaat Penelitian …………………………………………………………………… 5

A. Hakikat Novel …………………………………………………………………………………….6
1. Pengertian Novel ………………………………………………………………….. 6
2. Ciri-ciri Novel ……………………………………………………………………… 9
3. Macam-macam Novel……………………………………………………………. 9
B. Hakikat Nilai Pendidikan …………………………………………………………… 28
1. Pengertian Nilai ……………………………………………………………………. 28
2. Pengertian Pendidikan…………………………………………………………….29
3. Macam-macam Nilai Pendidikan……………………………………………..31
D. Penelitian Relevan …………………………………………………………………….. 35
E. Kerangka Berpikir …………………………………………………………………….. 37

A. Tujuan dari penelitian ……………………………………………….

A. Tempat dan Waktu Penelitian …………………………………………………….. 39
B. Bentuk dan Strategi Penelitian ……………………………………………………. 39
C. Sumber Data …………………………………………………………………………….. 40
D. Teknik Pengumpulan Data …………………………………………………………. 40
E. Validitas Data …………………………………………………………………………… 40
F. Analisis Data ……………………………………………………………………………. 40
G. Prosedur Penelitian……………………………………………………………………. 42

A. Analisis Nilai-nilai Pendidikan dalam Novel Sang Pemimpi ………….. 94
1. Nilai PendidikanReligius………………………………………………………..94
2. Nilai Pendidikan Moral…………………………………………………………..96
3. Nilai Pendidikan Sosial…………………………………………………………..98
4. Nilai Pendidikan Budaya……………………………………………………….101

A. Simpulan …………………………………………………………………………………. 104
B. Implikasi ………………………………………………………………………………….. 105
C. Saran ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 106

DAFTAR PUSTAKA ………………………………………………………………………….. 107

1. Kerangka Berpikir …………………………………………………………………….. 40
2. Model Analisis Mengalir……………………………………………………………. 43
3. Prosedur Penelitian……………………………………………………44

1. Cover Novel Sang Pemimpi Karya Andrea Hirata……………………107
2. Tokoh-tokoh dalam Novel Sang Pemimpi ……………………………………. 108
3. Sinopsis Novel Sang Pemimpi ……………………………………………………. 111
4. Biografi Andrea Hirata ………………………………………………………………. 114
5. Lain-lain


A. Latar Belakang Masalah

Sastra merupakan wujud gagasan seseorang melalui pandangan terhadap lingkungan sosial yang beraada di sekelilingnya dengan menggunakan bahasa yang indah. Sastra hadir sebagai hasil perenungan pengarang terhadap fenomena yang ada. Sastra sebagai karya fiksi memiliki pemahaman yang lebih mendalam, bukan hanya sekadar cerita khayal atau angan dari pengarang saja, melainkan wujud dari kreativitas pengarang dalam menggali dan mengolah gagasan yang ada dalam pikirannya.

Salah satu bentuk karya sastra adalah novel. Novel adalah karya fiksi yang dibangun melalui berbagai unsur intrinsiknya. Unsur-unsur tersebut sengaja dipadukan pengarang dan dibuat mirip dengan dunia yang nyata lengkap dengan peristiwa-peristiwa di dalamnya, sehingga nampak seperti sungguh ada dan terjadi. Unsur inilah yang akan menyebabkan karya sastra (novel) hadir. Unsur intrinsik sebuah novel adalah unsur yang secara langsung membangun sebuah cerita. Keterpaduan berbagai unsur intrinsik ini akan menjadikan sebuah novel yang sangat bagus.
Sang Pemimpi diterbitkan pertama kali pada Juli 2006. Sejak kemunculan novel Sang Pemimpi mendapatkan tanggapan positif dari penikmat sastra. Tingginya apresiasi masyarakat terhadap novel Sang Pemimpi menjadikan novel tersebut masuk dalam jajaran novel psikologi islami pembangun jiwa. Andrea Hirata telah membuat lompatan langkah yang gemilang untuk mengikuti jejak sang legenda Buya Hamka, berkarya dan mempunyai fenomena (Badrut Taman Gafas, 2005). Melalui novel kontemporernya yang diperkaya dengan muatan budaya yang Islami, Andrea Hirata seolah mengulang kesuksesan sang pujangga Buya Hamka yang karya-karyanya popular hingga ke mancanegara seperti “Merantau Ke Deli”, “Di Bawah Lindungan Ka’bah”, dan ”Tenggelamnya Kapal Van der Wijck”. Meskipun nilai yang mendasari novel tersebut bersumber dari Islam, berbagai kalangan kaum beragama dan berkepercayaan dapat menerimanya tanpa ada perasaan terancam.

Cerita novel Sang Pemimpi diperoleh dari mengeksplorasi kisah persahabatan dan pendidikan di Indonesia. Ia mengemas novel Sang Pemimpi dengan bahasa yang sederhana imajinatif, namun tetap memperhatikan kualitas isi. Membaca novel Sang Pemimpi membuat pembaca seolah-olah melihat potret nyata kehidupan masyarakat Indonesia. Hal itu seperti tanggapan salah seorang penikmat novel Sang Pemimpi, yaitu Harnowo (editor senior dan penulis buku Mengikat Makna) ia mengatakan bahwa, “kata-kata Andrea berhasil „menyihir‟ jiwaku. Dia dapat dikatakan mempunyai kemampuan mengolah kata sehingga memesona yang membacanya” (Sang Pemimpi: sampul depan).

Meskipun kisah yang terjadi dalam novel Sang Pemimpi sudah terjadi sangat lama, akan tetapi pada kenyataannya kisah Sang Pemimpi masih ada di zaman sekarang. Banyak pengamat sastra yang memberikan penilaian berkaitan dengan suksesnya novel Sang Pemimpi. Suksesnya novel Sang Pemimpi disebabkan novel tersebut muncul pada saat yang tepat yaitu pada waktu masyarakat khususnya masyarakat yang merasa mengalami pendidikan yang sama seperti beberapa tokoh yang terdapat dalam novel tersebut. Hal tersebut sejalan dengan pernyataan yang disampaikan oleh Sapardi Djoko Darmono, seorang sastrawan dan Guru Besar Fakultas Ilmu Budaya UI Ia menyatakan Sang Pemimpi merupakan “Ramuan pengalaman dan imajinasi yang menarik, yang menjawab inti pertanyaan kita tentang hubungan-hubungan antara gagasan sederhana, kendala, dan kualitas pendidikan” (Ruktin Handayani: 2008).

Isi novel Sang Pemimpi menegaskan bahwa keadaan ekonomi bukanlah menjadi hambatan seseorang dalam meraih cita-cita dan berusaha dengan sungguh-sungguh untuk mencapai cita-citanya. Kemiskinan adalah penyakit sosial yang berada dalam ruang lingkup materi sehingga tidak berkaitan dengan kemampuan otak seseorang.

Berdasarkan latar belakang tersebut, maka peneliti berminat untuk menganalisis novel Sang Pemimpi. Analisis terhadap novel Sang Pemimpi peneliti membatasi pada nilai pendidikan. Alasan dipilih dari segi nilai pendidikan karena novel Sang Pemimpi diketahui banyak memberikan inspirasi bagi pembaca, hal itu berarti ada nilai-nilai positif yang dapat diambil dan direalisasikan oleh pembaca dalam kehidupan sehari-hari mereka, khususnya dalam hal pendidikan. Pradopo (1994: 94) mengungkapkan bahwa suatu karya sastra yang baik adalah yang langsung memberi didikan kepada pembaca tentang budi pekerti dan nilai-nilai moral, sesungguhnya hal ini telah menyimpang dari hukum-hukum karya sastra sebagai karya seni dan menjadikan karya sastra sebagai alat pendidikan yang langsung sedangkan nilai seninya dijadikan atau dijatuhkan nomor dua. Begitulah paham pertama dalam penilaian karya sastra yang secara tidak langsung disimpulkan dari corak-corak roman Indonesia yang mula-mula, ialah memberi pendidikan dan nasihat kepada pembaca.

B. Rumusan Masalah

Berdasarkan latar belakang masalah di atas dapat diketahui rumusan masalah yang timbul dalam penelitian ini sebagai berikut.
1. Nilai-nilai pendidikan apa sajakah yang ingin disampaikan oleh Andrea Hirata dalamnovel Sang Pemimpi?

D. Manfaat Penelitian

Manfaat yang dapat diperoleh dari penelitian ini adalah sebagai berikut.
Manfaat praktis, hasil penelitian ini dapat dimanfaatkan oleh beberapa pihak, antara lain :
a. Bagi Guru
Hasil penelitian ini memberikan gambaran bagi guru tentang pendekatan struktural genetik untuk dijadikan pedoman dalam pembelajaran sastra yang menarik, kreatif, dan inovatif.
b. Bagi Peneliti
Hasil penelitian ini dapat menjadi jawaban dari masalah yang dirumuskan. Selain itu, dengan selesainya penelitian ini diharapkan dapat menjadi motivasi bagi peneliti untuk semakin aktif menyumbangkan hasil karya ilmiah bagi dunia sastra dan pendidikan.
c. Bagi Pembaca
Hasil penelitian ini bagi pembaca diharapkan dapat lebih memahami isi novel Sang Pemimpi dan mengambil manfaat darinya. Selain itu, diharapkan pembaca semakin jeli dalam memilih bahan bacaan (khususnya novel) dengan memilih novel-novel yang mengandung pesan moral yang baik dan dapat menggunakan hasil penelitian ini untuk sarana pembinaan watak diri pribadi.
d. Bagi Peneliti yang Lain
Hasil penelitian ini diharapkan dapat memberikan inspirasi maupun bahan pijakan peneliti ain untuk melakukan penelitian yang lebih mendalam.

A. Hakikat Novel

1. Pengertian Novel
Kata novel berasal dari bahasa Itali novella yang secara harfiah berarti „sebuah barang baru yang kecil‟, dan kemudian diartikan sebagai „cerita pendek dalam bentuk prosa‟. (Abrams dalam Nurgiyantoro, 2005: 9). Dalam bahasa Latin kata novel berasal novellus yang diturunkan pula dari kata noveis yang berarti baru. Dikatakan baru karena dibandingkan dengan jenis-jenis lain, novel ini baru muncul kemudian (Tarigan, 1995: 164).

Pendapat Tarigan diperkuat dengan pendapat Semi (1993: 32) bahwa novel merupakan karya fiksi yang mengungkapkan aspek-aspek kemanusiaan yang lebih mendalam dan disajikan dengan halus. Novel yang diartikan sebagai memberikan konsentrasi kehidupan yang lebih tegas, dengan roman yang diartikan rancangannya lebih luas mengandung sejarah perkembagan yang biasanya terdiri dari beberapa fragmen dan patut ditinjau kembali.

Sudjiman (1998: 53) mengatakan bahwa novel adalah prosa rekaan yang menyuguhkan tokoh dan menampilkan serangkaian peristiwa serta latar secara tersusun. Novel sebagai karya imajinatif mengugkapkan aspek-aspek kemanusiaan yang mendalam dan menyajikannya secara halus. Novel tidak hanya sebagai alat hiburan, tetapi juga sebagai bentuk seni yang mempelajari dan meneliti segi-segi kehidupan dan nilai-nilai baik buruk (moral) dalam kehidupan ini dan mengarahkan pada pembaca tentang budi pekerti yang luhur.

Saad (dalam Badudu J.S, 1984 :51) menyatakan nama cerita rekaan untuk cerita-cerita dalam bentuk prosa seperti: roman, novel, dan cerpen. Ketiganya dibedakan bukan pada panjang pendeknya cerita, yaitu dalam arti jumlah halaman karangan, melainkan yang paling utama ialah digresi, yaitu sebuah peristiwa-peristiwa yang secara tidak langsung berhubungan dengan cerita peristiwa yang secara tidak langsung berhubungan dengan cerita yang dimasukkan ke dalam cerita ini. Makin banyak digresi, makin menjadi luas ceritanya.

Batos (dalam Tarigan, 1995: 164) menyatakan bahwa novel merupakan sebuah roman, pelaku-pelaku mulai dengan waktu muda, menjadi tua, bergerak dari sebuah adegan yang lain dari suatu tempat ke tempat yang lain. Nurgiyantoro (2005: 15) menyatakan, novel merupakan karya yang bersifat realistis dan mengandung nilai psikologi yang mendalam, sehingga novel dapat berkembang dari sejarah, surat-surat, bentuk-bentuk nonfiksi atau dokumen-dokumen, sedangkan roman atau romansa lebih bersifat puitis. Dari penjelasan tersebut dapat diketahui bahwa novel dan romansa berada dalam kedudukan yang berbeda. Jassin (dalam Nurgiyantoro, 2005: 16) membatasi novel sebagai suatu cerita yang bermain dalam dunia manusia dan benda yang di sekitar kita, tidak mendalam, lebih banyak melukiskan satu saat dari kehidupan seseorang dan lebih mengenai sesuatu episode. Mencermati pernyataan tersebut, pada kenyataannya banyak novel Indonesia yang digarap secara mendalam, baik itu penokohan maupun unsur-unsur intrinsik lain. Sejalan dengan Nurgiyantoro, Hendy (1993: 225) mengemukakan bahwa novel merupakan prosa yang terdiri dari serangkaian peristiwa dan latar. Ia juga menyatakan, novel tidaklah sama dengan roman. Sebagai karya sastra yang termasuk ke dalam karya sastra modern, penyajian cerita dalam novel dirasa lebih baik.
Novel biasanya memungkinkan adanya penyajian secara meluas (expands) tentang tempat atau ruang, sehingga tidak mengherankan jika keberadaan manusia dalam masyarakat selalu menjadi topik utama (Sayuti, 2000: 6-7). Masyarakat tentunya berkaitan dengan dimensi ruang atau tempat, sedangkan tokoh dalam masyarakat berkembang dalam dimensi waktu semua itu membutuhkan deskripsi yang mendetail supaya diperoleh suatu keutuhan yang berkesinambungan. Perkembangan dan perjalanan tokoh untuk menemukan karakternya, akan membutuhkan waktu yang lama, apalagi jika penulis menceritakan tokoh mulai dari masa kanak-kanak hingga dewasa. Novel memungkinkan untuk menampung keseluruhan detail untuk perkembangkan tokoh dan pendeskripsian ruang.

