The Struggles of the Kretek Workers in Iksaka Banu’s Novel, Sang Raja (The King)

All Things Books / Review

About Sang Raja,
Written by Thera Widyastuti, and was originally published in [email protected] – UK Petra,
Dec 13, 2020


The novel Sang Raja was written by Iksaka Banu. This novel shows the struggles of people who worked in Bal Tiga kretek cigarette factory in Kudus in the early 1900s, during the Dutch colonial era. The problem in this research is how the efforts of the people who worked in Bal Tiga kretek cigarette factory sustain the life of the factory. The research objective is to analyze and study the struggles of the workers in the kretek cigarette factory in their effort to sustain Bal Tiga kretek cigarette factory. This research is a qualitative research, employing the descriptive analysis method through the intrinsic (character and setting) and extrinsic (sociology of literature and history) approaches. The kretek cigarette workers formulated various strategies and promotions to help their factory to overcome competition among cigarette factories. In addition, the tobacco harvest failure in Zanzibar and Madagascar had a major impact on the world economy. Bal Tiga kretek cigarette factory in Kudus felt the brunt of this crisis. However, after the economic crisis had passed, the people in Kudus returned to work in kretek cigarette factories enthusiastically. The results of the study show the values of humanity of the struggles of the kretek workers.

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