This thesis deals with the construction of the writer’s ideas on individualism as seen in the novel Bread Givers. The research was conducted to analyze the individual work that reflects the beliefs and attitudes on American Individualism. Moreover, this research was also executed to analyze the effects of the ideas on individualism towards the writer’s life.
This thesis is a descriptive qualitative research. This thesis uses American Culture theory of Robert Spiller which is focused on the way analysing an individual work that contains of individual thought or philosophy. It has four stages to analyze the data, that is started from aesthetic examining of the work and then relating causally first to the writer through biographical study, second to the culture and history of people who produced it, and also involving American thought as Philosophy. Firstly, I examined the work using structuralism theory by Robert Stanton to collect the data to reveal the character of American Individualism in the novel Bread Givers. Secondly, after analysing the structure of the novel, I related to the biography of the writer by providing external information of the writer’s life to help intepretating the idea of Individualism presented through the main character. Then, I related also to the History and Culture of Jews in America to help analyzing the main character. Lastly, I involved American Thought that consists of American Individualism and American Pragmatism to reveal the construction of Individualism. American Pragmatism is used to support the construction of Individualism by the writer of the novel.
The result of the research shows the types of American Individualism in the perspective of American Jews that is found through the main character in the novel Bread Givers. They are (1) standing alone and releasing from restrictions, (2) being anti-traditionalist, (3) being emancipated woman, (4) drawing apart with family and society which is curved on her solitude of her own heart, (5) being independent that the destiny is on her own hand, (6) placing individual high above society or selfishness. Moreover, the result shows American Individualism has influenced the way the writer produced her work. It is because Americans highly value American Individualism in their life.
Keywords: Individualism, American Individualism, American Thought, American Individual Thought, American Literary Thought.