Novel oleh Sayuti (2000: 7) dikategorikan dalam bentuk karya fiksi yang bersifat formal. Bagi pembaca umum, pengategorian ini dapat menyadarkan bahwa sebuah fiksi apapun bentuknya diciptakan dengan tujuan tertentu. Dengan demikian, pembaca dalam mengapresiasi sastra akan lebih baik. Pengategorian ini berarti juga bahwa novel yang kita anggap sulit dipahami, tidak berarti bahwa novel tersebut memang sulit. Pembaca tidak mungkin meminta penulis untuk menulis novel dengan gaya yang menurut anggapan pembaca luwes dan dapat dicerna dengan mudah, karena setiap novel yang diciptakan dengan suatu cara tertentu mempunyai tujuan tertentu pula.

Penciptaan karya sastra memerlukan daya imajinasi yang tinggi. Menurut Junus (1989: 91), mendefinisikan novel adalah meniru ”dunia kemungkinan”. Semua yang diuraikan di dalamnya bukanlah dunia sesungguhnya, tetapi kemungkinan-kemungkinan yang secara imajinasi dapat diperkirakan bisa diwujudkan. Tidak semua hasil karya sastra arus ada dalam dunia nyata , namun harus dapat juga diterima oleh nalar. Dalam sebuah novel, si pengarang berusaha semaksimal mungkin untuk mengarahkan pembaca kepada gambaran-gambaran realita kehidupan melalui cerita yang terkandung dalam novel tersebut.

Sebagian besar orang membaca sebuah novel hanya ingin menikmati cerita yang disajikan oleh pengarang. Pembaca hanya akan mendapatkan kesan secara umum dan bagian cerita tertentu yang menarik. Membaca sebuah novel yang terlalu panjang yang dapat diselesaikan setelah berulang kali membaca dan setiap kali membaca hanya dapat menyelesaikan beberapa episode akan memaksa pembaca untuk mengingat kembali cerita yang telah dibaca sebelumnya. Hal ini menyebabkan pemahaman keseluruhan cerita dari episode ke episode berikutnya akan terputus.

Dari beberapa pendapat tersebut dapat disimpulkan bahwa novel adalah sebuah cerita fiktif yang berusaha menggambarkan atau melukiskan kehidupan tokoh-tokohnya dengan menggunakan alur. Cerita fiktif tidak hanya sebagai cerita khayalan semata, tetapi sebuah imajinasi yang dihasilkan oleh pengarang adalah realitas atau fenomena yang dilihat dan dirasakan.

2. Ciri-ciri Novel
Hendy (1993: 225) menyebutkan ciri-ciri novel sebagai berikut.
a. Sajian cerita lebih panjang dari cerita pendek dan lebih pendek dari roman. Biasanya cerita dalam novel dibagi atas beberapa bagian.
b. Bahan cerita diangkat dari keadaan yang ada dalam masyarakat dengan ramuan fiksi pengarang.
c. Penyajian berita berlandas pada alur pokok atau alur utama yang batang tubuh cerita, dan dirangkai dengan beberapa alur penunjang yang bersifat otonom (mempunyai latar tersendiri).
d. Tema sebuah novel terdiri atas tema pokok (tema utama) dan tema bawahan yang berfungsi mendukung tema pokok tersebut.
e. Karakter tokoh-tokoh utama dalam novel berbeda-beda. Demikian juga karakter tokoh lainnya. Selain itu, dalam novel dijumpai pula tokoh statis dan tokoh dinamis. Tokoh statis adalah tokoh yang digambarkan berwatak tetap sejak awal hingga akhir. Tokoh dinamis sebaliknya, ia bisa mempunyai beberapa karakter yang berbeda atau tidak tetap.

Pendapat tersebut di atas dapat disimpulkan bahwa ciri-ciri novel adalah cerita yang lebih panjang dari cerita pendek, diambil dari cerita masyarakat yang diolah secara fiksi, serta mempunyai unsur intrinsik dan ekstrinsik. Ciri-ciri novel tersebut dapat menarik pembaca atau penikmat karya sastra karena cerita yang terdapat di dalamnya akan menjadikan lebih hidup.

3. Macam-macam Novel
Ada beberapa jenis novel dalam sastra. Jenis novel mencerminkan keragaman tema dan kreativitas dari sastrawan yang tak lain adalah pengarang novel. Nurgiyantoro (2005: 16) membedakan novel menjadi novel serius dan novel popular.

a. Novel Populer
Sastra populer adalah perekam kehidupan dan tidak banyak memperbincangkan kembali kehidupan dalam serba kemungkinan. Sastra popular menyajikan kembali rekaman-rekaman kehidupan dengan tujuan pembaca akan mengenali kembali pengalamannya. Oleh karena itu, sastra populer yang baik banyak mengundang pembaca untuk mengidentifikasikan dirinya (Kayam dalam Nurgiyantoro, 2005: 18).

Heryanto dalam Salman (2009: 2) mengungkapkan ragam kesusastraan Indonesia, meliputi: (1) kesusastraan yang diresmikan, diabsahkan, (2) kesusastraan yang dilarang, (3) kesusastraan yang diremehkan, dan (4) kesusastraan yang dipisahkan. Kesusastraan yang diresmikan (konon) adalah kesusastraan yang sejauh ini banyak dipelajari di pendidikan (tinggi). Kesusastraan yang dilarang adalah karya-karya yang dianggap menggangu status quo (kekuasaan) seperti yang telah terjadi seperti zaman Balai Pustaka yaitu karya Marco Kartodikromo. Pada zaman Orde Baru, karya-karya Pramudya Ananta Toer atau kasus cerpen karya Ki Panji Kusmin, Langit Makin Mendung, menjadi contoh yang terlarang pula. Sementara itu, karya sastra yang dipisahkan adalah karya sastra daerah yang ditulis dalam bahasa daerah. Dalam posisi itu, karya sastra yang diremehkan adalah karya sastra yang dianggap populer, sastra hiburan.

Berbicara tentang sastra populer, Kayam dalam Nurgiyantoro (2005: 18) menyebutkan bahwa sastra populer adalah perekam kehidupan dan tak banyak memperbincangkan kembali kehidupan dalam serba kemungkinan . ia menyajikan kembali rekaan-rekaan kehidupan itu dengan harapan pembaca akan mengenal kembali pengalaman-pengalamannya sehingga merasa terhibur karena seseorang telah menceritakan pengalamannya dan bukan penafsiran tentang emosi itu. Oleh karena itu, sastra populer yang baik banyak mengundang pembaca untuk mengidentifikasikan dirinya.

Hal seperti itu dapat dilihat dari fenomena yang terjadi pada novel Cintapucino karya Icha Rahmanti yang tahun lalu sempat diliris ke dalam bentuk film. Banyak remaja khsusnya remaja puti yang mengungkapkan kesamaan kejadian di masa SMA yang mirip dengan yang digambarkan oleh Icha Rahmanti dalam novelnya.

Adapun pengkategorian novel sebagai novel serius atau novel populer bukanlah menjadi hal baru dalam dunia sastra. Usaha ini tidak mudah dilakukan karena bersifat riskan. Selain dipengaruhi oleh hal subjektif yang muncul dari pengamat, juga banyak faktor dari luar yang menentukan. Misalnya, sebuah novel yang diterbitkan oleh penerbit yang biasa menerbitkan karya sastra yang telah mapan, karya tersebut akan dikategorikan sebagai karya yang serius, karya yang bernilai tinggi, padahal pengamat belum membaca isi novel.

Kayam dalam Nurgiyantoro (2005: 17) menyebutkan kata ”pop” erat diasosiasikan dengan kata ”populer”, mungkin karena novel-novel itu sengaja ditulis untuk ”selera populer” yang kemudian dikenal sebagai ”bacaan populer”. Jadilah istilah pop sebagai istilah baru dalam dunia sastra kita.

Nurgiyantoro juga menjelaskan bahwa novel populer adalah novel yang populer pada masanya dan banyak penggemarnya, khususnya pembaca dikalangan remaja. Novel jenis ini menampilkan masalah yang aktual pada saat novel itu muncul. Pada umumnya, novel populer bersifat artifisial, hanya bersifat sementara, cepet ketinggalan zaman, dan tidak memaksa orang untuk membacanyasekali lagi seiring dengan munculnya novel-novel baru yang lebih populer pada masa sesudahnya (2005: 18). Di sisi lain, novel populer lebih mudah dibaca dan lebih mudah dinikmati karena semata-mata menyampaikan cerita (Stanton dalam Nurgiyantoro 2005: 19). Novel populer tidak mengejar efek estetis seperti yang terdapat dalam novel serius.

Beracuan dari beberapa pendapat di atas, ditarik sebuah simpulan bahwa novel popular adalah cerita yang bisa dibilang tidak terlalu rumit. Alur cerita yang mudah ditelusuri, gaya bahasa yang sangat mengena, fenomena yang diangkat terkesan sangat dekat. Hal ini pulalah yang menjadi daya tarik bagi kalangan remaja sebagai kalangan yang paling menggemari novel populer. Novel populer juga mempunyai jalan cerita yang menarik, mudah diikuti, dan mengikuti selera pembaca. Selera pembaca yang dimaksudkan adalah hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan kegemaran naluriah pembaca, seperti motif-motif humor dan heroisme sehingga pembaca merasa tertarik untuk selalu mengikuti kisah ceritanya.

b. Novel Serius
Novel serius atau yang lebih dikenal dengan sebutan novel sastra merupakan jenis karya sastra yang dianggap pantas dibicarakan dalam sejarah sastra yang bermunculan cenderung mengacu pada novel serius. Novel serius harus sanggup memberikan segala sesuatu yang serba mungkin, hal itu yang disebut makna sastra yang sastra. Novel serius yang bertujuan untuk memberikan hiburan kepada pembaca, juga mempunyai tujuan memberikan pengalaman yang berharga dan mengajak pembaca untuk meresapi lebih sungguh-sungguh tentang masalah yang dikemukakan.

Berbeda dengan novel populer yang selalu mengikuti selera pasar, novel sastra tidak bersifat mengabdi pada pembaca. Novel sastra cenderung menampilkan tema-tema yang lebih serius. Teks sastra sering mengemukakan sesuatu secara implisit sehingga hal ini bisa dianggap menyibukkan pembaca. Nurgiyantoro (2005: 18) mengungkapkan bahwa dalam membaca novel serius, jika ingin memahaminya dengan baik diperlukan daya konsentrasi yang tinggi disertai dengan kemauan untuk itu. Novel jenis ini, di samping memberikan hiburan juga terimplisit tujuan memberikan pengalaman yang berharga kepada pembaca atau paling tidak mengajak pembaca untuk meresapi dan merenungkan secara lebih sungguh-sungguh tentang permasalahan yang dikemukakan.

Kecenderungan yang muncul pada novel serius memicu sedikitnya pembaca yang berminat pada novel sastra ini. Meskipun demikian, hal ini tidak menyebabkan popularitas novel serius menurun. Justru novel ini mampu bertahan dari waktu ke waktu. Misalnya, roman Romeo Juliet karya William Shakespeare atau karya Sutan Takdir, Armin Pane, Sanusi Pane yang memunculkan polemik yang muncul pada dekade 30-an yang hingga saat ini masih dianggap relevan dan belum ketinggalan zaman (Nurgiyantoro, 2005:21).

Beracuan dari pendapat di atas, ditarik sebuah simpulan bahwa novel serius adalah novel yang mengungkapkan sesuatu yang baru dengan cara penyajian yang baru pula. Secara singkat disimpulkan bahwa unsur kebaruan sangat diutamakan dalam novel serius. Di dalam novel serius, gagasan diolah dengan cara yang khas. Hal ini penting mengingat novel serius membutuhkan sesuatu yang baru dan memiliki ciri khas daripada novel-novel yang telah dianggap biasa. Sebuah novel diharapkan memberi kesan yang mendalam kepada pembacanya dengan teknik yang khas ini.

B. Hakikat Nilai Pendidikan
1. Pengertian Nilai
Nilai adalah sesuatu yang berharga, bermutu, menunjukkan kualitas, dan berguna bagi manusia. Sesuatu itu bernilai berarti sesuatu itu berharga atau berguna bagi kehidupan manusia. Nilai sebagai kualitas yang independen akan memiliki ketetapan yaitu tidak berubah yang terjadi pada objek yang dikenai nilai. Persahabatan sebagai nilai (positif/ baik) tidak akan berubah esensinya manakala ada pengkhianatan antara dua yang bersahabat. Artinya nilai adalah suatu ketetapan yang ada bagaimanapun keadaan di sekitarnya berlangsung.

Sastra dan tata nilai merupakan dua fenomena sosial yang saling melengkapi dalam hakikat mereka sebagai sesuatu yang eksistensial. Sastra sebagai produk kehidupan., mengandung nilai-nilai sosial, filsafat, religi, dan sebagainya baik yang bertolak dari pengungkapan kembali maupun yang mempeunyai penyodoran konsep baru (Suyitno, 1986: 3). Sastra tidak hanya memasuki ruang serta nilai-nilai kehidupan personal, tetapi juga nilai-nilai kehidupan manusia dalam arti total.

Menilai oleh Setiadi (2006: 110) dikatakan sebagai kegiatan menghubungkan sesuatu dengan sesuatu yang lain sehingga diperoleh menjadi suatu keputusan yang menyatakan sesuatu itu berguna atau tidak berguna, benar atau tidak benar, baik, atau buruk, manusiawi atau tidak manusiawi, religius atau tidak religius, berdasarkan jenis tersebutlah nilai ada. Lasyo (Setiadi 2006: 117) menyatakan, nilai manusia merupakan landasan atau motivasi dalam segala tingkah laku atau perbuatannya. Sejalan dengan Lasyo, Darmodiharjo (dalam Setiadi, 2006: 117) mengungkapkan nilai merupakan sesuatu yang berguna bagi manusia baik jasmani maupun rohani. Sedangkan Soekanto (1983: 161) menyatakan, nilai-nilai merupakan abstraksi daripada pengalaman-pengalaman pribadi seseorang dengan sesamanya. Pada hakikatnya, nilai yang tertinggi selalu berujung pada nilai yang terdalam dan terabstrak bagi manusia, yaitu menyangkut tentang hal-hal yang bersifat hakki. Dari beberapa pendapat tersebut di atas pengertian nilai dapat disimpulkan sebagai sesuatu yang bernilai, berharga, bermutu, akan menunjukkan suatu kualitas dan akan berguna bagi kehidupan manusia.

