TEORI: Formalism & Structuralism

Februari 14, 2020


Oleh: Muhammad Alif Faturrachman
(Founder Mediatikusastra)

In the school of literature, Formalism or Russian Formalism is one of many literary criticism theories that is used as a means to analyze literary works. According to Wolfreys, Robbins, and Womack (2002) in Key Concepts in Literary Theory, Formalism refers to the critical tendency that emerged during the first half of the twentieth century and devoted its attention to concentrating on literature's formal structures in an objective manner.  This theory focused on linguistic components and structures such as phonetics, phonemes, syntax, or even semantics, etc. In addition, this theory also focused on forms of literary work that include pronunciation techniques - including rhythm, rhyme, sound, assonance, alliteration, and etc. while, excluding the biographical, historical, and other aspects that are outside of the literary structure. On the other hand, Structuralism theory focused on the relation of each structure in literary works that formed the literature art system. According to Teeuw (1988), structuralism develops through the tradition of formalism. This means that structuralism is a continuation of the formalism concept.
Based on the previous discussion, formalist mostly took interest on the linguistic aspect of the literary works only, instead of analyzing its whole aspects such as how the author’s life or social class affect the literary work itself as other theories did. In addition, structuralism employs a more subtle approach on analyzing literary works. It chooses to not just analyzing the structure or form of the literary works only, but also the relationship between those structures in the literary texts. Just like the previous formalism theory, the structuralism theory is also excluding external factors or also known as the extrinsic aspects of the said literary works. In my opinion, both theories might suitable as a piece of basic knowledge in order to understand the forms or structures of many different literary works by analyzing it using the formalism theory before advancing to a more complex literary criticism available.

Wolfreys, J., Robbins, R., & Womack K. 2002. key Concepts in Literary Theory Second Edition, Edinburgh University Press.
Teeuw, A. 1988. sastra dan ilmu sastra: pengantar teori sastra. Jakarta: Pustaka


Muhammad Alif Faturrachman kerap disapa dengan panggilan “Alif”, “Alep”, “Toad” adalah seorang pemuisi amatiran serta salah satu Founder dari Mediatikusastra. Ia memiliki passion di bidang desain grafis dan komputer dengan jejak rekam petualangan sebagai lulusan “terbaik” dari SMK Negeri 1 Sungailiat, sebuah gelar yang sengaja ia klaim sepihak agar terdengar prestis. Kini, takdir membawa Alif ke jurusan Sastra Inggris di sebuah universitas negeri di Indonesia, dimana ia harus meninggalkan mimpi menjadi seorang game developer atau seorang desainer grafis dan apalah itu mimpi-mimpi yang pernah ia impikan.

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