Pluralism in Ahmad Fuadi’s Negeri 5 Menara: A Semiotic Approach


Pluralism in Ahmad Fuadi’s Negeri 5 Menara: A Semiotic Approach; Mar’atush Sholihah, 120110201041; 2016: 173 pages; Indonesian Department; Faculty of Humanities; Universtias Jember.


Negeri 5 Menara is one of Ahmad Fuadi’s novels, a writer  who comes from Bukit Maninjau, West Sumatra. Generally, thi novel tells about social life of a community in an Islamic boarding school. Such community is a plural community with various cultures. The cultural differences make some groups in this community come together to cooperate in oder to survive in Islamic boarding school environment. This novel is full of personal and social phenomena that are interesting to discuss.

There ara some problems to discuss in this research. The first is the novel’s narrative structure that develops Negeri 5 Menara. The second is the construction of pluralism as a cultural sign system in the novel by using Peircean semiotics, particularly using the concept of icon, index, and symbol. Icon is the relationship of representamen and its object which has similarity relationship. Index is the relationship of representamen and its object that has cause-effect relationship. Symbol is the relationship of representamen and its object which is conventional relationship.

The third is the dialectical relationship between public school and Islamic boarding school. The goal of this study is to descibe the narrative structure that develops the whole novel, to describe pluralism as a cultural sign system, and to explain the dialectical relationship between public school and Islamic boarding school. Hopefully, the result of this study can be used as the reference to increase perspective and knowledge about social values in literary works.

The method used in this research was a descriptive qualitative method by using structural and semiotic approach. There were some steps in conducting this research. The first was getting data by reading and understanding the novel. The second was describing, processing, and classifying data based on the structural elements that related with semiotic aspects. The was analyzing data using structural approach with the goal to explain the connection of interelements in the novel, including title, theme, characters and characterization, settings, and conflicts. The fourth was analzying the cultural sign system of pluralism in the novel by using Peircean semiotics and drawing a conclusion.

The title, Negeri 5 Menara, indicates the objects that are described as the chosen countries to gain the dream of Alif, Said, Raja, Atang, Dulmajid, and Baso, namely Indonesia, United Kingdom, United States of America, Suadi Arabia, and Egypt. There are five different countries that will be visited by the sixth characters in the novel. As for the tower is the reference of ideal dream. The major theme of Negeri 5 Menara is “seriousness in studying is a key of success”. The minor themes in the novel are “the ups and downs of friendship in gaining dream”,  “the significance of motivation as one of supporting factors in studying”, and “an advice as a base to be able to struggle in studying well”. Alif is the main character who has a round character. Raja, Said, Atang, Baso, Dulmajid, Kyai Rais (a charismatic and senior religious teacher), and Ustadz Salman (a religious teacher) as the supporting characters have a flat character. Settings in the novel include the setting of place, Pondok Madani (the Madani Islamic Boarding School), the setting of life environment, the setting of equipments and time (including morning, afternoon, and night). The conflicts in  the novel are physical and inner conflicts that are experienced dominantly by Alif as the main character.

Plularism in this novel is showed through the diversity of ethnic and cultural backgrounds of the main character and the supporting characters. They also have the differences of character and personality. Nevertheless, when they study at Pondok Madani, they appreciate each other and develop friendship. They support each other to realize each dream, including going abroad to reach their ideals, either in the context of education or employment. They also appreciate other characters who decide to develop Islamic education in Indonesia.


Written by