2. Pengertian Pendidikan
Secara etimologis, pendidikan berasal dari bahasa Yunani “Paedogogike”, yang terdiri atas kata “Pais” yang berarti Anak” dan kata “Ago” yang berarti “Aku membimbing” (Hadi, 2003: 17). Jadi Soedomo Hadi menyimpulkan paedogogike berarti aku membimbing anak. Purwanto (1986: 11) menyatakan bahwa pendidikan berarti segala usaha orang dewasa dalam pergaulannya dengan anak-anak untuk memimpin perkembangan jasmani dan rohaninya ke arah kedewasaan. Hakikat pendidikan bertujuan untuk mendewasakan anak didik, maka seorang pendidik haruslah orang yang dewasa, karena tidak mungkin dapat mendewasakan anak didik jika pendidiknya sendiri belum dewasa. Tilaar (2002;435) mengatakan hakikat pendidikan adalah memanusiakan manusia. Selanjutnya dikatakan pula bahwa, memanusiakan manusia atau proses humanisasi melihat manusia sebagai suatu keseluruhan di dalam eksistensinya. Eksistensi ini menurut penulis adalah menempatkan kedudukan manusia pada tempatnya yang terhormat dan bermartabat. Kehormatan itu tentunya tidak lepas dari nilai-nilai luhur yang selalu dipegang umat manusia.

Pendidikan pada hakikatnya juga berarti mencerdaskan kehidupan bangsa. Dari pernyataan tersebut terdapat tiga unsur pokok dalam pendidikan, yaitu: a) cerdas, berarti memiliki ilmu yang dapat digunakan untuk menyelesaikan persoalan nyata. Cerdas bermakna kreatif, inovatif dan siap mengaplikasikan ilmunya; b) hidup, memiliki filosofi untuk menghargai kehidupan dan melakukan hal-hal yang terbaik untuk kehidupan itu sendiri. Hidup itu berarti merenungi bahwa suatu hari kita akan mati, dan segala amalan kita akan dipertanggungjawabkan kepadaNya. Filosofi hidup ini sangat syarat akan makna individualisme yang artinya mengangkat kehidupan seseorang, memanusiakan manusia, memberikan makanan kehidupan berupa semangat, nilai moral, dan tujuan hidup; c) bangsa, berarti manusia selain sebagai individu juga merupakan makhluk sosial yang membutuhkan keberadaan orang lain. Setiap individu berkewajiban menyumbangkan pengetahuannya untuk masyarakat meningkatkan derajat kemuliaan masyarakat sekitar dengan ilmu, sesuai dengan yang diajarkan agama dan pendidikan. Indikator terpenting kemajuan suatu bangsa adalah pendidikan dan pengajaran (Ratna, 2005: 449).

Segala sesuatu yang digunakan untuk mendidik harus yang mengandung nilai didik, termasuk dalam pemilihan media. Novel sebagai suatu karya sastra, yang merupakan karya seni juga memerlukan pertimbangan dan penilaian tentang seninya (Pradopo, 2005: 30). Pendidikan pada kahikatnya merupakan upaya membantu peserta didik untuk menyadari nilai-nilai yang dimilikinya dan berupaya memfasilitasi mereka agar terbuka wawasan dan perasaannya untuk memiliki dan meyakini nilai yang lebih hakiki, lebih tahan lama, dan merupakan kebenaran yang dihormati dan diyakini secara sahih sebagai manusia yang beradab (Setiadi, 2006: 114).

Adler (dalam Arifin, 1993: 12) mengartikan pendidikan sebagai proses dimana seluruh kemampuan manusia dipengaruhi oleh pembiasaan yang baik untuk untuk membantu orang lain dan dirinya sendiri mencapai kebiasaan yang baik. Secara etimologis, sastra juga berarti alat untuk mendidik (Ratna, 2009: 447). Masih menurut Ratna, lebih jauh dikaitkan dengan pesan dan muatannya, hampir secara keseluruhan karya sastra merupakan sarana-sarana etika. Jadinya antara pendidikan dan karya sastra (novel) adalah dua hal yang saling berkaitan.

Berdasarkan dari beberapa pendapat di atas dapat dirumuskan bahwa nilai pendidikan merupakan segala sesuatu yang baik maupun buruk yang berguna bagi kehidupan manusia yang diperoleh melalui proses pengubahan sikap dan tata laku dalam upaya mendewasakan diri manusis melalui upaya pengajaran. Dihubungkan dengan eksistensi dan kehidupan manusia, nilai-nilai pendidikan diarahkan pada pembentukan pribadi manusis sebagai makhluk individu, sosial, religius, dan berbudaya. Nilai-nilai pendidikan yang tersirat dalam berbagai hal dapat mengembangkan masyarakat dalam berbagai hal dapat mengembangkan masyarakat dengan berbagai dimensinya dan nilai-nilai tersebut mutlak dihayati dan diresapi manusia sebab ia mengarah pada kebaikan dalam berpikir dan bertindak sehingga dapat memajukan budi pekerti serta pikiran/ intelegensinya. Nilai-nilai pendidikan dapat ditangkap manusia melalui berbagai hal diantaranya melalui pemahaman dan penikmatan sebuah karya sastra. Sastra khususnya humaniora sangat berperan penting sebagai media dalam pentransformasian sebuah nilai termasuk halnya nilai pendidikan.

3. Macam-macam Nilai Pendidikan
Sastra sebagai hasil kehidupan mengandung nilai-nilai sosial, filosofi, religi dan sebagainya. Baik yang bertolak dari pengungkapan kembali maupun yang merupakan menciptakan terbaru semuanya dirumuskan secara tersurat dan tersirat. Sastra tidak saja lahir karena kejadian, tetapi juga dari kesadaran penciptaannya bahwa sastra sebagai sesuatu yang imajinatif, fiktif, dll, juga harus melayani misi-misi yang dapat dipertanggungjawabkan serta bertendens. Sastrawan pada waktu menciptakan karyanya tidak saja didorong oleh hasrat untuk menciptakan keindahan, tetapi juga berkehendak untuk menyampaikan pikiran-pikirannya, pendapat-pendapatnya, dan kesan-kesan perasaannya terhadap sesuatu.

Menacari nilai luhur dari karya sastra adalah menentukan kreativitas terhadap hubungan kehidupannya. Dalam karya sastra akan tersimpan nilai atau pesan yang berisi amanat atau nasihat. Melalui karyanya, pencipta karya sastra berusaha untuk mempengaruhi pola piker pembaca dan ikut mengkaji tentang baik dan buruk, benar mengambil pelajaran, teladan yang patut ditiru sebaliknya, untuk dicela bagi yang tidak baik. Karya sastra diciptakan bukan sekedar untuk dinikmati, akan tetapi untuk dipahami dan diambil manfaatnya. Karya sastra tidak sekedar benda mati yang tidak berarti, tetapi didalamnya termuat suatu ajaran berupa nilai-nilai hidup dan pesan-pesan luhur yang mampu menambah wawasan manusia dalam memahami kehidupan. Dalam karya sastra, berbagai nilai hidup dihadirkan karena hal ini merupakan hal positif yang mampu mendidik manusia, sehingga manusia mencapai hidup yang lebih baik sebagai makhluk yang dikaruniai oleh akal, pikiran, dan perasaan.

Novel merupakan salah satu bentuk karya sastra yang banyak memberikan penjelasan secara jelas tentang sistem nilai. Nilai itu mengungkapkan perbuatan apa yang dipuji dan dicela, pandangan hidup mana yang dianut dan dijauhi, dan hal apa saja yang dijunjung tinggi. Adapun nilai-nilai pendidikan dalam novel sebagai berikut.

a. Nilai Pendidikan Religius
Religi merupakan suatu kesadaran yang menggejala secara mendalam dalam lubuk hati manusia sebagai human nature. Religi tidak hanya menyangkut segi kehidupan secara lahiriah melainkan juga menyangkut keseluruhan diri pribadi manusia secara total dalam integrasinya hubungan ke dalam keesaan Tuhan (Rosyadi, 1995: 90). Nilai-nilai religious bertujuan untuk mendidik agar manusia lebih baik menurut tuntunan agama dan selalu ingat kepada Tuhan. Nilai-nilai religius yang terkandung dalam karya sastra dimaksudkan agar penikmat karya tersebut mendapatkan renungan-renungan batin dalam kehidupan yang bersumber pada nilai-nilai agama. Nilai-nilai religius dalam sastra bersifat individual dan personal.

Kehadiran unsur religi dalam sastra adalah sebuah keberadaan sastra itu sendiri (Nurgiyantoro, 2005: 326). Semi (1993: 21) menyatakan, agama merupakan kunci sejarah, kita batu memahami jiwa suatu masyarakat bila kita memahami agamanya. Semi (1993: 21) juga menambahkan, kita tidak mengerti hasil-hasil kebudayaanya, kecuali bila kita paham akan kepercayaan atau agama yang mengilhaminya. Religi lebih pada hati, nurani, dan pribadi manusia itu sendiri. Dari beberapa pendapat tersebut dapat disimpulkan bahwa Nilai religius yang merupakan nilai keohanian tertinggi dan mutlak serta bersumber pada kepercayaan atau keyakinan manusia.

b. Nilai Pendidikan Moral
Moral merupakan sesuatu yang igin disampaikan pengarang kepada pembaca, merupakan makna yang terkandung dalam karya sastra, makna yang disaratkan lewat cerita. Moral dapat dipandang sebagai tema dalam bentuk yang sederhana, tetapi tidak semua tema merupaka moral (Kenny dalam Nurgiyantoro, 2005: 320). Moral merupakan pandangan pengarang tentang nilai-nilai kebenaran dan pandangan itu yang ingin disampaikan kepada pembaca. Hasbullah (2005: 194) menyatakan bahwa, moral merupakan kemampuan seseorang membedakan antara yang baik dan yang buruk. Nilai moral yang terkandung dalam karya sastra bertujuan untuk mendidik manusia agar mengenal nilai-nilai etika merupakan nilai baik buruk suatu perbuatan, apa yang harus dihindari, dan apa yang harus dikerjakan, sehingga tercipta suatu tatanan hubungan manusia dalam masyarakat yang dianggap baik, serasi, dan bermanfaat bagi orang itu , masyarakat, lingkungan, dan alam sekitar. Uzey (2009: 2) berpendapat bahwa nilai moral adalah suatu bagian dari nilai, yaitu nilai yang menangani kelakuan baik atau buruk dari manusia.moral selalu berhubungan dengan nilai, tetapi tidak semua nilai adalah nilai moral. Moral berhubungan dengan kelakuan atau tindakan manusia. Nilai moral inilah yang lebih terkait dengan tingkah laku kehidupan kita sehari-hari.

Dapat disimpulkan bahwa nilai pendidikan moral menunjukkan peraturan-peraturan tingkah laku dan adat istiadat dari seorang individu dari suatu kelompok yang meliputi perilaku. Untuk karya menjunjung tinggi budi pekerti dan nilai susila.

c. Nilai Pendidikan Sosial
Kata “sosial” berarti hal-hal yang berkenaan dengan masyarakat/ kepentingan umum. Nilai sosial merupakan hikmah yang dapat diambil dari perilaku sosial dan tata cara hidup sosial. Perilaku sosial brupa sikap seseorang terhadap peristiwa yang terjadi di sekitarnya yang ada hubungannya dengan orang lain, cara berpikir, dan hubungan sosial bermasyarakat antar individu. Nilai sosial yang ada dalam karya sastra dapat dilihat dari cerminan kehidupan masyarakat yang diinterpretasikan (Rosyadi, 1995: 80). Nilai pendidikan sosial akan menjadikan manusia sadar akan pentingnya kehidupan berkelompok dalam ikatan kekeluargaan antara satu individu dengan individu lainnya.

Nilai sosial mengacu pada hubungan individu dengan individu yang lain dalam sebuah masyarakat. Bagaimana seseorang harus bersikap, bagaimana cara mereka menyelesaikan masalah, dan menghadapi situasi tertentu juga termasuk dalam nilai sosial. Dalam masyarakat Indonesia yang sangat beraneka ragam coraknya, pengendalian diri adalah sesuatu yang sangat penting untuk menjaga keseimbangan masyarakat.

Sejalan dengan tersebut nilai sosial dapat diartikan sebagai landasan bagi masyarakat untuk merumuskan apa yang benar dan penting, memiliki ciri-ciri tersendiri, dan berperan penting untuk mendorong dan mengarahkan individu agar berbuat sesuai norma yang berlaku. Uzey (2009: 7) juga berpendapat bahwa nilai sosial mengacu pada pertimbangan terhadap suatu tindakan benda, cara untuk mengambil keputusan apakah sesuatu yang bernilai itu memiliki kebenaran, keindahan, dan nilai ketuhanan. Jadi nilai sosial dapat disimpulkan sebagai kumpulan sikap dan perasaan yang diwujudkan melalui perilaku yang mempengaruhi perilaku seseorang yang memiliki nilai tersebut. Nilai sosial merupakan sikap-sikap dan perasaan yang diterima secara luas oleh masyarakat dan merupakan dasar untuk merumuskan apa yang benar dan apa yang penting.

d. Nilai Pendidikan Budaya
Nilai-nilai budaya menurut Rosyadi (1995:74) merupakan sesuatu yang dianggap baik dan berharga oleh suatu kelompok masyarakat atau suku bangsa yang belum tentu dipandang baik pula oleh kelompok masyarakat atau suku bangsa lain sebab nolai budaya membatasi dan memberikan karakteristik pada sutu masyarakat dan kebudayaannya.
Nilai budaya merupakan tingkat yang paling abstrak dari adat, hidup dan berakar dalam alam pikiran masyarakat, dan sukar diganti dengan nilai budaya lain dalam waktu singkat. Uzey (2009: 1) berpendapat mengenai pemahaman tentang nilai budaya dalam kehidupan manusia diperoleh karena manusia memaknai ruang dan waktu. Makna itu akan bersifat intersubyektif karena ditumbuh-kembangkan secara individual, namun dihayati secara bersama, diterima, dan disetujui oleh masyarakat hingga menjadi latar budaya yang terpadu bagi fenomena yang digambarkan.
Sistem nilai budaya merupakan inti kebudayaan, sebagai intinya ia akan mempengaruhi dan menata elemen-elemen yang berada pada struktur permukaan dari kehidupan manusia yang meliputi perilaku sebagai kesatuan gejala dan benda-benda sebagai kesatuan material. Sistem nilai budaya terdiri dari konsepsi-konsepsi yang hidup dalam alam pikiran sebagian besar warga masyarakat, mengenai hal-hal yang harus mereka anggap amat bernilai dalam hidup. Karena itu, suatu sisitem nilai budaya biasanya berfungsi sebagai pedoman tertinggi bagi kelakuan manusia. Dapat disimpulkan dari pendapat tersebut sistem nilai budaya menempatkan pada posisi sentral dan penting dalam kerangka suatu kebudayaan yang sifatnya abstrak dan hanya dapat diungkapkan atau dinyatakan melalui pengamatan pada gejala-gejala yang lebih nyata seperti tingkah laku dan benda-benda material sebagai hasil dari penuangan konsep-konsep nilai melalui tindakan berpola. Adapun nilai-nilai budaya yang terkandung dalam novel dapat diketahui melalui penelaahan terhadap karakteristik dan perilaku tokoh-tokoh dalam cerita.

