Book Title : Botchan
Author : Natsume Sōseki
Publisher : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Translator : Indah Santi Pratidina
Cover Design : Eduard Iwan Mangopang
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Book Size : 20 cm x 13.5 cm
Affection can be conveyed by anyone without exception by an old servant to the employer’s child. That is what Natsume Sōseki tried to convey in his second novel entitled Botchan. In addition, Botchan’s novel also tells about the revolt of a young teacher against the “system” in a village school. Natsume Kinnosuke, better known by his pen name, Sōseki was born in Tokyo in 1867. In 1895, Sōseki graduated from Imperial University, then went to Shikoku to become an English teacher at Matsuyama Middle School, which later became the Botchan setting. In 1905, he published his first fiction in the form of a novel. The first novel is a social satire called Wagahai wa Neko de Aru (I am a Cat), then followed by novels Botchan, Kusamakura, and Nihyaku tōka. The light satirical nuance in his early works was later replaced by Kōfu, Sanshirō, and serious afternoon kara. He died in 1916.
Botchan’s novel is Natsume Sōseki’s second novel, published in 1906. The word Botchan is basically a polite call for boys, especially still children from respected families. This greeting is similar to “mister” or “tuan muda” in Indonesian but with nuances of closeness and affection. The main reason Sōseki named the protagonist of this novel Botchan was because he tried to convey the deep affection and loyalty that Kiyo, an old servant who had worked at his house for ten years, to him. Botchan’s novel became a favorite of Japanese readers, very famous, and occupied an important position in Japanese literature.
Life in a Botchan family. Often he is underestimated by his parents. In fact he considered himself to have been banished, but Kiyo was very kind to him, often praised him, and loved him very much. Six years after his mother died, his father left. In the same year, Botchan graduated from a private high school and his brother graduated from business school. His sister found a job in Kyushu, so he decided to sell the house he had occupied. Botchan decided to continue his schooling. Eight days after graduation he got an offer to become a mathematics teacher at a secondary school in Shikoku. Finally he accepted the offer. On the day of his departure, Kiyo came to help him pack up even when he was sick. Kiyo is very sad to be left by Botchan. The day after arriving at Shikoku, he immediately taught. Botchan’s life as a teacher cannot be separated from problems. There he got a lot of problems because of the nature that is too open, always forthright, does not want to pretend, and does not submit to someone. His nature often makes him experience difficulty in interacting with people around him. He always tells his daily life to Kiyo through letters and Kiyo will reply to the letter. He really missed Kiyo and vice versa.
Narration that is too long makes the reader feel bored. The flow and sentences used are a little difficult to understand so they must be read several times. This novel is recommended for all people because in it there are many important messages that can be taken, including not everyone who is considered good is good, sometimes he can stab from the back, and vice versa. In life, always be honest despite the many threats and fighting from various parties.
Indri Pramesti Putri S.
XII – Science 5