KnE Social Sciences | The 1st Annual International Conference on Language and Literature (AICLL) | pages: 218–227

1. Introduction

Character, in a literary term, is known as Characterization own by persons who are basically formed through their long learning process. Human character is not something that is born from birth [2]. Moreover, the character is the formation or the forging of the environment and also the people - people who are around the neighborhood [7].

Furthermore, character is a person's self-portrait. Everyone has a character and it can describe a real person whether good or bad. Character is also what you do when no one is paying attention to you. There are some events in this life that are just characters that we have and we can depend on character. Good character is the best guarantee for your life.

A story whether it is a short story, a novel, a movie, a comic or a soap opera, in which there must be one or two characters whose characters are favored by readers and viewers. In order to support the content of a story, a strong and appropriate character with the story is necessary and very important. Although making the character seems easy, but in fact just the opposite. Building the character of the story is difficult. Leaving it out of the story is just as difficult.

Characterization becomes one of the strengths from this Ahmad Fuadi's novel Negeri 5 Menara because without a strong character of each character, the story would not have the impression for the reader. Some important characters make the story more interesting. For that, the author is very interested in analyzing the characterization of the protagonist's character, Alif, in the novel Negeri 5 Menara because the protagonist's character that exist in this story show a very unique characterization that also needs to be emulated by others.

The problems raised above will be analyzed using a qualitative approach supported by Creswell, John W. (2009). This qualitative approach will help the author express his idea or idea to the problem being analyzed. The characterization theory proposed by Nurgiyantoro (2012) is also used to support the understanding of the problem to be studied.

2. Literature Review


A character is a fictitious individual who experiences an event or treatment in various story events. A character is an actor who carries an event in a fictional story so that the event is able to establish a story (Nurgiyantoro, 2012: 165). People in general are human beings, but can also be animals or objects that are inserted. According Nurgiyantoro (2012: 165) the term character refers to the person, the perpetrator of the story. This is in line with Abrams's opinion in (Hazlitt, H. 2012: 79) the character of the story is the person who is featured in a work of narrative or drama, which the reader is interpreted to have a certain moral quality and tendency as expressed in speech and what is done in action. The character is the person. As the subject that moves the story events, the character is of course equipped with a certain character or characteristic.

Based on the above understanding, it can be concluded that the character is a fictional individual who has a certain character and behavior in the story. People are not always human-shaped, but can also be animals or objects that have human nature.

From the above explanation, something that can explain the character is distinguished in several types as follows:


According to Jones in Nurgiyantoro (2012: 165) characterization is the depiction of a clear picture of someone displayed in a story. Characterization is the depiction of story characters, both the state of birth and the mind can be, views of life, attitude, beliefs, customs, and so forth.

Characterization is also often equated with the character and character that is pointing at the placement of certain figures with certain characters in a story. (Nurgiyantoro 2012: 165). Based on the above understanding can be concluded that the characterization has a different understanding with the character. Characterization is the characteristic portrayal of the character both inward and inner in a story [9].

Characterization is a literary device that is used step-by-step in literature to highlight and explain the details about a character in a story. It is in the initial stage in which the writer introduces the character with noticeable emergence. After introducing the character, the writer often talks about his behavior; then, as the story progresses, the thought-processes of the character.

Types of characterization

An author can use two approaches to deliver information about a character and build an image of it [7]. These two types of characterization include:

  • Direct or explicit characterizationThis kind of characterization takes a direct approach towards building the character. It uses another character, narrator, or the protagonist himself to tell the readers or audience about the subject.

  • Indirect or implicit characterizationThis is a more subtle way of introducing the character to the audience. The audience has to deduce for themselves the characteristics of the character by observing his/her thought process, behavior, speech, way of talking, appearance, and manner of communication with other characters, as well as by discerning the response of other characters.


Prejudice is a noble character. Many people have not understood the truth. It is actually prejudice to believe in what is worthy of others, both by its name, nature and deed. Likewise we believe what is contained from its great influence. Like the belief that others love our dear ones, forgive them when they repent and come back, and receive from them their allegiance and worship.


Honesty is an inherent trait in a person and is an important thing to do in everyday life. Honesty itself comes from the word honest. Honest is the sincerity of the heart, not lie, straight heart, trustworthy words and not cheating.


Respecting others is one effort to foster harmony and harmony of life between human beings to realize a life of society that mutual respect and appreciate in accordance with the dignity and degree of a person as a human being. Growing respect for others is a commendable attitude because they are a personal reflection of their creator as a human being who wants to be respected.


Friendship or friendship is a term that describes the behavior of cooperation and mutual support between two or more social entities. In this sense, the term "friendship" describes a relationship involving knowledge, appreciation and affection.