D. Penelitian Relevan
Hasil Penelitian sebelumnya yang relevan dan dapat dijadikan acuan serta masukan pada penelitian ini adalah:
1. Ririh Yuli Atminingsih dalam penelitian berjudul “Analisis Gaya Bahasa dan Nilai Pendidikan Novel Laskar Pelangi Karya Andrea Hirata”. Dalam kesimpulannya gaya bahasa yang digunakan dalam Novel Laskar Pelangi antara lain: personifikasi, hiperbola, antitesis, simile, metafora, epizeukis, eponim, anadipsis, repetisi, parifrasis, tautologi, koreksio, pleonasme, ironi, paradoks, satire, hipalase, innuendo, metonomia, sinekdoke pars prototo, sinekdoke totum pro parte, alusio, epitet, antonomasia, ellipsis, asidenton, tautotes, anaphora, pertanyaan retoris. Ririh juga menyatakan alasan pengarang menggunakan gaya bahasa pada novel Laskar Pelangi adalah untuk mengungkapkan ekspresi jiwa atau perasaan tertentu, untuk menunjukkan kreativitas seni dalam bentuk bahasa, untuk membangkitkan inajinasi pembaca, untuk memberikan kesan keindahan pada novel, untuk memperjelas makna kata, untuk menampilkan variasi dan gaya yang berbeda dengan karangan novel lain. Nilai pendidikan yang digunakan adalah nilai religius, nilai moral, dan nilai sosial. Persamaan karya ilmiah Ririh Yuli Atminingsih dengan penulis yaitu sama-sama mengkaji gaya bahasa dan nilai pendidikan dengan judul novel yang berbeda. Perbedaannya adalah terdapat dalam simpulan penelitian. Karya ilmiah Ririh dalam simpulannya terdapat nilai religious, moral, dan sosial; sedangkan dalam karya ilmiah penulis juga ditemukan nilai budaya.
2. Triyatmi dalam penetian berjudul “Kajian Gaya Bahasa dalam Kain Rentang Kampanye Pemilu 2004” penelitian ini disimpulkan: 1) Gaya bahasa yang digunakan dalam kain rentang kampanye 2004, baik kampanye legislative, calon presiden, dan calon wakil presiden sebagai berikut: a) Empat jenis gaya bahasa yang digunakan: (1) Gaya bahasa perbandingan meliputi eufemisme, epitet, hiperbola, simile, personifikasi, sinekdoke, dan asosiasi; (2) Gaya bahasa perulangan, meliputi anaphora dan aliterasi; (3) Gaya Bahasa sindiran (satire); (4) Gaya bahasa pertentangan (oksimoron). b) Tidak ditemukan gaya bahasa penegasan. c) Gaya bahasa yang sering digunakan dalam kain rentang kampanye 2004 adalah eufemisme dan epitet. 2) Alasan penggunaan gaya bahasa pada kain rentang kampanye 2004, yaitu: a) Penyesuaiaan konsep yang menjadi dasar penulisan kain rentang oleh masing-masing tim sukses partai; b) Kain rentang yang dibuat merupakan salah satu media publikasi yang digunakan untuk sosialisasi program kerja partai yang bersangkutan; c) Bahasa yang sederhana, simpatik, dan meyakinkan merupakan media yang mudah diingat dan menarik perhatian massa calon pemilih. Persamaan karya ilmiah Triyatmi dengan penulis yaitu sama-sama mengkaji gaya bahasa, tetapi dalam simpulan karya ilmiah Triyatmi tidak ditemukan gaya bahasa penegasan. Perbedaannya adalah objek yang diteliti. Objek yang diteliti Triyatmi adalah kain rentang kampanye pemilu 2004, sedangkan penulis objek yang diteliti adalah novel Sang Pemimpi karya Andrea Hirata.
3. Endang Lindarti dalam penelitian berjudul “Analisis Struktur dan Nilai Pendidikan dalam Cerita Rakyat di Kabupaten Karanganyar”. Simpulan yang ditulisnya yaitu antarsastra dan nilai kehidupan terdapat interaksi yang kuat. Jadi antara nilai sastra dan nilai-nilai didik merupakan dua fenomena sosial yang saling melengkapi dalam kehadirannya dalam karya sastra sebagai suatu yang penting. Dalam cerita rakyat tersebut, nilai didik yang terkandung adalah nilai moral, religius, sosial, dan budaya. Persamaan karya ilmiah Endang Lindiarti dengan penulis yaitu sama-sama di dalam penelitiannya terdapat simpulan yang mengandung unsur nilai moral, religi, sosial, dan budaya. perbedaannya terdapat pada objek yang dikaji. Obyek yang dikaji dalam penelitian Endang Lindiarti adalah cerita rakyat di Kabupaten Karanganyar, sedangkan yang dikaji penulis objek penelitiannya adalah novel Sang Pemimpi karya Andrea Hirata.

E. Kerangka Berpikir
Dalam novel Sang Pemimpi terdapat segi yang akan penulis analisis dari nilai-nilai pendidikan yang terdapat di dalamnya. Nilai-nilai pendidikan yang terdapat dalam novel Sang Pemimpi meliputi empat macam nilai pendidikan, yaitu: nilai pendidikan moral, religius, sosial, dan budaya. Semua nilai yang ditemukan tersebut akan dapat bermanfaat bagi para pembaca novel Sang Pemimpi. Supaya lebih jelas dapat dilihat pada skema kerangka berpikir berikut.


Tujuan Penelitian

Tujuan dari penelitian ini sebagai Menyebutkan dan mendeskripsikan nilai-nilai pendidikan yang digunakan pengarang dalam novel Sang Pemimpi.


A. Tempat dan Waktu Penelitian
Tempat penelitian tidak terikat pada satu tempat karena objek yang dikaji berupa naskah (teks) sastra, yaitu novel Sang Pemimpi. Penelitian ini bukan penelitian yang analisisnya bersifat statis melainkan sebuah analisis yang dinamis yang dapat terus dikembangkan.

B. Bentuk dan Strategi Penelitian
Bentuk penelitian ini adalah deskriptif kualitatif dengan metode content analysis atau analisis isi. Penelitian ini mendeskripsikan atau menggambarkan apa yang menjadi masalah, kemudian menganalisis dan menafsirkan data yang ada. Metode content analysis atau analisis isi yang digunakan untuk menelaah isi dari suatu dokumen, dalam penelitian ini dokumen yang dimaksud adalah novel Sang Pemimpi karya Andrea Hirata.

C. Sumber Data
Sumber data yang digunakan dalam penelitian ini adalah dokumen. Dokumen yang digunakan adalah novel Sang Pemimpi karya Andrea Hirata cetakan ke-15 yang diterbitkan oleh penerbitan Bentang Yogyakarta tahun 2008.

D. Teknik Pengumpulan Data
Teknik pegumpulan data yang digunakan dalam penelitian ini adalah teknik catat, karena data-datanya berupa teks. Adapun langkah-langkah dalam pengumpulan data adalah sebagai berikut: membaca novel Sang Pemimpi secara berulang-ulang, mencatat kalimat-kalimat yang menyatakan pemakaian gaya bahasa dan nilai pendidikan.

E. Validitas Data
Validitas atau keabsahan data merupakan kebenaran data dari proses penelitian. Dalam mendapatkan data, dalam penelitian ini peneliti menggunakan triangulasi. Adapun triangulasi yang digunakan adalah triangulasi teori, yaitu secara penelitian terhadap topik yang sama dengan menggunakan teori yang berbeda dalam menganalisa data.

F. Analisis Data
Teknik analisis data yang digunakan dalam penelitian ini menggunakan model analisis mengalir, yang meliputi tiga komponen, yaitu 1) reduksi data; 2) penyajian data; dan 3) penarikan simpulan. Analisis model mengalir mempunyai tiga komponen yang saling terjalin dengan baik, yaitu sebelum, selama dan sesudah pelaksanaan pengumpulan data. Penjelasannya sebagai berikut.
1. Reduksi data
Pada langkah ini data yang diperolah dicatat dalam uraian yang terperinci. Dari data-data yang sudah dicatat tersebut, kemudian dilakukan penyederhanaan data. Data-data yang dipilih hanya data yang berkaitan dengan masalah yang akan dianalisis, dalam hal ini tentang gaya bahasa dan nilai pendidikan yang terdapat di dalam novel Sang Pemimpi. Informasi-informasi yang pengacu pada permasalahan itulah yang menjadi data dalam penelitian ini.

2. Sajian data
Pada langkah ini, data-data yang sudah ditetapkan kemudian disusun secara teratur dan terperinci agar mudah dipahami. Data-data tersebut kemudian dianalisis sehingga diperoleh deskripsi tentang gaya bahasa yang digunakan, kejelasan makna dari gaya bahasa tersebut dan nilai pendidikannya.
3. Penarikan simpulan/ verifikasi
Pada tahap ini dibuat kesimpulan tentang hasil dari data yang diperoleh sejak awal penelitian. Kesimpulan ini masih memerlukan adanya verifikasi (penelitian kembali tentang kebenaran laporan) sehingga hasil yang diperoleh benar-benar valid.
Ketiga komponen tersebut saling berkaitan dan dilakukan secara terus-menerus mulai dari awal, saat penelitian berlangsung, sampai akhir laporan.

Adapun model analisis mengalir jika digambarkan adalah sebagai berikut.
Masa Pengumpulan Data
Selama Pasca
Selama Pasca
Selama Pasca
Gambar 2. Model Analisis Mengalir
(Miles, Mattew B. & Huberman, A. Michael, 1992: 18)

G. Prosedur Penelitian
Prosedur penelitian yang dilakukan peneliti terdiri dari beberapa tahap sebagai berikut.
1. Pengumpulan data
Pada tahap ini peneliti mengumpulkan data berupa kutipan-kutipan yang menunjukkan penggambaran nilai pendidikan dan pemakaian gaya bahasa dari novel Sang Pemimpi.
2. Penyeleksian data
Data-data yang telah dikumpulkan, kemudian diseleksi serta dipilah-pilah mana saja yang akan dianalisis.
3. Menganalisis data yang telah diseleksi.
4. Membuat laporan penelitian.
Laporan penelitian merupakan tahap akhir dari serangkaian proses. merupakan tahap penyampaian data-data yang telah dianalisis, dirumuskan, dan ditarik kesimpulan. Kemudian dilakukan konsultasi dengan pembimbing. Tulisan yang sudah baik disusun menjadi laporan penelitian, disajikan dan diperbanyak.
Lebih jelasnya dapat dilihat pada skema prosedur penelitian berikut:
Pengumpulan data
Membuat laporan
Analisis data
Penyeleksian data
Gambar 3. Skema Prosedur Penelitian


A. Analisis Nilai-nilai Pendidikan dalam Novel Sang Pemimpi
1. Nilai Pendidikan Religius
Nilai religius merupakan sudut pandang yang mengikat manusia dengan Tuhan pencipta alam dan seisinya. Berbicara tentang hubungan manusia dan Tuhan tidak terlepas dari pembahasan agama. Agama merupakan pegangan hidup bagi manusia. Agama dapat pula bertindak sebagai pemacu faktor kreatif, kedinamisan hidup, dan perangsang atau pemberi makna kehidupan. Melalui agama, manusia pun dapat mempertahankan keutuhan masyarakat agar hidup dalam pola kemasyarakatan yang telah tetap sekaligus menuntun untuk meraih masa depan yang lebih baik. Seperti dalam kutipan di bawah ini.
“Jimbron adalah seorang yang membuat kami takjub dengan tiga macam keheranan. Pertama, kami heran karena kalau mengaji, ia selalu diantar seorang pendeta. Sebetulnya beliau adalah seorang pastor karena beliau seorang Katolik, tapi kami memanggilnya Pendeta Geovany. Rupanya setelah sebatang kara seperti Arai ia menjadi anak asuh sang pendeta. Namun, pendeta berdarah Itali itu tak sedikit pun bermaksud mengonversi keyakinan Jimbron. Beliau malah tak pernah telat jika mengantarkan Jimbron mengaji ke masjid” (SP, 61)

Di lihat dari kutipan di atas, Tokoh Jimbron dalam novel Sang Pemimpi mencerminkan tokoh yang taat beragama dengan mengaji setiap harinya, walaupun dia hidup di lingkungan agama yang berbeda, yaitu agama Katolik. Penamaan nilai religius yang tinggi mampu menumbuhkan sikap sabar, tidak sombong dan tidak angkuh pada sesama. Manusia menjadi saling mencintai dan menghormati, dengan demikian manusia bisa hidup harmonis dalam hubungannnya dengan Tuhan, sesama manusia maupun makhluk lain. Pendeta Geovany dalam kutipan di atas adalah sosok yang penyayang dan menghormati manusia lain yang beda agama, ternukti bahwa Jimbron sebagai anak angkatnya justru malah setiap harinya diantar mengaji dan tidak sedikit pun bermaksud mengonversi keyakinan Jimbron. Beliau malah tak pernah telat jika mengantarkan Jimbron mengaji ke masjid.

Kutipan di atas mempunyai kandungan nilai pendidikan religius karena secara jelas disampaikan penulis melalui gaya bahasa pars pro toto yang terlihat pada kata “sebatang kara” yang berarti tidak punya siapa-siapa, hanya hidup seorang diri tanpa ada keluarga di dekatnya. Pars pro toto adalah gaya bahasa yang melukiskan sebagian dari keseluruhan, berarti kata tersebut dalam kutipan di atas yang hidup sebatang kara yang dimaksud adalah Jimbron.

Sebuah karya sastra yang mengangkat sebuah kemanusiaan yang berdasarkan kebenaran akan menggugah hati nurani dan akan memberikan kemungkinan pertimbangan baru pada diri penikmatnya. Oleh karena itu, cukup beralasan apabila sastra dapat berfungsi sebagai peneguh batin pembaca dalam menjalankan keyakinan agamanya.

