DOI: 10.21070/ijccd.v5i0.148

Environmental Criticism in Kulah's Short Story Gus Tf Sakai's Work: An Overview of Ecocritics

Kritik Lingkungan dalam Cerpen Kulah Karya Gus Tf Sakai: Tinjauan Ekokritik

Lambung Mangkurat University Banjarmasin

(*) Corresponding Author

Short Stories Ecocritics Literary Ecology Gus Tf Sakai Literary Theory


Literary work is not born from an empty thing. It was born from the results of human hands on the other hand interacting and absorbing many things from the complexity of the environment in which it lives. This explains how a literary work has an intimate relationship with nature. Literary ecology exists as a bridge to understand how nature is placed in a work. The object of this research is Kulah's short story written by Gus Tf Sakai. Kulah's short story contains a lot of environmental criticism that is very strongly illustrated. Through interpretation efforts and descriptions when approaching the data in the form of quotations of words or sentences taken in my short story. Ecological theory tries to explain how humans and nature influence each other as an ecosystem. Some of the environmental criticisms contained in kulah short story are criticisms of the deteriorating condition of the watershed which has resulted in many disasters such as floods, massive forest loss, and the dangers of waste which must be a concern for all parties. Efforts to prevent damage to nature must be taken in various ways including through the literary path. Environmental damage is the beginning for other disasters, therefore the effort to understand literature through natural perspectives becomes very important and crucial. Ecological’s point of view when reading literature are expected to be one of the educational solutions for readers in order to take part in protecting nature.


Literature and nature have a very intimate relationship. Since the development of oral literature until the writing of natural aspects in literary works cannot be dismissed. Both become the center of the story and as a complement. The connection between these two things has often been overlooked and is considered something normal. Later that relationship became a serious problem to be revealed, because the dialectics between the two turned out to be not simple.

This serious attention occurs in general both in the local and global spheres. Moreover, ecological conditions are increasingly alarming. Indonesia is currently facing a series of serious natural threat threats. If this does not get serious attention and the right handling is not impossible, natural conditions will reach a nadir in the next few years. In order to achieve the ideal conditions expected of course all elements must participate in efforts to suppress the ecological damage that occurs. No exception the humanities including literature. The literary sphere is moving in an effort to welcome the challenge of the issue of ecological damage. Literature begins to place nature as an important part in both composition of writing and discussion in the realm of criticism.

As a human and natural system, it is essentially one entity that cannot be separated. That reason makes nature an important aspect of human-produced literature. Literary work is not born from an empty thing. A text cannot stand alone and become foreign to the human condition and the environment that forms and gives birth to it. Text explicitly or explicitly is a picture of the worlds surrounding it.

A literary work cannot be separated from the author's world view. There are several aspects that influence this. The first comes from the depths of the individual while the other comes from the external world. Individuals consist of two elements, 'emotion' and 'reason' or generally called the heart and brain. Emotion is the deepest place where the individual 'lives'. The external world can be divided into physical phenomena or reality. The second division is the meaning that is not visible, including the legal power that is scientific, economic, political, moral, or spiritual1 .

Many literary aspects are able to provide an overview of the position of nature in a literary text. Relationship between characters and characters, relationships between characters and the surrounding environment, how the environment shapes the character of a character, and many other ways of looking at a literary text through an ecological point of view. If you want to talk through a structural point of view, the diction that is in a literary text can be the way a writer expresses how his views on the environment refer to ecological conditions in the real world. Various methods can also be used in an attempt to interpret the text. These methods try to uncover how a text relates to its environment physically. These methods are taken so that literature is no longer considered a foreign world to environmental problems. Literature should be at the forefront in an effort to raise awareness about the environment.