Sincerity is a good intent with accompaniments of selfless giving. Often sincerity exists between rocky streets, because of shocks and struggles of interests. Many people try to be sincere, but Sincerity finally mjd said succumbing, this is sincere that does not come from strong intention. Sincerity is not only by way of "Giving", but also "Receiving", good intentions, straight and sincere.


The word jealousy comes from Greek zelos which shows an attempt to emulate or exceed, to show the spirit and intensity of feeling [8]. Knox (1994) defines jealousy as an emotional reaction to a relationship that is perceived as threatened with loss. Salovey (1991) later added that jealousy is an emotional experience when one feels threatened by the loss of an important or meaningful relationship with another person (his partner) against his "rival" or rival.

3. Research Method

This study uses qualitative methods as an analysis technique proposed by Creswell, John W. (2009: 19). Creswell stated that qualitative analysis methods give researchers the opportunity to use their brilliant idea to prove the problem. In this case, the description of the type of mental disorder of the main character and the symptoms will be discussed and analyzed based on data obtained from the novel itself, from relevant books and other sources.

The data analysis is conducted by classifying the obtained data based on the research problem. The analysis focuses on the protagonist's, Alif's characterization in Ahmad Fuadi's novel Negeri 5 Menara.

4. Discussion

Good characterization

Good prejudice

Good prejudice is someone thinking good of another person for his belonging to a certain race, or for having different religious beliefs. It is wise for a person to have good prejudice of someone without ever acting on it.

In Negeri 5 Menara, Alif, the protagonist, begins to get good prejudice to all problems that he faces. He begins to have positive thinking, and to realize that such this character can bring goodness. Therefore, he studies good prejudice in his heart and mind. It is shown below.

“I would have just presumed that my prayers would be answered. But praying alone did not feel sufficient. I declared that I add an additional night prayer called SunnahTahajjud at two o'clock every morning. (Fuadi, 2011: 183)

It shows that Alif begins to make commitment that he must have positive thinking in his daily life so he keeps improving his prayer and he believes that his prayer will be answered by God.


Alif and his friend make a mistake again and Tyson knows it. Then, Tyson asks some questions, and Alif answers honestly although he feels disobedient to the rule but he does not tell a lie. It is shown below.

“What did you do wrong!?”

“Sorry, sorry, we are late. But only a little, just five minutes. We had to carry these heavy cabinets from the field.

“For how long have you all been official students at MP?” he said, cutting me off.

“T-two days, kak,” I answered shakily. (Fuadi, 2011:62)

According to the above quotation, it is clear that they disobey the rule at MP. They break the prayer time, so they get punishment from Tyson. This is one of the discipline forms from MP rules. The discipline can be also shown below.

“Have you ever gone to the MP court and gotten a punishment?” he asked. A lot of hands, including mine, went up. (Fuadi, 2011:101)

From the above, it can be seen that the discipline is applied for all students, and all students have got punishment. The discipline can improve their character.

Respecting people

Alif's father visits him and Alif asks a question in his heart why his father visits him suddenly. He respects his father and welcomes him as soon as he arrives. It is shown below.

I kissed his hand and sat down beside him, somewhat lethargically. Father just laugh silently and said, “Durian is season back in the village now,” what does that have to do with his coming? Nothing. I knew well that when father spoke out of context, it meant he was nervous and looking for a way to start a conversation. (Fuadi, 2011: 351)

The above quotation shows that a father is a figure who protects and nurtures the well-love to his wife and children. He is even willing to do anything and sacrifices everything for the sake of the people he loved. Father is also a person who has never thought of himself. The only thing he thinks of whether the people he loves fell happy.

A father is also a person who is responsible. He never throws the duties and obligations to others, to the wife, and especially to children. And a father is also a person who is wise, capable to address all the issues with a clear mind and heart, and capable of taking decisions by considering various aspects and perspectives. It is a strict father in making policies, decisions, and actions. Although it may be a little hurt those who love her, all are done for the goodness and happiness of the people whom he loves. A father never retracts his words, never reneges on his promised, and will always strive to keep his promise despite any difficulty. A father loves his wife and children with sincere and honesty. He loves his family with all his soul. He never hurts the people that he loves so much. A father never blames his wife and children. He always blames himself when treating his wife and children badly. Because he realizes himself as a leader, he cannot always educate children and wife well. That is why a child also has to respect his father.


Alif and his friends begin to make friendship, and they are always together. They are also roommates. When they are asked to buy anything that they need, they agree to go shopping together. It is shown below.