Jika setiap manusia akan saling menghormati dalam menjalankan agamanya, maka hubungan yang harmonis akan terjalin dan akan menjadikan hidup manusia menjadi tenteram dan bahagia karena nilai religius merupakan keterkaitan antarmanusia dengan Tuhan sebagai sumber ketentraman dan kebahagiaan di dunia. Nilai religius akan menanamkan sikap manusia untuk tunduk dan taat kepada Tuhan atau dalam keseharian kita kenal dengan takwa. Seperti yang tergambar dalam tokoh Arai di bawah ini.
“Setiap habis maghrib, Arai melantunkan ayat-ayat suci Al Quran di bawah temaram lampu minyak dan saat itu seisi rumah kami terdiam.”(SP, 33)
Perilaku Arai dalam kesehariannya mencerminkan seorang muslim. Orang yang taat pada perintah agama, hal itu terbukti bahwa setiap habis maghrib dia selalu membacakan ayat-ayat suci Al Quran dengan kesadarannya sendiri, tanpa diperintah siapapun.

Kutipan di atas mempunyai kandungan nilai pendidikan religius karena secara jelas disampaikan penulis melalui gaya bahasa hipalase yaitu gaya bahasa yang menggunakan kata tertentu untuk menerangkan sesuata, namun kata tersebut tidak tepat bagi kata yang diterangkan. Hal tersebut dapat dilihat pada kalimat “seisi rumah kami terdiam”, yang dimaksud dalam kalimat kalimat tersebut adalah anggota keluarga Arai.

2. Nilai Pendidikan Moral
Nilai moral sering disamakan dengan nilai etika, yaitu suatu nilai yang menjadi ukuran patut tidaknya manusia bergaul dalam kehidupan bermasyarakat. Moral merupakan tingkah laku atau perbuatan manusia yang dipandang dari nilai individu itu berada. Sikap disiplin tidak hanya dilakukan dalam hal beribadah saja, tetapi dalam segala hal, sikap yang penuh dengan kedisiplinan akan menghasilkan kebaikan. Seperti halnya jika dalam agama, seorang hamba jika menjalankan shalat tepat waktu akan mendapat pahala lebih banyak, demikian juga jika disiplin dijalankan pada pekerjaan lainnya dan tanpa memandang siapa yang berperan dalam melakukan
Perbuatan disiplin tersebut, Seperti pada kutipan berikut mengandung nilai moral yang sangat penting.
“WC ini sudah hampir setahun diabaikan karena keran air yang mampet. Tapi manusia-manusia cacing, para intelektual muda SMA Negeri Bukan Main yang tempurung otaknya telah pindah ke dengkul, nekat menggunakannya jika panggilan alam itu tak tertahankan. Dengan hanya berbekal segayung air saat memasuki tempat sakral itu, mereka menghinakan dirinya sendiri dihadapan agama Allah yang mengajarkan bahwa kebersihan adalah sebagian dari iman. Dan kamilah yang menaanggung semua kebejatan moral mereka.”(SP, 130)

Kutipan di atas sangat tidak pantas dijadikan contoh bagi masyarakat, khususnya para penerus bangsa (siswa). Jelas WC yang keran airnya mampet, malah masih digunakan. Apalagi yang menggunakannya adalah para intelek muda yang dasar pendidikannya ada. Mereka yang menggunakan tidak menghiraukan walaupun agama sudah mengajarkan kebersihan adalah sebagian dari iman. Mereka yang melakukan justru malah tidak merasa bersalah, walaupun orang lain yang kena dampak dari ulah mereka. Pendidikan moral sangat penting untuk mendidik manusia yang belum benar tapi merasa sudah benar.

Kutipan di atas mempunyai kandungan nilai pendidikan moral karena secara jelas disampaikan penulis melalui gaya bahasa sarkasme yaitu gaya bahasa sindiran yang paling kasar dalam pengungkapannnya. Hal itu dapat dilihat pada kalimat “tempurung otaknya telah pindah ke dengkul”. Arti dari kalimat tersebut adalah orang yang berbuaat seenaknya sendiri tanpa peduli aturan dan etika.
Pengembangan nilai moral sangat penting supaya manusia memahami dan menghayati etika ketika berinteraksi dan berkomunikasi dengan masyarakat. Pemahaman dan penghayatan nilai-nilai etika mampu menempatkan manusia sesuai kapasitasnya, dengan demikian akan terwujud perasaan saling hormat, saling sayang, dan tercipta suasana yang harmonis. Hal tersebut terlihat dalam kutipan berikut ini:

Kutipan di atas terlihat jelas mengandung nilai pendidikan moral melalui penggunakan gaya bahasa antifrasis yaitu gaya bahasa sindiran yang mempergunakan kata-kata yang bermakna kebalikannya dan bernada ironis. Hal itu dapat dilihat dari kalimat “bagaimana kalau bajingan itu jadi ketua!!??”. Kalimat tersebut mempunyai arti menyindir seseorang yang mempunyai kelakuan tidak baik seandainya menyalonkan menjadi ketua, maka tidak bisa dibayangkan anak buahnya akan seperti apa.

Kedua kutipan di atas mengandung makna tersirat nilai moral, karena tercantum jelas bahwa bupati yaitu pemimpin sekarang kelakuannya sudah tidak jujur dan menghalalkan segala cara hanya demi merebut kursi kepemimpinannya. Hal tersebut perlu diubah, supaya moral manusia yang lain tidak ikut tercemar. Adapun nilai yang dimaksud dalam konteks tersebut menyangkut baik dan buruk yang diterima umum mengenai perbuatan, sikap, dan kewajiban. Moral juga dapat dikatakan sebagai ajaran kesusilaan yang dapat ditarik dari suatu rangkaian cerita karena karya sastra itu menyajikan, mendukung, dan menghargai nilai-nilai kehidupan yang berlaku.

3. Nilai Pendidikan Sosial
Nilai sosial merupakan hikmah yang dapat diambil dari perilaku sosial dan tata cara hidup sosial. Suatu kesadaran dan emosi yang relatif lestari terhadap suatu objek, gagasan, atau orang juga termasuk di dalamnya. Karya sastra berkaitan erat dengan nilai sosial, karena karya sastra dapat pula bersumber dari kenyataan-kenyataan yang terjadi di dalam masyarakat. Nilai sosial mencakup kebutuhan hidup bersama, seperti kasih sayang, kepercayaan, pengakuan, dan penghargaan. Nilai sosial yang dimaksud adalah kepedulian terhadap lingkungan sekitar. Kepedulian tersebut dapat berupa perhatian maupun berupa kritik. Kritik tersebut dilatar belakangi oleh dorongan untuk memprotes ketidakadilan yang dilihat, didengar maupun yang dialaminya, seperti yang terdapat dalam kutipan berikut.
“Aku ingin menyelamatkan Jimbron walaupun benci setengah mati pada Arai. Aku dan Arai menopang Jimbron dan beruntung kami berada dalam labirin gang yang membingungkan.”(SP, 15)

Kutipan di atas dapat di jelaskan bahwa walaupun Ikal sangat benci kepada Arai tapi jiwa penolongnya kepada Jimbron masih tetap ada dalam dirinya, karena dia merasa walau bagaimanapun mereka adalah bersaudara. Kutipan di atas secara jelas megandung nilai pendidikan sosial melalui penggunakan gaya bahasa hiperbola yaitu gaya bahasa yang mengandung suatu pernyataan yang berlebihan, misalnya membesar-besarkan suatu hal dari yang sesungguhnya. Hal itu dapat dilihat dari ungkapan “benci setengah mati” yang mempunyai arti sangat membenci.

Nilai sosial berkenaan dengan kemanusiaan dan mengembangkan kehidupan bersama, seperti kasih sayang, penghargaan, kerja sama, perlindungan, dan sifat-sifat yang ditujukan untuk kepentingan kemanusiaan lainnya yang merupakan kebiasaan yang diwariskan secara turun temurun. Seperti yang tercermin pada kutipan di bawah ini.
“Aku membantu membawa buku-bukunya dan kami meninggalkan gubuk berdinding lelak beratap daun itu dengan membiarka pintu dan jendela-jendelanya terbuka karena dipastikan tak kan ada siapa-siapa untuk mengambil apapun.”(SP, 25)

Beberapa hari setelah ayahnya meninggal Ikal dan ayahnya menjemput Arai untuk di bawa ke rumahnya. Arai dan Ikal sebenarnya adalah masih saudara. Pada waktu menjemput Arai, Ikal membantu Arai untuk membawakan buku-bukunya yang masih perlu di bawa.

Kutipan di atas dapat didlihat secara jelas mengandung nilai pendidikan sosial melalui penggunakan gaya bahasa alegori yaitu gaya bahasa yang bertautan satu dengan yang lainnya dalam kesatuan yang utuh. Hal tersebut dapat dilihat dari kata “membawa”, “meninggalkan”, dan “membiarkan. Kata itu mempunyai pertautan dalam satu kutipan.

Nilai sosial juga berupa hikmah yang dapat diambil dari perilaku sosial dan tata cara hidup sosial. Nilai dalam karya sastra, nilai sosial dapat dilihat dari cerminan kehidupan masyarakat yang diinterpretasikan sehingga diharapkan mampu memberikan peningkatan kepekaan rasa kemanusiaan. Cerminan tersebut dapat dilihat dari kutipan di bawah ini.
“Aku tersenyum tapi tangisku tak reda karena seperti mekanika gerak balik helikopter purba ini, Arai telah memutar balikkan logikasentimental ini. Ia justru berusaha menghiburku pada saat aku seharusnya menghiburnya. Dadaku sesak.”(SP, 28)

Kutipan di atas menggunakan gaya bahasa paradoks yaitu gaya bahasa yang bertentangan dalam satu kalimat. Sepintas lalu hal tersebut tidak masuk akal. Hal itu dapat dilihat dari kalimat “aku tersenyum tapi tangisku tak reda”. Kalimat tersebut mempunyai arti Ikal masih bisa tersenyum ketika dia menangis.

Tokoh Ikal yang seharusnya menghibur Arai ketika ia mendapat musibah ternyata malah berputar terbalik. Justru Arai yang berusaha menghibur Ikal supaya dia tersenyum, itulah sosok Arai yang tidak mudah ditebak. Sikap Arai yang peduli terhadap orang lain juga dapat dilihat dari kutipan di bawah ini.
“Arai menyerahkan karung-karung kami pada Mak Cik. Beliau terkaget-kaget. Lalu aku tertegun mendengar rencana Arai, dengan bahan itu dimintanya Mak Cik membuat kue dan kami yang akan menjualnya. Mulai sekarang Mak Cik mempunyai penghasilan! Seru Arai bersemangat.”(SP, 51)
Kutipan di atas menggunakan gaya bahasa hiperbola yaitu gaya bahasa yang mengandung suatu pernyataan berlebihan. Hal itu dapat dilihat pada kalimat “beliau terkaget-kaget” dan kalimat tersebut mempunyai arti yaitu sangat terkejut.

Arai tidak tega melihat Mak Cik yang hidup kesusahan. Dia juga menyuruh Arai untuk memecah celengannya untuk menolong Mak Cik. Cara mereka dengan membelikan bahan-bahan untuk membuat kue supaya beliau bisa mencukupi kebutuhan hidup keluarganya.

Sifat membalas budi atas kebaikan orang lain pada nilai sosial sangatlah penting. Sifat tersebut juga bertujuan untuk membangun sikap saling peduli dan saling peka antar sesama. Sifat tersebut tersirat dalam kutipan di bawah ini.
“Aku ingin membahagiakan Arai. Aku ingin berbuat sesuatu seperti yang ia lakukan pada Jimbron. Seperti yang selalu ia lakukan padaku. Aku sering melihat sepatuku yang menganga seperti buaya berjemur tahu-tahu sudah rekat kembali, Arai diam-diam memakunya. Aku juga selalu heran melihat kancing bajuku yang lepas tiba-tiba lengkap kembali, tanpa banyak cincong Arai menjahitnya. Jika terbangun malam-malam, aku sering mendapatiku telah berselimut, Arai menyelimutiku. Belum terhitung kebaikannya waktu ia membelaku dalam perkara rambut belah tengah toni Koeswoyo saat aku masih SD dulu. Bertahun lewat taoi aku tak kan lupa Rai, akan kubalas kebaikanmu yang tak terucapkan itu, jasamu yang tak kenal pamrih itu, ketulusanmu yang tak kasatmata itu.”(SP, 186)

Kutipan di atas menggunakan gaya bahasa perumpamaan yaitu perbandingan dua hal yang pada hakikatnya berbeda, tetapi sengaja dianggap sama. Hal itu dapat dilihat dari kalimat “sepatuku yang menganga seperti buaya berjemur” yaitu sepatu yang lemnya sudah tidak bisa merekat lagi disakan dengan buaya yang berjemur, yaitu mulutnya terbuka.

Tanggung jawab terhadap kebahagiaan orang lain juga menjadi jaminan untuk menjalankan sikap kemanusiaan, supaya kebahagiaan orang lain terasa lengkap dengan sikap kita terhadapnya.
“Bang Zitun sangat komit pada penampilan Arai kali ini sebab ia merasa bertanggung jawab pada kegagalan Arai yang pertama.” (SP, 210)

Kutipan di atas adalah wujud sikap tanggung jawab Bang Zaitun untuk memksimalkan penampilan Arai dalam memikat hati Nirmala sang pujaan hatinya, karena penampilan Arai yang pertama kurang maksimal sehingga untuk memikat hati Nirmala bisa dikatakan gagal.