One of the authors who often raised environmental themes in his works is Gus Tf Sakai. Named Gustafrizal Busra, Gus Tf Sakai is an Indonesian short story writer from the Payakumbuh, West Sumatra. The author who was born on August 13, 1965 wrote from a young age. Winning many competitions from various types of writing, but what stands out is his writing in the genre of poetry and prose. Some of his works have been translated into various languages. A collection of short stories, Kemilau Cahaya and Blind Women who won the 2001 Lontar Literary Award were translated into English and published by the Lontar Foundation under the title The Barber and Other Short Stories. The collection of short stories was translated by Justine FitzGerald, Anna Nettheim, and Linda Owens. Some of the awards he won included the Literature Award from the Faculty of Literature of Andalas University (2002), the Literary Writing Award from the Language Center for short stories collection of Kemilau Cahaya and Perempuan Buta (2002), Sih Award from Poetry Journal for Susi's poem, 2000 M (2002) , SEA Write Award from the Kingdom of Thailand for short stories collection of Kemilau Cahaya and Perempuan Buta (2004), Art Award from Padang Literature Activist Community and Arts Council of West Sumatra (2004), The best fiction of readers of Koran Tempo Reading Room from Tempo Newspaper for Perantau short stories collection (2007), Khatulistiwa Literary Award (KLA) for Perantau short stories collection (2007), Anugerah Tuah Sakato from the Governor of West Sumatra (2008), Dedicated Literati Award from Kompas daily (2010). The achievements and consistency that he showed in writing made Gus tf Sakai as a well-known and excellent writer the Indonesian literary world.

Kulah's short story is a story that tells a village woman named Marni. Marni returned to her village after her study in the city. Another reason for Marni's return is the death of Ima, the little girl who is the daughter of her sister. Ima actualluy had been invited by Marni to the city, but Ima's excitement towards the city's atmosphere did not last for a long time. Ima turned out to miss her village which was full of special memories for Marni. Ima's death was a mystery for the villagers, Marni who was curious finally went to see Kulah who was considered by the villagers as a haunted place because it was predicted to be the cause of Ima's death. Marni was surprised because after she arrived at Kulah she realized the real cause that caused the death of Ima. The place turned out to be fierce after being contaminated by waste.

Literature Ecology

The postmodern era provides ample space to generate ideas and thoughts that reject absolute truth. Postmodern gives birth to many possibilities that doubt all paradigms in the previous era. New approaches emerge in response to anxiety to see the development of a very dynamic world. Environmental conditions that show negative trends do not escape this. Awareness to participate in preserving the environment emerged with the emergence of the process of discovering the spirit of partisanship for the environment that departed from the world of literature.

Ecocriticism is an umbrella that provides a shade for how to approach a literary work with a starting point that is in favor of nature. As a fairly new method, of course this approach is still looking for forms in its efforts to find stability. As an open-minded multidisciplinary approach to many theories outside of ecology and literature, it is noted that it has the same vision that is trying to uncover alignments to nature through the critical meaning of literary works.

Literary work and discussion about it by revealing aspects of partisanship for the environment have long existed. Plato once stated the idea that the quality of a work can be judged by how close the work is to reality or its environment, even though later this was denied by Aristotle who was inclined to consider the further a work with reality the more weighted. However, the effort to interpret the intimacy of the text with the environment seriously and deeply is indeed new compared to other approaches that are far more established in literature. In addition to including a multidisciplinary approach that causes ecocritical study boundaries to be still opaque and fluid, the definitions and terms used are often debated.

The true echocritic idea developed in the Western Literature Association (WLA) around the 1970s. The 70s seemed to be a new beginning for the ecocritical approach which was previously more commonly referred to as the study of nature writing. Some other terms include green (cultural) studies, ecopoetics, and environmental literary criticism. Ecocritism or ecocritism is the first term used by William Ruckert in his essay entitled Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism in 1978. Ekokritik comes from the Greek word eikos which means 'home' and logos which means 'science'.

Ecocriticism is the study of the relationship between literature and the physical environment2 . Ekokritik invites awareness that literature and the environment are two things that influence each other. Humans who seem to be farther away with nature make ecocritics a warm conversation and are expected to be one way to find solutions to the many environmental problems today.

Another definition simply explains ecocriticism or literary ecology is an attempt to find a reciprocal relationship between literature and its environment. This reciprocal relationship is important to see the interrelationships with one another 3. Literature is a product of human culture that lives in a broad system of life. Changes in one aspect of the system will have a direct or indirect influence on anything born of the situation. Simply put, a writer absorbs many things from his environment which will be expressed both implicitly and explicitly in his works. A work is a sublimation of the author's aesthetic experience.