Atang, Dulmaji, Raja, Baso, and Said turned out to be my roommates. We agreed to go shopping together. (Fuadi, 2011: 56)

The above statement shows that friendship is a term that describes the behavior of cooperation and mutual support between two or more social entities. In this sense, the term friendship describes relationship that involves the knowledge, appreciation and affection. Companions will welcome the presence of each other and show loyalty to one another. Their tastes are usually similar and may converge, and they enjoy the activities they love. They will also engage in mutual helping behavior, such as the exchange of advice and helping each other in trouble. A friend is one who exhibits reflective behavior. But for many people, friendship is often nothing more than a belief that someone or something will not harm or hurt them.

Often there is a presumption that a true friend could express deepest feeling, which may not be disclosed, except in circumstances that are very difficult, when they come to help. To compare with personal relationship, friendship is considered closer than just an acquaintance. Friendship and acquaintance differ in the level of intimacy. For many people, friendship and relationship between contacts are in the same continuum. Friendship is also shown below.

We so frequently gathered at the base of the Menara that our other friends dubbed us the fellowship of the Menara. We happily accepted the title. Said even came up with the idea of a code name for each person. We called Said Menara One, Raja Menara Two, me Menara Three, Atang Menara Four, Dulmajid Menara Five and Baso Menara Six. (Fuadi, 2011: 88)

The quotation above describes that Alif and his friend make a new group. The group is named Sahibbul Menara, and it is also as the symbol of their friendship. Said even comes up with the idea of a code name for each person. They call Said Menara Satu, Raja Menara Dua, Alif menara Tiga, Atang menara Empat, Dulmajid menara Lima and Baso menar Enam.

Bad characters


Alif, indeed, does not want to continue his school to Java due to the fact that he never thinks of going there. However, he has no choice, so he decides to follow his parents' willingness although he will have a hard life condition out there. This matter is regarded to be an insincerity that comes up from his deepest heart. If he rejects his parents' wish, he is afraid he will be accused of not being faithful to his parents, as shown in the following quotation.

It wasn't happiness, but a strange pain in my chest upon hearing their agreement. This clearly wasn't my first choice. In fact, even I wasn't completely convinced of my decision. This was a half-hearted decision. (Fuadi, 2011: 13)

Indeed, Alif never dreams of entering a religious school. For him, his parents have taken an unfair decision to him. Of course, he will be far away from them and live like in a jail. He is quite doubtful not only with his own ability but also with his own preparation. Still, he has no courage to argue with his parents to call off their wish. Alif really knows that his parents get the information about religious school from his uncle that make his parent highly interfered. He does not dare of taking decision for not to obey his parents, and he, therefore, insincerely tries to follow parents' willingness. The quotation below verifies this matter.

I was the darling son who always wholeheartedly obeyed Amak. This obedience changed to irritation when I was required to go to religious school. But in the end, I was still willing to follow her orders, but my heart was upset. (Fuadi, 2011: 132)

Based on the quotation above, Alif is irritated not only with parents' order but also with the way how he would follow his decision to realize it; meanwhile, he finds it hard to run away from it due to being afraid of sin if the disobedience flashes on his heart. It does not mean that he hates Islamic teachings, but it is a matter of interest in being a successful man in future. His disappointment really appears in his eyes; however, he has no courage to get involved in quarrelling with his own parents. He respects all his parents do to him, and there is no way to reject their wish.


Alif is still sad when he gets a letter from his best friend Randai because he always remembers Randai. Randai continues his school without any obligation that must obey his parents' willingness. As a result, Alif feels jealous with Randai. It is shown below.

“I read the letter one more time. I was happy to get a letter from an old friend and hear of his happiness at his new school, but I also felt a mixture of jealousy and sadness. The plan to go to public high school had been my plan too. While Randai was having fun at this orientation, I was busy getting my ear tugged and being a jasus. (Fuadi, 2011: 96 – 97)

According to the above quotation, Randai looks happy with his school while Alif is very sad with his parents' decision. He must face punishment at MP, but he cannot do anything.

5. Conclusion

After analyzing the novel of The land of Five Towers by Ahmad Fuadi. It can be categorized as a good novel because it has many values of the character's characterization, which can be applied in our daily life, especially the good characterization of the protagonist, Alif. On the contrary, some of the characterizations of the protagonist are not suggested to be followed for they can be bad patrait to the one who follws them.

The good characterizations found in the novel can be categorized the good the social and religious aspect. The novel tells how important we learn the goodness from the former, take all of our experience as a school of life, spend our life for goodness and create peace, harmony life and help each other. The readers of the novel are suggested to pay attention to the good aspects of characterizations and to make the aspects as guidance.



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Fuadi, A. (2010). Negeri Lima Menara. Jakarta: PT. Gramedia Pustaka Utama.


Fuadi, A. (2011). The Land of Five Towers. Translated by Angie Kilbane. Jakarta: PT. Gramedia Pustaka Utama.


Hazlitt, H. (2012). The Foundations of Morality: Character, Attitude and behaviour. Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar.


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