4. Nilai Pendidikan Budaya
Nilai pendidikan budaya adalah tingkat yang palig tinggi dan yang paling abstrak dari adat istiadat. Hali itu disebabkan karena nilai-nilai budaya itu merupakan konsep-konsep mengenai apa yang hidup dalam alam pikiran sebagian besar dari warga sesuatu masyarakat mengenai apa yang mereka anggap bernilai., berharga dan penting dalam hidup, sehingga dapat berfungsi sebagai suatu pedoman yang member arah dan orientasi kepada kehidupan para warga masyarakatnya.
Walaupun nilai-nilai budaya berfungsi sebagai pedoman hidup manusia dalam masyarakat, tetapi sebagai konsep, suatu nilai budaya itu bersifat sangat umum mempunyai ruang ligkup yang sangat luas, dan biasanya sulit diterangkan secara rasional dan nyata. Namun, justru karena sifatnya yang umum, luas, dan tidak konkret itu, maka nilai-nilai budaya dalam suatu kebudayaan berada dalam daerah emosional dari alam jiwa para individu yang menjadi warga dari kebudayaan bersangkutan. Kebiasaan dalam daerah tertentu juga memengaruhi tata cara dalam kehidupan sehari-hari, terlihat seperti kutipan di bawah ini.
“Dan seperti kebanyakan anak-anak Melayu miskin di kampung kami yang rata-rata beranjak remaja mulai bekerja mencari uang,…”(SP, 32)

Masyarakat melayu ketika mulai beranjak dewasa kebanyakan mereka sudah berusaha bekerja mencari uang untuk membantu keluarganya dalam mencukupi kebutuhan hidup. Maka tidak heran, banyak remaja yang memilih tidak melanjutkan sekolah, melainkan memilih untuk bekerja. Kutipan di atas secara jelas mengandung nilai pendidikan budaya melalui penggunakan gaya bahasa paradoks yaitu gaya bahasa yang bertentangan dalam satu kalimat. Hal itu dapat dilihat dari kata “anak-anak” dan “remaja” terdapat pada satu kalimat dengan arti yang berlawanan.

Unsur-unsur dan nilai kebudayaan juga dapat dilestarikan dengan menggunakan benda atau barang kebudayaan daerah setempat. Hal tersebut juga diterapkan oleh masyarakat Melayu, yaitu dapat dilihat dari kutipan berikut ini.
“Padi dalam peregasan sebenarnya sudah tak bisa lagi dimakan karena sudah disimpan puluhan tahun. Saat ini peregasan tak lebih dari surga dunia bagi bermacam-macam kutu dan keluarga tikus berbulu kelabu yang turun- temurun beranak pinak disitu.” (SP, 36)

Kutipan di atas terdapat kata “peregasan” yang artinya adalah peti papan besar tempat menyimpan padi. Sebagian besar orang Melayu di setiap rumahnya pasti terdapat peregasan yang berfungsi untuk menyimpan beras. Bagi orang Melayu juga menganggap peregasan adalah sebuah metafora, budaya, dan perlambang yang mewakili periode gelap selama tiga setengah tahun Jepang menindas mereka. Ajaibnya sang waktu, masa lalu yang menyakitkan lambat laun bisa menjelma menjadi nostalgia romantik.

Kutipan di atas secara jelas mempunyai kandungan nilai pendidikan budaya melalui penggunakan gaya bahasa hiperbola. Hal itu terlihat pada kalimat “keluarga tikus berbulu kelabu yang turun-temurun beranak pinak di situ”. Kalimat tersebut mempunyai arti bahwa hewan tikus yang berkembang biak sangat banyak.


A. Simpulan
Nilai-nilai pendidikan yang terdapat dalam novel Sang Pemimpi, berdasarkan hasil analisis terdiri dari empat nilai. Nilai-nilai pendidikan tersebut yaitu: (a) nilai pendidikan religius merupakan sudut pandang yang mengikat manusia dengan Tuhan pencipta alam dan seisinya, dalam novel Sang Pemimpi. (b) Nilai pendidikan moral yaitu suatu nilai yang menjadi ukuran patut tidaknya manusia bergaul dalam kehidupan bermasyarakat, dalam novel Sang Pemimpi. (c) Nilai pendidikan sosial yaitu suatu kesadaran dan emosi yang relatif lestari terhadap suatu objek, gagasan, atau orang, dalam novel Sang Pemimpi (d) Nilai pendidikan budaya tingkat yang palig tinggi dan yang paling abstrak dari adat istiadat, dalam novel Sang Pemimpi.

B. Implikasi
Penelitian ini memiliki implikasi terhadap aspek lain yang relevan dan memiliki hubungan positif. Implikasi tersebut dijelaskan sebagai berikut.
1. Implikasi teoritis
a. Membuka wawasan yang berkaitan dengan pendalaman materi keterampilan bersastra, khususnya karya sastra novel.
b. Membuka wawasan akan beragamnya novel yang dapat digunakan sebagai media pembelajaran.
c. Membuka peluang dilakukannya penelitian-penelitian tentang gaya bahasa serta nilai pendidikan.
2. Implikasi paedagogis
Menambah referensi novel yang dapat digunakan dalam pembelajaran bahasa Indonesia pada jenjang SMA kelas XI dengan standar kompetensi kemampuan memahami berbagai hikayat, novel Indonesia, novel terjemahan. Novel Sang Pemimpi dapat digunakan sebagai media pembelajaran novel yang isinya tidak terlalu serius dan mudah dipahami, namun banyak mengandung nilai-nilai pendidikan.

3. Implikasi praktis
a. Memperkaya khasanah ilmu pengetahuan yang berkaitan dengan penelitian sastra, sehingga peneliti lain akan termotivasi untuk melakukan penelitian yang nantinya dapat diaplikasikan dalam pembelajaran di sekolah.
b. Penelitian ini dapat dijadikan sebagai bahan pertimbangan untuk lebih mencermati media pembelajaran yang tepat bagi siswa.

C. Saran
Beberapa saran berikut dapat menjadi bahan masukan yang bermanfaat bagi pihak-pihak terkait antara lain.

1. Saran kepada siswa
Siswa hendaknya dalam membaca novel memperhatikan nilai-nilai positif antara lain tentang semangat, tekad, perilaku pantang menyerah untuk selalu memperjuangkan cita-cita dan jangan mencontoh apabila novel tersebut
mempunyai nilai yang negatif. Nilai-nilai positif tersebut dapat menjadi dasar bagi siswa untuk menerapkannya dalam berperilaku di kehidupan di masyarakat.

2. Saran kepada guru bahasa dan sastra Indonesia
Guru hendaknya dapat memaksimalkan penggunaan bahan pembelajaran sastra, dalam hal ini adalah novel. Novel Sang Pemimpi ini di dalamnya memenuhi empat macam manfaat pembelajaran sastra, yaitu: membantu keterampilan berbahasa, meningkatkan pengetahuan budaya, mengembangkan cipta dan rasa, dan menunjang pembentukan watak. Lebih lanjut guru dapat memilih novel lain yang sekiranya terdapat beberapa cakupan yang bisa memberikan manfaat positif bagi siswa, sehingga siswa tidak hanya memperoleh hiburan saja tetapi juga mendapatkan ilmu kehidupan.

3. Saran kepada pembaca karya sastra
Pembaca karya sastra sebaiknya mengambil nilai-nilai positif dalam karya sastra yang telah dibacanya dalam kehidupan di masyarakat. Novel Sang Pemimpi adalah novel yang bagus dan berkualitas, sehingga tidak ada salahnya jika membaca novel tersebut.

4. Saran kepada peneliti lain
Pada karya ilmiah ini, peneliti mempunyai kelemahan yaitu dalam penelitian agak sulit membedakan antara gaya bahasa yang satu dengan yang lain. Oleh karena itu, Peneliti lain sebaiknya terus meningkatkan penelitian dalam bidang sastra khususnya novel Sang Pemimpi karya Andrea Hirata secara lebih mendalam dengan bentuk analisis yang berbeda karena novel tersebut termasuk novel yang bagus dan berkualitas.

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(Terjemahan Tjejep Rohendi Rohidi). Jakarta: UI Press.

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Bandung: CV Pustaka setia.

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University Press.

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Penerapannya. Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar.

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Bandung: Alumni.

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Lampiran 2

Beberapa Tokoh yang Berperan dalam Novel Sang Pemimpi

A. Tokoh Utama
1. Ikal adalah anak kampung yang miskin yang dimiliki negara
2. Arai adalah tokoh sentral dalam buku ini. Menjadi saudara angkat Ikal ketika kelas 3 SD saat ayahnya (satu-satunya anggota keluarga yang tersisa) meninggal dunia. Seseorang yang mampu melihat keindahan di balik sesuatu, sangat optimis dan selalu melihat suatu peristiwa dari kaca mata yang positif. Arai adalah sosok yang begitu spontan dan jenaka, seolah tak ada sesuatupun di dunia ini yang akan membuatnya sedih dan patah semangat.
3. Jimbron, anak yatim piatu yang diasuh oleh seorang pastur Katolik bernama Geovanny.Laki-laki berwajah bayi dan bertubuh subur ini sangat polos. Segala hal tentang kuda adalah obsesinya, dan gagapnya berhubungan dengan sebuah peristiwa tragis yang memilukan yang dia alami ketika masih SD , dulu ayahnya sekarat di depan matanya maka ia membawa ayahnya dengan sepeda yang lajunya lama sampai di puskesmas ayahnya meninggal di depan matanya dan waktu ditanyai orang-orang di sudah terlanjur gagap karena terlalu banyak menangis sampai tersendat-sendat ia selalu berfikir jika saja waktu itu dia menaiki kuda pasti ayahnya tertolong. Jimbron adalah penyeimbang di antara Arai dan Ikal, kepolosan dan ketulusannya adalah sumber simpati dan kasih sayang dalam diri keduanya untuk menjaga dan melindunginya.

B. Tokoh Lain
1. Pendeta Geovanny, ia adalah seorang Katolik yang mengasuh Jimbron selepas kepergian kedua orangtua Jimbron. Meskipun berbeda agama dengan Jimbron, beliau tidak memaksakan Jimbron untuk turut menjadi umat Katolik. Bahkan beliau tidak pernah terlambat mengantar Jimbron pergi ke masjid untuk mengaji. Meski disebut Pendeta, Geovanny yang berdarah Italia ini adalah seorang Pastor.
2. Pak Mustar M. Djai’din. BA. adalah salah satu pendiri SMA Bukan Main. Ia adalah wakil kepala sekolah SMA Bukan Main, seorang yang baik dan cukup sabar namun berubah menjadi tangan besi ketika anaknya sendiri justru tidak diterima masuk ke SMA tersebut karena NEMnya kurang 0,25 dari batas minimal.Terkenal dengan aturan-aturannya yang disiplin dan hukuman yang sangat berat. Namun sebenarnya beliau adalah pribadi yang sangat baik dan patut dicontoh.
3. Pak Drs. Julian Ichsan Balia; Kepala Sekolah SMA Negeri Manggar.Laki-laki muda, tampan, lulusan IKIP Bandung yang masih memegang teguh idealisme.
4. Nurmala; Zakiah Nurmala binti Berahim Mantarum,gadis pujaan Arai sejak pertama kali Arai melihatnya. Nurmala adalah gadis yang pandai, selalu menyandang ranking 1. Ia juga penggemar Ray Charles dengan lagunya I Can’t Stop Loving You dan Nat King Cole dengan lagunya When I Fall in Love.
5. Laksmi; gadis pujaan Jimbron. Telah kehilangan kedua orangtuanya dan tinggal serta bekerja di sebuah pabrik cincau. Semenjak kepergian orangtuanya ia tidak pernah lagi tersenyum, walaupun senyumnya amat manis. Ia baru dapat tersenyum ketika Jimbron datang mengendarai sebuah kuda.
6. Capo Lam Nyet Pho; Seorang yang memungkinkan berbagai hal sebagai objek untuk bisnisnya. Bahkan ketika PN Timah terancam kolaps, ia melakukan ide untuk membuka peternakan kuda meskipun kuda adalah hewan yang asing bagi komunitas Melayu.
7. Taikong Hamim; Guru mengaji di masjid di kampung Gantung.Dikenal sebagai sosok nonkonfromis dan sering memberlakukan hukuman fisik kepada anak-anak yang melakukan kesalahan.
8. Bang Zaitun; Seniman musik pemimpin sebuah kelompaok Orkes Melayu. Dikenal sebagai orang yang pernah mempunyai banyak pacar dan hampir memiliki 5 istri. Sebenarnya kunci keberhasilannya dalam percintaan adalah sebuah gitar. Ia pun mengajarkan hal tersebut pada Arai yang sedang mabuk cinta dengan Nurmala.
9. A Kiun; Gadis Hokian penjaga loket bioskop.
10. Nurmi; Berbakat memainkan biola, mewarisi biola dan bakat dari kakeknya yang ketua kelompok gambus di Gantung. Nurmi adalah tetangga Arai dan Ikal, seumuran, dan dia adalah gadis yang sangat mencintai biola.
11. Pak Cik Basman; Seorang tukang sobek karcis di sebuah bioskop di Belitong.
12. A Siong; Pemilik toko kelontong tempat Ikal dan Arai berselisih tentang penggunaaan uang tabungan.
13. Deborah Wong; Istri A Siong dan ibu dari Mei Mei. Perempuan asal Hongkong yang tambun dan berkulit putih.
14. Mei Mei; Gadis kecil anak Deborah Wong.


Novel ini adalah novel kedua dari tetraloginya Andrea Hirata yang diterbitkan oleh Bentang Pustaka pada bulan Juli tahun 2006. Dalam novel ini Andrea menarikan imajinasi dan melantunkan stambul mimpi anak-anak Melayu kampung . Sang Pemimpi adalah sebuah kisah kehidupan yang mempesona yang akan membuat pembacanya percaya akan tenaga cinta, percaya pada kekuatan mimpi dan pengorbanan, lebih dari itu, juga percaya kepada Tuhan. Andrea berkelana menerobos sudut-sudut pemikiran dimana pembaca akan menemukan pandangan yang berbeda tentang nasib, tantangan intelektualitas, dan kegembiraan yang meluap-luap, sekaligus kesedihan yang mengharu biru. selayaknya kenakalan remaja biasa, tapi kemudian tanpa disadari kisah dan karakter-karakter dalam buku ini lambat laun menguasai, potret-potret kecil yang menawan akan menghentakkan pembaca pada rasa humor yang halus namun memiliki efek filosofis yang meresonansi. Arti perjuangan hidup dalam kemiskinan yang membelit dan cita-cita yang gagah berani dalam kisah beberapa tokoh utama buku ini,

Tiga orang pemimpi. Setelah tamat SMP, melanjutkan ke SMA bukan main, di sinilah perjuangan dan mimpi ketiga pemberani ini dimulai. Ikal, salah satu dari anggota Laskar Pelangi, Arai, saudara sepupu Arai yang sudah yatim piatu sejak SD dan tinggal di ruamh Ikal, sudah dianggap seperti anak sendiri oleh Ayah danIbu Ikal, dan Jimbron, anak angkat seorang pendeta karena yatim piatu juga sejak kecil. Namun pendeta yang sangat baik dan tidak memaksakan keyakinan Jimbron, malah mengantarkan Jimbron menjadi muslim yang taat.
Arai dan Ikal begitu pintar dalam sekolahnya, sedangkan Jimbron, si penggemar kuda ini biasa-biasa saja. Malah menduduki rangking 78 dari 160 siswa. Sedangkan Ikal dan Arai selalu menjadi lima dan tiga besar. Mimpi mereka sangat tinggi, karena bagi Arai, orang susah seperti mereka tidak akan berguna tanpa mimpi-mimpi. Mereka berdua mempunyai mimpi yang tinggi yaitu melanjutkan belajar ke Sarbonne Perancis. Mereka terpukau dengan cerita Pak Beia, guru seninya, yang selalu meyebut-nyebut indahnya kota itu. Kerja keras menjadi kuli ngambat mulai pukul dua pagi sampai jam tujuh dan dilanjutkan dengan sekolah, itulah perjuangan ketiga pemuda itu. Mati-matian menabung demi mewujudkan impiannya. Meskipun kalau dilogika, tabungan mereka tidak akan cukup untuk sampi ke sana. Tapi jiwa optimisme Arai tak terbantahkan.