In detail ecocriticism is a study that connects literary work with the physical environment, population growth, loss of wilderness and wilderness, rapid extinction of species, and increased contamination of air, water and soil on earth4. The definition shows so broad and diverse aspects that are the object of study in ecocriticism, because each aspect of ecocriticism has its own diversity. In a larger framework, echocriticism is expected to be one way to provide solutions to environmental problems that are increasingly massive and destructive.

Through other languages that are more ecocritical techniques are described as an attempt to explore ways about how we imagine and describe the relationship between humans and the environment in all fields of cultural outcomes. Ecocriticism is inspired by (as well as the critical attitude of) modern environmental movements. The concepts related to ecocriticism are as follows: (a) pollution (pollution), wilderness (wilderness), disaster (apocalypse), housing / dwelling, animals, and earth 5.


This research is a type of qualitative research with interpretative descriptive methods. Qualitative research places the object of research as naturally as possible with maximum effort to understand, interpret, and interpret a phenomenon. Qualitative research always tries to get the best results by combining various methods that are related and mutually supporting. The interpretive descriptive method is used to bridge the data in the form of text in Kulah's short story by Gus Tf Sakai with relevant ecological views. The interaction between the two will be presented through efforts to explain and explore the relationship between reality in the story and reality in the real world by prioritizing alignments with nature. The steps that will be taken include reading short stories intensively, collecting data in the form of words, sentences, or ecology-related quotations, interpreting data both individually and in whole with an ecocritical perspective, and concluding how ecological criticism is present in Kulah's short story by Gus Tf Sakai.


Kulah Short Story contained inside the Kumpulan Cerpen Kaki Yang Terhormat by Gus Tf Sakai has a very strong ecological message. As a short story that must comply with the rules of limited writing length, my short story narrative is very good at revealing many environmental issues. The main character in the short story returns to his hometown with a raging feeling. This feeling arises due to the changes in the environment or nature where she spent his childhood has changed dramatically. Hes memory of the spring that flows clear and swift and the fields spread as if lost to the earth.

Berjalan ke mata air itu, tak sedikit pun Marni menemukan warna masa lalu. Segalanya telah berubah. Jika dulu bernama mata air Marni, suatu masa kemudian orang-orang kampung menyebutnya dengan nama Kulah. Dan kini, yang tiba-tiba memukul Marni, apa yang didapatnya tak lebih dari semak yang telah merimba6.

The earth has turned into a nature that is familiar since humans grow and develop rapidly. Nature is essentially no longer natural for its large part. Nature has been modified and even planned by humans with various interests. Human life style that is often excessive actually threatens human existence itself. Even though humans are so powerful, humans still have to submit to natural conditions that cannot be controlled.

What is revealed in Kulah's short story is not a fairy tale or imagination. The first issue that we can capture is the river problem. Not only the river or small river, according to data from the Director General of Watershed and Protected Forest Management, Ministry of Environment and Forestry stated that as many as 108 watersheds (DAS) in Indonesia are in critical condition and need to be handled seriously. If not addressed, this critical condition will trigger banjir bandang disasters7.

The river must be a serious concern. There are many ways that can be done to contribute to efforts to conserve nature, one of which is the river. My short story is like wanting to take place in an effort to make literary readers aware so as not to be busy in a world of lustful imagination. There are crucial issues which need to participate in all walks of life, including writers and literary readers. Through the short story I am the issue of the disappearance of water sources such as finding the way to get to us all. It is told sweetly, neatly, with a tense touch that makes Kulah's short story unconsciously able to touch the conscience of its readers for a moment to reflect on the conflict of stories that is close to the lives of all of us.

Various efforts to prevent the loss of water sources have begun. Both through government and non-government programs. But the success of the business was greatly influenced by community involvement. More people live in watersheds. Communities that do not understand the adverse effects of the extinction of clean water flow will of course only repeat activities that accelerate and aggravate the condition of my rounds around them. Reflecting on this, persuasive steps that are educative to all levels of society become an important strategy to do.

The author uses Kulah's diction to refer to a small spring but then slams it on the fact that the one I meant in the story is gone. Kulah's short story tells the reader that simple places like the clear little river that used to be a lot in the villages today have been eroded by age. The author wants to remind that something has changed from our environment. It is still strong in the memory that in the past it was not difficult to find a pond or a small river around the neighborhood where the house was located, especially the setting in the short story was the rural environment, but now those places seemed to disappear. Nature that offers clarity of water flow like rare items that are hard to find. Are clear springs really only going to be the color of the past?

