100 Years Sitti Nurbaya: A View on the Social Criticism in the Novel Sitti Nurbaya

  •  Alexander Stark    
  •  Balazs Huszka    


Sitti Nurbaya is one of the first modern Indonesian novels, and it was published in the year 1922. It illustrates the tragic story of a teenager who is forced to marry an older man. In this research paper, the researchers want to look at the social criticism of Marah Rusli, the author of Sitti Nurbaya. Such a perspective can reveal the inner dynamics of the Minangkabau society of West Sumatra (Indonesia), the setting of the novel. Marah Rusli originates from West Sumatra, and his novel describes the process of change at the beginning of the 20th century. The researchers used a mixed approach to analyze the novel Sitti Nurbaya and detect the traditional system’s inherent criticism. The researchers used a methodology that comprised two methods, a structuralist approach and a biographical viewpoint. The research discovered that Marah Rusli criticizes the situation of men within a matrilineal society. He is also critical of the excesses of a growing capitalistic mindset.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9655
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-9663
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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