Selesai SMA, Arai dan Ikal merantau ke Jawa, Bogor tepatnya. Sedangkan Jimbron lebih memilih untuk menjadi pekerja ternak kuda di Belitong. Jimbron menghadiahkan kedua celengan kudanya yang berisi tabungannya selama ini kepada Ikal dan Arai. Dia yakin kalau Arai dan Ikal sampai di Perancis, maka jiwa Jimbron pun akan selalu bersama mereka. Berbula-bulan terkatung-katung di Bogor, mencari pekerjaan untuk bertahan hidup susahnya minta ampun. Akhirnya setelah banyak pekerjaan tidak bersahabat ditempuh, Ikal diterima menjadi tukang sortir (tukang Pos), dan Arai memutuskan untuk merantau ke Kalimantan. Tahun berikutnya, Ikal memutuskan untuk kuliah di Ekonomi UI. Dan setelah lulus, ada lowongan untuk mendapatkan biasiswa S2 ke Eropa. Beribu-ribu pesaing berhasil ia singkirkan dan akhrinya sampailah pada pertandingan untuk memperebutkan 15 besar.

Saat wawancara tiba, tidak disangka, profesor pengujinya begitu terpukau dengan proposal riset yang diajukan Ikal, meskipun hanya berlatar belakang sarjana Ekonomi yang masih bekerja sebagai tukang sortir, tulisannya begitu hebat. Akhirnya setelah wawancara selesai, siapa yang menyangka, kejutan yang luar biasa. Arai pun ikut dalam wawancara itu. Bertahun-tahun tanpa kabar berita, akhirnya mereka berdua dipertemukan dalam suatu forum yang begitu indah dan terhormat. Begitulah Arai, selalu penuh dengan kejutan. Semua ini sudah direncanaknnya bertahun-thaun. Ternyata dia kuliah di Universitas Mulawarman dan mengambil jurusan Biologi. Tidak kalah dengan Ikal, proposal risetnya juga begitu luar biasa dan berbakat untuk menghasilkan teori baru.

Akhirnya sampai juga mereka pulang kampung ke Belitong. Ketika ada surat datang, mereka berdebar-debar membuka isinya. Pengumuman penerima Beasiswa ke Eropa. Arai begitu sedih karena dia sangat merindukan kedua orang tuanya. Sangat ingin membuka kabar tu bersama orang yang sanag dia rindukan. Kegelisahan dimulai. Tidak kuasa mengetahui isi dari surat itu. Akhirnya Ikal diteima di Perguruan tinggi, Sarbone Pernacis. Setelah perlahan mencocokkan dengan surat Arai, inilah jawaban dari mimpi-mimpi mereka. Kedua sang pemimpi ini diterima di Universitas yang sama. Tapi ini bukan akhir dari segalanya. Disinilah perjuanagan dari mimpi itu dimulai, dan siap melahirkan anak-anak mimpi berikutnya.


Nama Andrea Hirata Seman Said Harun melejit seiring kesuksesan novel pertamanya, Laskar Pelangi. Pria yang berulang tahun setiap 24 Oktober ini semakin terkenal kala novel pertamanya yang jadi best seller diangkat ke layar lebar oleh duo sineas yaitu Riri Riza dan Mira Lesmana. Selain Laskar Pelangi, lulusan S1 Ekonomi Universitas Indonesia ini juga menulis Laskar Pelangi dan Edensor, serta Maryamah Karpov. Keempat novel tersebut tergabung dalam sebuah tetralogi tetralogi. Setelah menyelesaikan studi S1 di UI, pria yang kini masih bekerja di kantor pusat PT Telkom ini mendapat beasiswa Uni Eropa untuk studi Master of Science di Université de Paris, Sorbonne, Perancis dan Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom. Tesis Andrea di bidang ekonomi telekomunikasi mendapat penghargaan dari kedua universitas tersebut dan ia lulus cumlaude.
Tesis itu telah diadaptasi ke dalam Bahasa Indonesia dan merupakan buku teori ekonomi telekomunikasi pertama yang ditulis oleh orang Indonesia. Buku itu telah beredar sebagai referensi ilmiah. Penulis Indonesia yang berasal dari Pulau Belitong, Provinsi Bangka Belitung ini masih hidup melajang hingga sekarang. Status lajang yang disandang oleh Andrea sempat memicu kabar tak sedap. Karena pada bulan November 2008, muncul pengakuan dari seorang perempuan, Roxana yang mengaku sebagai mantan istrinya. Akhirnya terungkap bahwa Andrea memang pernah menikah dengan Roxana pada 5 Juli 1998, namun telah dibatalkan pada tahun 2000. Alasan Andrea melakukan pembatalan ini karena Roxana menikah saat dirinya masih berstatus istri orang lain.
Sukses dengan novel tetralogi, Andrea merambah dunia film. Novelnya yang pertama, telah diangkat ke layar lebar, dengan judul sama, Laskar Pelangi pada 2008. Dengan menggandeng Riri Riza sebagai sutradara dan Mira Lesmana pada produser, film ini menjadi film yang paling fenomenal di 2008. Dan jelang akhir tahun 2009, Andrea bersama Miles Films dan Mizan Production kembali merilis sekuelnya Sang Pemimpi.

Charles Dickens, 1812-1870


Novelist, born at Landport, near Portsmouth, where his father was a clerk in the Navy Pay–Office. The hardships and mortifications of his early life, his want of regular schooling, and his miserable time in the blacking factory, which form the basis of the early chapters of David Copperfield, are largely accounted for by the fact that his father was to a considerable extent the prototype of the immortal Mr. Micawber; but partly by his being a delicate and sensitive child, unusually susceptible to suffering both in body and mind. He had, however, much time for reading, and had access to the older novelists, Fielding, Smollett, and others. A kindly relation also took him frequently to the theatre, where he acquired his life-long interest in, and love of, the stage.

After a few years’ residence in Chatham, the family removed to London, and soon thereafter his father became an inmate of the Marshalsea, in which by-and-by the whole family joined him, a passage in his life which furnishes the material for parts of Little Dorrit. This period of family obscuration happily lasted but a short time: the elder Dickens managed to satisfy his creditors, and soon after retired from his official duties on a pension. About the same time Dickens had two years of continuous schooling, and shortly afterwards he entered a law office. His leisure he devoted to reading and learning shorthand, in which he became very expert. He then acted as parliamentary reporter, first for The True Sun, and from 1835 for the Morning Chronicle. Meanwhile he had been contributing to the Monthly Magazine and the Evening Chronicle the papers which, in 1836, appeared in a collected form as Sketches by Boz; and he had also produced one or two comic burlettas.

In the same year he married Miss Catherine Hogarth; and in the following year occurred the opportunity of his life. He was asked by Chapman and Hall to write the letterpress for a series of sporting plates to be done by Robert Seymour who, however, died shortly after, and was succeeded by Hablot Browne (Phiz), who became the illustrator of most of Dickens’s novels. In the hands of Dickens the original plan was entirely altered, and became the Pickwick Papers which, appearing in monthly parts during 1837–39, took the country by storm. Simultaneously Oliver Twist was coming out in Bentley’s Miscellany. Thenceforward Dickens’s literary career was a continued success, and the almost yearly publication of his works constituted the main events of his life. Nicholas Nickleby appeared in serial form 1838–39. Next year he projected Master Humphrey’s Clock, intended to be a series of miscellaneous stories and sketches. It was, however, soon abandoned, The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge taking its place. The latter, dealing with the Gordon Riots, is, with the partial exception of the Tale of Two Cities, the author’s only excursion into the historical novel.

In 1841 Dickens went to America, and was received with great enthusiasm, which, however, the publication of American Notes considerably damped, and the appearance of Martin Chuzzlewit in 1843, with its caustic criticisms of certain features of American life, converted into extreme, though temporary, unpopularity. The first of the Christmas books — the Christmas Carol — appeared in 1843, and in the following year Dickens went to Italy, where at Genoa he wrote The Chimes, followed by The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man.

In January, 1846, he was appointed first ed. of The Daily News, but resigned in a few weeks. The same year he went to Switzerland, and while there wrote Dombey and Son, which was published in 1848, and was immediately followed by his masterpiece, David Copperfield (1849–50). Shortly before this he had become manager of a theatrical company, which performed in the provinces, and he had in 1849 started his magazine, Household Words. Bleak House appeared in 1852–53, Hard Times in 1854, and Little Dorrit 1856–57. In 1856 he bought Gadshill Place, which, in 1860, became his permanent home.

In 1858 he began his public readings from his works, which, while eminently successful from a financial point of view, from the nervous strain which they entailed, gradually broke down his constitution, and hastened his death. In the same year he separated from his wife, and consequent upon the controversy which arose thereupon he brought Household Words to an end, and started All the Year Round, in which appeared A Tale of Two Cities [1859], and Great Expectations (1860–61). Our Mutual Friend came out in numbers (1864–65). Dickens was now in the full tide of his readings, and decided to give a course of them in America. Thither accordingly he went in the end of 1867, returning in the following May. He had a magnificent reception, and his profits amounted to £20,000; but the effect on his health was such that he was obliged, on medical advice, finally to abandon all appearances of the kind. In 1869 he began his last work, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which was interrupted by his death from an apoplectic seizure on June 8, 1870.

One of Dickens’s most marked characteristics is the extraordinary wealth of his invention as exhibited in the number and variety of the characters introduced into his novels. Another, especially, of course, in his entire works, is his boundless flow of animal spirits. Others are his marvellous keenness of observation and his descriptive power. And the English race may well, with Thackeray, be “grateful for the innocent laughter, and the sweet and unsullied pages which the author of David Copperfield gives to [its] children.” On the other hand, his faults are obvious, a tendency to caricature, a mannerism that often tires, and almost disgusts, fun often forced, and pathos not seldom degenerating into mawkishness. But at his best how rich and genial is the humour, how tender often the pathos. And when all deductions are made, he had the laughter and tears of the English-speaking world at command for a full generation while he lived, and that his spell still works is proved by a continuous succession of new editions.

[From A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature by John W. Cousin, 1910]
See also …

Charles Dickens / George Orwell [1940]

Major Works

Sketches by Boz [1836-40]
Our Parish—Scenes—Characters—Tales—Sketches of Young Gentlemen—Sketches of Young Couples—The Mudfog and other sketches
The Pickwick Papers [1836-37]
Oliver Twist [1837-39]
Nicholas Nickleby [1838-39]
The Old Curiosity Shop [1840-41]
Barnaby Rudge [1841]
Martin Chuzzlewit [1843]
Dombey and Son [1846-48]
David Copperfield [1849-50]
Bleak House [1851-53]
Hard Times [1854]
Little Dorrit [1855-57]
A Tale of Two Cities [1859]
Great Expectations [1860-61]
Our Mutual Friend [1864-65]
The Mystery of Edwin Drood [1869-70, unfinished]

The Christmas Books

A Christmas Carol [1843]
The Chimes [1844]
The Cricket on the Hearth [1845]
The Battle of Life [1846]
The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain [1848]

Christmas Stories from “Household Words” and “All the Year Round”

A Christmas Tree [1850]
What Christmas is as we Grow Older [1851]
The Poor Relation’s Story [1852]
The Child’s Story [1852]
The Schoolboy’s Story [1853]
Nobody’s Story [18—]
The Seven Poor Travellers [1854]
The Holly-Tree [1855]
Wreck of the Golden Mary (with Wilkie Collins) [1856]
The Perils of Certain English Prisoners (with Wilkie Collins) [Household Words, 1857]
Going into Society [1858]
A Message From the Sea [1860]
Tom Tiddler’s Ground [1861]
Somebody’s Luggage [1862]
Mrs. Lirriper’s Lodgings [1863]
Mrs. Lirriper’s Legacy [1864]
Doctor Marigold [1865]
Mugby Junction [1866]
No Thoroughfare (with Wilkie Collins) [1867]

Other short stories

Master Humphrey’s Clock [1840-1]
The Lamplighter’s Story [1841]
A House to Let (with others) [1858]
The Signal-Man
The Haunted House [1859]
The Trial For Murder
To Be Read At Dusk [1852]
Hunted Down [1860]
A Holiday Romance [1868]
George Silverman’s Explanation [1868]


American Notes [1842]
Pictures From Italy [1846]
The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices (with Wilkie Collins) [1857]

Other works

Sunday Under Three Heads [1836]
Reprinted Pieces [1850-59]
Essays from Household Words
The Uncommercial Traveller [1860-9]
A Child’s History of England [1852-4]
Contributions to: All The Year Round
Miscellaneous Papers: essays from The Examiner, Household Words and All the year round
The Agricultural Interest — Threatening Letter to Thomas Hood from an Ancient Gentleman — Crime and Education — Capital Punishment — The Spirit of Chivalry in Westminster Hall — In Memoriam—W. M. Thackeray — Adelaide Anne Procter — Chauncey Hare Townshend — On Mr. Fechter’s Acting
Speeches: Literary & Social

Other links

Charles Dickens page from Ritva Raesmaa
The Dickens Page
The Dickens Project
The Victorian Web: Charles Dickens
Google search
Search the library Catalogue

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Charles Dickens Bibliography


Charles Dickens Bibliography
The bibliography of Charles Dickens includes more than a dozen major novels, a number of short stories and several essays, articles and travel books.