The author uses questions from the minds of characters to bring readers to the ecological questions that often appear in our heads to see the damage done to nature. Is a beautiful and green environment complete with all the ecosystems in it facing a crisis and predicted to be only a memory in the future as Marni feared in the short story? This is a serious threat if we look at the data and facts. If we look it again, Indonesia is faced with the harsh reality that deforestation is quite alarming. The latest data globally, Indonesia ranks fifth in relation to countries with the largest tree cover loss, along with Russia, Brazil, Canada and the United States. From 2001 to 2014, Global Forest Watch data noted that Indonesia had lost 18.91 million hectares of forest. An alarming number.

As part of the global and local and global ecosystems, we should participate in supporting all the efforts of all parties to overcome and prevent the loss of greenness in the future. Some of the steps that have been designed by the government under President Joko Widodo's administration include setting up an Indonesian road map to deforestation in 2020, making Indonesia's action plan towards deforestation free in 2020, monitoring the implementation of the action plan towards deforestation-free Indonesia in 2020, accelerating the issuance of one map policy, evaluating integrated licensing, carrying out law enforcement and alternative dispute resolution.

If the proactive steps above can be carried out with the help of the community, plus the process of educating the public who are unfamiliar with environmental threats through various means, including reinterpreting literature seriously, hopefully our children and grandchildren can still enjoy a complete complete with beautiful forests.

Berjalan ke mata air itu, tak sedikit pun Marni menemukan warna masa lalu. Segalanya telah berubah. Jika dulu bernama mata air Marni, suatu masa kemudian orang-orang kampung menyebutnya dengan nama Kulah. Dan kini, yang tiba-tiba memukul Marni, apa yang didapatnya tak lebih dari semak yang telah merimba6 .

Water which is essentially created as a friend for humans can of course turn around and fight what does not preserve it properly. Quotations Change to be fierce is the author's attempt to warn that water that does not have a malignant nature can be very harmful, and can even cause death. Water with all its forms and aspects is a global issue that we often do not take seriously. For example, a large city resident who considers a water problem is a village problem and people who live around the river basin. This is a fatal mistake, Jakarta, which is a city with all the progress it has, has not escaped water. According to data from the World Bank, around 40% of the Jakarta area is now below sea level8. This makes this metropolitan city very vulnerable to flooding and the negative effects that accompany it.

Floods will not come alone. Hunger, illness, and loss of material even the soul becomes a serious threat if a catastrophic flood hits. Flooding is not the end of the problem, it is the entrance to many further problems. This is a common sight that we often see in information media in recent years. Some regions show that the frequency of flooding has increased compared to the previous year.

According to data taken from the National Disaster Management Agency, in 2017 there were 979 cases of flooding throughout Indonesia. Whereas in 2018 according to the data that was last updated on May 26, 2018 there were 374 cases of flooding. The amount that would not be a little for a disaster. More than landslides, pickaxe, and forest fires. We should give serious attention and take part in the simplest forms to participate in efforts to reduce the factors that cause flooding, one of which is caused by its watershed damage.

The quote above also implies that water is often used as a cause of death. This reality is not without reason, in 2017 unstoppable water causing flooding caused 180 lives to die, 106 people were injured, and 2,518,578 people had to evacuate throughout Indonesia because of the impact of the disaster. The amount is not small because of the inability of humans to face nature. Nature will return what humans do to him. A natural law that will continue to prove sooner or later.

Rivers and other streams of water are actually natural potentials that have many benefits if they are humanistically and appropriately utilized. Unfortunately because human greed in exploiting left behind natural resources is now more detrimental. Indonesia has at least 5,590 rivers 9 . The condition of Indonesian rivers is inadequate in terms of capacity so that they cannot avoid the danger of flooding. The large number of rivers will be an extraordinary force if all the potential they have can be maximized.

Rimba dari manakah ini? Tak terbayangkan oleh Marni, pada zaman di mana desa bergegas jadi kota, kampungnya justru menciut dan seperti disurukkan lebih dalam ke perut bukit. Jika dulu mata air itu terletak persis di pinggir kampung, kini Marni harus menerobos jalan setapak untuk mencapainya6

The quotation above brings the reality that modernization penetrates all aspects in all directions. Villages which are the last bastion of the onslaught of contemporary capitalism are slowly leaving their identities in the countryside. Local culture and values are increasingly seen as obsolete and no longer suitable with the progress of the times. If the village has become a city, where else will we find noble values that have been the property of the village and the people in it. Even though in the above quote the author tries to describe anomalies in order to draw a story. Village background of the business I am a village that is not completely rushed to be a city.

Indonesia is an eastern country that upholds customs as a sacred legacy of the past. This kind of easternity, of course, was now felt to find an opponent from the opposite side who hit it instantly through a tremendous stream of technological progress. The last fortress of this kind of cultural invasion in the end was great as the last social system because the city was of course a symbol of unlimited openness. The steps to humanize humanity again do not escape the attention of Kulah's short story. How did a Marni return to the big and feel alien because she has become a different human being since inhaling the city and all its culture. Villagers have always been a symbol of ignorance for city people. However, behind all that the villagers have a strong relationship with nature that is not necessarily owned by city people. Village people are often associated as humans who grow in harmony with nature, they learn from life from generation to generation. Maintain nature with strict customary rules. Because they understand human nature is synergizing with the environment.

Modernization hit all aspects without exception. See how values are as villagers, people who are close to nature are often found to be inferior to modern people. There is no harm in utilizing technology and the progress of the times, but on the other hand the virtues of being a villager are not necessarily left to fade. Noble values such as mutual cooperation and others must remain guarded because that life is then often referred to as the basic aspects of the formulation of the value of the Indonesian state, namely Pancasila. Look at the symbols that made the nation's founders, almost all of them are natural symbols. Banyan, buffalo, rice and cotton trees are natural components that are peculiar to Indonesia.

The quote above also illustrates how today's typographic changes are being massive. It used to be a river, evidence, even a mountain distance is often not too far from where we live, now to reach such a landscape we have to travel for miles just to see the green hills or the clear river. Nature is marginalized both literally and symbolically. Literally nature is often ignored in the development process. It's not that there are no rivers or green open spaces in a city where there are malls and other entertainment places. This kind of thinking must be reduced because gradually such landscapes will actually disappear and no longer be marginalized. Symbolically nature is often described not as a form of progress. Those who try to maintain their alignment with the environment are often considered enemies and enemies of civilization. Those who are pro-sustainability are considered to be obstacles to modernization. Ironically, indeed the nature of a new human being will feel lost after what he considers unimportant is gone. If time could be mocked, accelerated then rewind it would be interesting to see how humans lived if the environment was completely damaged globally. When nature is gone, the greedy humans will realize.

“Tiba di hadapan Kulah, bau itu kembali menyengat. Marni mengernyitkan dahi. Seperti bau yang sudah kukenal, pikir Marni. Menyingsingkan lengan baju, ia sauk air yang kemerahan dengan kedua tangan lalu mendekatkannya ke hidung. Hanya sedetik, dan ingatan Marni berkelebat. Kata profesornya, “Manusia tengah mengukir prestasi, Marni, melangkah ke era masa depan. Mereka menyebutnya man made material¸ tetapi saya menyebutnya zaman bahan buatan.”

Limbah! Limbah ... dari manakah ini?

Sungguh Marni amat marah. Ia memekik, “Imaaa ....”

Samar dinding tebing bagai memantulkan: “Tanteee ....” 6

Finally we can find the main criticism that the author wants to convey in the quote at the end of the short story. Kulah's short story plays with a sweet storyline so the surprise about the cause of death of one of the characters who at the beginning of the story is made mysterious becomes brightly lit after the main character sees the state of kulah. Waste with all the storytelling techniques by the author is described as something frightening, which makes people think that kulah is a haunted place. This part is the part that turns out to be a classy form, my awesomeness does not mean haunted in a supernatural but haunted manner. Awful awful. Because waste is the result of human activities that are not managed properly. The awesomeness of the waste is reported to be able to take lives and change many things including the ecosystem where the waste is located.