Charles Dickens Bibliography:

Sketches by Boz (1836)
The Pickwick Papers (1836-7)
Oliver Twist (1837-9)
Nicholas Nickleby (1838-9)
The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1)
Barnaby Rudge (1841)
Master Humphrey’s Clock (1841)
A Christmas Carol (1843)
The Chimes (1844)
American Notes (1842)
The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-4)
Christmas Books (1843-49)
Pictures from Italy (1844-45)
The Cricket on the Hearth (1845)
The Battle of Life (1846)
Dombey and Son (1846-8)
The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain (1848)
David Copperfield (1849-50)
A Child’s History of England (1851-53)
Bleak House (1852-3)
Hard Times (1854)
Little Dorrit (1855-7)
The Wreck of the Golden Mary (1856)
The Perils of Certain English Prisoners (1857)
A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
Hunted Down (1859)
The Uncommercial Traveller (1860)
A Message from the Sea (1860)
Great Expectations (1860-1)
Reprinted Pieces (1861)
Tom Tiddler’s Ground (1861)
The Haunted House (1862)
Somebody’s Luggage (1862)
Mrs Lirriper’s Lodgings (1863)
Mrs Lirriper’s Legacy (1864)
Our Mutual Friends (1864-5)
Doctor Marigold (1865)
The Trial for Murder (1865)
Mugby Junction (1866)
The Signal-Man (1866)
No Thoroughfare (1867) (with Wilkie Collins)
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870)
The Mudfog Papers (1880)
The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices (1890) (with Wilkie Collins)
To Be Read At Dusk (1898)

The Works of Charles Dickens freely available on this website (ordered alphabetically):
To read online, just click on the title of your choice:

A Child’s History of England

A Child’s History of England is a delightful history of England written by Dickens. It covers history of England from 50 BC to 1837 AD.

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol is a story about redemption of a selfish and hard-hearted old man Ebenezer Scrooge.

A Holiday Romance

A Holiday Romance contains four short stories written from the point of view of four children.

A Message From the Sea

A Message from the Sea tells the story of how Captain Jorgan found a message in a bottle…

A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities tells an intriguing story of love, courage and self-sacrifice during the French Revolution.

All The Year Round

Contributions to All The Year Round by Charles Dickens: The Poor Man and his Beer, Landor’s Life, The Late Mr. Stanfield…

American Notes

American Notes is an interesting and critical portrait of the young American nation, written by Dickens in response to his travels through the US.

Barnaby Rudge

Barnaby Rudge, a historical novel of the Gordon Riots in 1780, tells a story of individuals caught up in the mindless violence of the mob.

Bleak House

Bleak House is a tragic, romantic and complicated story about the inheritance and absurdities of English law in the 1850s.

David Copperfield

David Copperfield is a story about the struggles and obstacles of life that a young man (David Copperfield) overcomes.

Doctor Marigold

Doctor Marigold is a story about street peddler who adopts a deaf-mute girl.

Dombey and Son

Dombey and Son tells a story about Paul Dombey, a wealthy businessman, whose dream is to have a son to continue his business.

George Silverman’s Explanation

George Silverman’s Explanation is a short story about a man writing about his unfulfilled life.

Great Expectations

Great Expectations tells a story about a boy named Pip and charts his progress through life.

Hard Times

Hard Times tells a story of a number of different characters and their growth through troubles and time.

Hunted Down

Hunted Down is a short story about poisoning and life-insurance fraud

Little Dorrit

Little Dorrit is a novel about disappointment and a satire on the shortcomings of the government and society.

Master Humphrey’s Clock

Master Humphrey’s Clock is a collection of short stories.

Miscellaneous Papers

Miscellaneous Papers is a collection of essays from The Examiner, Household Words and All the year round

Mrs. Lirriper’s Legacy

Short story – Mrs. Lirriper Relates How She Went On, And Went Over, Mrs. Lirriper Relates How Jemmy Topped Up

Mrs. Lirriper’s Lodgings

Short story – How Mrs. Lirriper Carried On The Business, How The Parlours Added A Few Words

Mudfog and Other Sketches

Mudfog and Other Sketches – Mr. Tulrumble, The First Meeting of Mudfog, The Pantomime of Life, A Lion

Mugby Junction

Mugby Junction is the Christmas story for 1866.

Nicholas Nickleby

Nicholas Nickleby is a story of a young man and his family dealing with the hardships in their life.

Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist tells a story of injustice and hope through the eyes of orphaned boy who escapes to London.

Our Mutual Friend

Our Mutual Friend is a satiric masterpiece and mysterious story about money and its relations among the intriguing characters.

Pictures From Italy

Pictures From Italy is a revealing description of Dickens’s journey through Italy.

Reprinted Pieces

Reprinted Pieces – a collection of short stories by Charles Dickens

Sketches by Boz

Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces presenting a variety of scenes and characters.

Sketches of Young Couples

Sketches of Young couples – a parody of social relations between the sexes.

Sketches of Young Gentlemen

Sketches of Young Gentlemen – Dedicated to the Young Ladies

Some Short Christmas Stories

Short Christmas Stories – A Christmas Tree, The Child’s Story, The Schoolboy’s Story, Nobody’s Story, The Poor Relation’s Story

Somebody’s Luggage

Somebody’s Luggage – a waiter stumbles upon some luggage and tries to identify its owner.

Speeches: Literary and Social

Literary and Social Speeches given by Charles Dickens

Sunday Under Three Heads

Sunday Under Three Heads was written as a protest against a law that would prohibit all work and all recreation on Sunday.

The Battle of Life

The Battle of Life is a story published in 1846 as one of the Christmas stories.

The Chimes

The Chimes is a story about self-respect and the consequences of our choices.

The Cricket on the Hearth

The Cricket on the Hearth tells the story of John Peerybingle and his love for his wife Dot.

The Haunted House

A tale about The Haunted House

The Haunted Man

The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain is the last novella in Dickens’s Christmas series.

The Holly Tree

The Holly Tree is a delightful little tale with dual romance.

The Lamplighter

The Lamplighter – short story by C. Dickens

The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices

The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices – humorous narrative of two idle apprentices running away from their employer.

Martin Chuzzlewit

The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit is a brilliant satire on selfishness and hypocrisy.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

The Mystery of Edwin Drood – an unsolved mystery about Edwin Drood (Dickens died before completing the story, leaving the mystery unsolved)

The Old Curiosity Shop

The Old Curiosity Shop tells the story of a young girl, who lives with her grandfather in his shop of curiosities.

The Perils of Certain English Prisoners

The Perils of Certain English Prisoners is a study of British Imperialism, set in Asia and South America.

The Pickwick Papers

The Pickwick Papers tells a story about a man who is dealt an injustice with the law.

The Seven Poor Travellers

The Seven Poor Travellers – short story in three chapters

The Signal-Man

The Signal-Man is a ghostly thriller by Charles Dickens

The Trial For Murder

The Trial For Murder is a tale of an English juror haunted by a vengeful ghost.

The Uncommercial Traveller

The Uncommercial Traveller is a collection of Dickens’s memories.

The Wreck of the Golden Mary

The Wreck of the Golden Mary tells the story of a terrifying ordeal of the passengers when Golden Mary collides with an iceberg.

To Be Read At Dusk

To Be Read At Dusk is a story dealing with precognition.

Tom Tiddler’s Ground

Tom Tiddler’s Ground – short story

Charles Dickens – Biography & Works


Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is one of the most famous English novelists of the Victorian period. Dickens addresses social problems like hypocrisy and injustice in his works. Charles Dickens wrote such classics as “Oliver Twist” and “David Copperfield”, published in our literature collection.

Charles Dickens was born in Landport on February 7, 1812. In 1814 Dickens moved to London, and later to Chatham, where he received education. At the age of 12, Dickens was sent to work at a blacking factory, Hungerford Market, London, while his father John Dickens was in a debtor’s prison.

In 1824-27 Dickens studied at Wellington House Academy, London, and later in 1827 at Mr. Dawson’s school. From 1827 to 1828 he worked as a law office clerk, and then worked as a correspondent at Doctor’s Commons.

Dickens started to contribute short stories and essays to several periodicals in 1833. “Pickwick Papers” was published in 1836 and shortly after that, Dickens became famous worldwide. Dickens became editor of a magazine called “Bentley’s Miscellany” in 1836.

Charles Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1836. They separated in 1858.

In 1837 Dickens started to publish one of his best-known novels “Oliver Twist” in “Bentley’s Miscellany” in monthly installments. In 1838 Charles Dickens began to publish monthly installments of “Nicholas Nickleby”, at that time “Oliver Twist” was not fully completed. Dickens worked simultaneously on several projects and was famous for his creativity and productivity.

In 1850, Dickens started a weekly magazine called “Household Words”. He contributed quite a few serialized works in this magazine – “Child’s History of England” (1851-53), “Hard Times” (1854), “A Tale of Two Cities” (1859). Dickens continued to work on his novels during this period, writing masterpieces like “David Copperfield” (1849-50), “Bleak House” (1852-53), and “Little Dorrit” (1855-57). Dickens addressed many social issues in his works. His novels had always reflected the problems of the ordinary people.

In 1860 Dickens moved permanently to his house near Chatham. He died at his home Gad’s Hill on June 9, 1870 and he was buried in Westminster Abbey. His last novel “The Mystery Of Edwin Drood” was left unfinished.

Alan Stewart Paton Biography


Alan Stewart Paton Biography
This Biography consists of approximately 4 pages of information about the life of Alan Paton.
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This section contains 978 words
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Encyclopedia of World Biography on Alan Stewart Paton

Alan Stewart Paton (1903-1988) was a South African writer and liberal leader. His novel Cry, The Beloved Country won him world acclaim for the insights it gave on South Africa’s race problem.

Alan Stewart Paton was born in Pietermaritzburg in the Natal Province, a former British colony that is now part of the Republic of South Africa, on January 11, 1903. From 1919 to 1922 he attended the University of Natal, from which he graduated with degrees in science and education. At this time Paton began writing poetry and dramas. In 1925 he became the assistant master at the Ixopo High School and, in 1928, joined the staff of Pietermaritzburg College. He was appointed principal of the Diepkloof Reformatory in 1935 and retired from government service in 1948. Thereafter, Paton devoted his life to writing, lecturing on the race question, and organizing the Liberal Party of South Africa.

Paton the Activist

The Diepkloof Reformatory, just outside Johannesburg, had been administered as a prison for delinquent youths from the slums rather than an institution for their rehabilitation. Paton insisted that this defeated the purpose of the reformatory. He introduced reforms which enabled some of the young to regain their self-respect. His granting of weekend leave was considered revolutionary. To the surprise of some of his colleagues, most of the boys returned at the end of their leave.

Paton began writing Cry, The Beloved Country in 1947 while touring American and European prisons and reformatories. In 1948 Cry, The Beloved Country was published, becoming an immediate success. At the same time, the predominantly Afrikaner Nationalist party was returned to power on the apartheid slogan that white’s must remain master of South Africa. To Paton and those who shared his views, it was not enough for white liberals to preach race conciliation; they had to involve themselves actively in opposition to apartheid. Early in the 1950s he took part in the formation of the Liberal Association, which later became the Liberal Party of South Africa (SALP). He was elected its president in 1953 and remained in this position until the government enacted a law making the party illegal.

The SALP welcomed South Africans of all races in its ranks and sought to establish an open society in which merit would fix the position of the individual in the life of the nation. It advocated nonviolence and set out to collaborate with the black Africans’ political organizations. Like most leaders of the SALP, Paton was criticized bitterly in the Afrikaans press for identifying himself with black Africans. The underlying fear was that he and his colleagues were creating potentially dangerous polarizations in the white community.

The party, however, gained a substantial following among both blacks and whites. In 1960 the government decided to take action against it. Peter Brown and Elliot Mngadi, national chairman and Natal secretary respectively of the SALP, were banned. Some of the party’s leaders fled the country, while others like Hyacinth Bhengu and Jordan K. Ngubane, were arrested and tried on conspiracy charges. Paton was spared the arrests and the bannings. The government did, however, seize his passport upon his return from New York after having accepted the Freedom House Award honoring his opposition to racism. After a little less than ten years the government returned Paton’s passport. That made it possible for him to undertake a world tour (1971) during the course of which he was showered with honors in America and Europe.

Paton the Writer

As a writer, Paton was a subject of controversy in his country. Cry, The Beloved Country made a tremendous impression outside South Africa and among the English-speaking in the republic. The nationalist-minded Afrikaners dismissed it, as a piece of liberalistic sentimentality. It caused only a minor stir in the black African community, where Paton was criticized for using stereotypes in depicting his black African characters. He was accused of approaching the black Africans from white perspectives which projected them either as the victims of violent and uncontrolled passions or as simple, credulous people who bore themselves with the humility of tamed savages in the presence of the white man.

The years after 1948 were to see a long list of publications from Paton’s pen. In 1953 he published Too Late, the Phalarope. This was followed by Land and the People of South Africa (1955), South Africa in Transition (1956), Hope for South Africa (1958), Tales from a Troubled Land (1960), Debbie Go Home (1961), Hofmeyr (1965), South African Tragedy (1965), Instrument of Thy Peace (1967), The Long View (1968), For You Departed (1969), Creative Suffering: The Ripple of Hope (1970), Knocking on the Door: Alan Paton/Shorter Writings (1975), and Towards the Mountain: An Autobiography (1988). In addition to these, Paton wrote a musical, Mkhumbane, for which Todd Matshikiza, the exiled African composer, wrote the music. Paton also wrote the play, Sponono, in 1965.

Among the more significant awards Paton received were doctorates in literature from Kenyon College (1962), Natal University (1968), and Harvard University (1971); the London Sunday Times Special Award for Literature (1949); a doctorate in literature and the humanities from Yale University (1954); the Freedom House Award (1960); and an award from the Free Academy of Art, Hamburg, Germany (1961).

Paton died of throat cancer on April 12, 1988 at his home outside Durban shortly after completing Journey Continued: An Autobiography. He was mourned as one of South Africa’s leading figures in the anti-apartheid movement. Shortly after his death, his widow, Anne (Hopkins) Paton released a large portion of the contents of Paton’s study for the establishment of The Alan Paton Centre on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of Natal. The university set aside space for this permanent memorial to Paton for future generations of writers and activists.

In 1996 American actor James Earl Jones and Irish actor Richard Harris starred in a film version of Cry, The Beloved Country and received critical acclaim for their portrayal of Paton’s characters.