According to PP No. 18/1999 Jo PP 85/1999 that waste is a waste / waste from a business and / or human activity. Waste is divided into three according to its characteristics namely liquid waste, gas / particle waste, solid waste and B3 waste (Hazardous and Toxic Materials). When referring to the characteristics of the waste in the short story called Marni as red water, it can be concluded that the type of waste that caused the death of Ima and made villagers feel frightened was B3 waste originating from factory activities.

Government Regulation Number 101 of 2014 concerning Management of Hazardous and Toxic Waste defines Hazardous and Toxic Materials (B3) as substances, energy, and / or other components which, due to their nature, concentration, and / or amount, either directly or indirectly, can pollute and / or damage the environment, and / or endanger the environment, health, and the survival of humans and other living things.

B3 waste can have a serious impact on life. Its destructive nature makes the waste must be handled specifically. B3 waste consists of hazardous and toxic raw materials which are no longer used due to damage, remaining packaging, spills, process waste, and used oil that requires special handling and processing. Characteristics of B3 waste include explosive, flammable, reactive, toxic, causing infection, corrosive, and others.

Ima's death in the short story is the author's way to remind readers that waste is a serious threat. B3 waste affects health by directly or indirectly harming humans. Toxic substances produced by B3 waste enter the human body through oral, inhalation, dermal, and peritonial. Oral means through the mouth and then the digestive tract, inhalation means through the respiratory tract, dermal through the skin so that it is easy to enter the bloodstream, while peritonial means through injections that directly enter the blood circulation. Kulah's short story illustrates how people do not know that their water flow is contaminated with hazardous waste. This directly says that knowledge of waste is absolutely necessary, especially for the villagers who are unfamiliar with the remnants of factory products that are often built without their involvement. Educative efforts must be increased so that awareness of harmful substances from industrial waste can be identified and addressed early. Sadly indeed, companies often use the ignorance of the public about waste in order to dispose of the remaining production without thinking about the impact. Whereas there are regulations that regulate how hazardous waste must receive special treatment with serious threats if not implemented. Weak supervision from related parties makes rogue companies take advantage but do not want to be responsible for the harmful substances their company produces.

Entah berapa puluh meter lagi ke dalam, hidung Marni disentuh semacam bau. Khas dan menyengat. Setelah beberapa saat menajam, bau itu sirna. Marni tertegun. Bau apakah? 6

Marni, who became the main character in the short story, could find out that the water in front of her was waste through the knowledge she got because she went to school in the city. Odor can be an early indicator of whether a river is polluted or not. Drinkable water for example the indicator is odorless and tasteless. This simple thing is not known by the surrounding community, heartbreaking as well as signifying a return to the level of knowledge and education of the community that is the background of Kulah's short story. This indirectly shows how unbalanced education is between cities and villages. The community must go far to get to education centers which are of course often only in big cities.

Sudah berapa ratus meterkah? Perlahan tapi pasti, Marni seperti masuk ke Ekosistem lain. Ia merasa bagai tengah berada pada suatu tempat di mana tumbuh-tumbuhan tengah beradaptasi dengan iklim berbeda. Sungguh ganjil. Beberapa jenis pohon yang Marni kenal, berkembang tak menurut lazimnya. Daun-daun mengecil dan bercaplak. Batang yang biasanya lurus panjang, menjadi pendek, dan kulitnya berbongkah-bongkah6.

Natural damage caused by waste not only has a direct impact on humans but also can change the condition of the surrounding plants. How the quote tells the tree to grow abnormally. The leaves, stems and bark of the tree suffer because the flow of water that is the source of life has changed badly.

Most of these hazardous wastes are liquid. Of course they will flow with the rivers that cross villages, rivers where people depend on life. Waste will immediately damage the quality of water which is the life of many people. In 2015 data from the Directorate General of Pollution and Environmental Damage Control stated that there were 52 rivers in Indonesia that were heavily polluted. A total of 20 rivers are contaminated with moderate to severe contamination. In addition there are 7 rivers that experience mild pollution to severe pollution. The remaining 21 rivers have fulfilled the quality standard until lightly polluted. The acquisition includes 100 rivers in 33 provinces throughout 2013 to 2015. A clear view that waste, especially B3 waste, will have a direct impact on water quality. Water quality will have a systematic impact. My short story implied this. How rice fields change after my mother is polluted with waste.

Padahal di situlah terletak kulah itu. Menyembul dari sebuah ceruk di kaki tebing. Bisa dialirkan ke man saja, oleh siapa saja, dengan menggunakan buluh bambu sambung-bersambung. Dari mata air itulah sawah-sawah sekitar memperoleh air tak putus-putus. Bagi Marni, mata air itu sungguh merupakan keasyikan tersendiri. Walau tidak mengembalakan itik, karena sawah-sawah di sekitar situ baru ditanami misalnya, ia tetap menyempatkan diri untuk ke sana setiap hari. Oleh karena itulah, entah bagaimana awalnya, orang-orang kampung telah sepakat saja menamakannya ‘Mata Air Marni’6 .

Rice fields and I are essentially the heart of life for rural people. The existence and condition of the rice fields of course depends on the state of the water that flows it. If you are contaminated, of course the rice fields will not be able to develop properly. Non-optimal rice fields will certainly make farmers move professions looking for a more decent livelihood. Economic factors are crucial factors that often become the cause of how humans enforce nature.

“Pak Gondo. Masih ke sawah ia?”

“Sudah tidak, Tante. Sejak sawah-sawah di dataran atas jelek panennya, orang-orang tak lagi bertanam di sana.”

“Jelek? Kenapa jelek?” 6

From the quotation above we can mean that the rice fields in Marni's village have changed their condition and can even be assumed to have disappeared. In contrast to the past where Indonesia was often presumed by wherever the eye looked at the rice fields everywhere. The loss of these fields will certainly be seen if we connect them to the data.

The Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial Planning (ATR / National Land Agency (BPN) stated that 150,000 to 200,000 hectares (ha) of rice fields each year turned into housing to industry10 . The decrease in agricultural land makes us able to digest why Indonesia is an agricultural country with an unusually large area - in the end, it faced a strange condition, namely emergency rice, rice-producing rice fields had been transformed into housing, industrial premises, and office buildings.

Morality is an important aspect when talking about how humans treat nature. The excitement arising from the seeds of the economy is unstoppable. The rules are violated, not only the customary rules but also the rules made by the government only to perpetuate the way to exploit nature blindly and irresponsibly. Before it's too late, all efforts to restore ethics to the environment must be encouraged. The expression that new humans will stop and regret destroying nature when they realize that money cannot be eaten doesn't need to happen.

Through the story, Kulah's short story gives us a warning that the destruction of nature will eventually turn against us. Nature rebels not without reason. Treating human beings as arbitrary and excessive in exploiting nature makes what has always been a friend slowly becomes an opponent. I am aware of us as readers that the relationship between humans and the environment is very important. As an ecosystem both are closely related. This very strong reciprocal that makes us as human beings must be wise in acting. One human side is influenced by nature, but on the other hand humans have the ability to change nature. The assumption that nature can survive even better without humanity, the position of humans here clearly requires the presence of nature rather than nature requires human presence. When changes made by humans go beyond certain limits, an unpleasant natural response is only a matter of time.


Kulah's short story by Gus Tf Sakai has a strong ecological message after being approached with ecocritical perception. Through excerpts from Kulah's short story, it provides an illustration of what nature can do to humans if it is not properly guarded. Marni as the main character is the way the writer reveals how the natural damage that occurred in his village. There are at least three environmental issues revealed through the soft story of Kulah. The first issue that became the spotlight of Kulah's short story was the destruction of the river or what was scientifically known as the watershed. This damage not only damages the river itself but also spreads to other things such as floods that also carry outbreaks of disease. The second issue is the loss of green areas such as forests and rice fields. The third issue is waste. The waste highlighted directly by Kulah's short story is that industrial waste which is very dangerous. Death, losing employment, and losing the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful environment are the ways Kulah's short story reminds readers to take care of the earth globally and maintain the environment locally well. Environmental conditions depend on how humans interact with them. Don't be late because the environmental damage is too heavy to deal with. Not to mention the time to reconstruct the environment requires a long time to do. Kulah's short story on the other hand also proves that ecological criticism or movements that favor nature can be done in various ways including writing literary works.


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