by Much. Khoiri


In my class “Introduction to Literature” I involved my students to recognize and understand intrinsic elements of a story such as character, plot, setting, theme, point of view, etc. These elements are then applied in approaching a short story “Quality” written by John Galsworthy.

After my students understand the story and how to apply the elements in analyzing it, I address them a reflective question or a response saying “Guys, related to ‘Quality’, please write a concise reflective paragraph (max 100 words). If you were in the position of Young Gessler, what would you do to face such difficult situations?”

Mr Gessler at work: Gambar: reenakhastiya.blogspot.com

In the following I would present my students’ responses, the ones for which I really appreciate and thank my students. And yet, before that, I would put here a brief summary of the story.

About “Quality”:

As taken from https://englicist.com, “Quality” by John Galsworthy was first published in “The Inn of Tranquility: Studies and Essays” in 1912. The story, written in first person narrative from an unknown narrator’s perspective, is a beautiful depiction of today’s cruel reality. The plot is set on the two traditional German shoemakers who did not compromise with quality and craftsmanship but met the sad fate of extinction in an age of marketing where success is determined “by advertisement, not by work.”

The story shows what our business world has become now: more the advertising, more the earning. No one pays attention to the poor traditional craftsmen who value art and quality of products. They have to suffer even though they don’t deserve that. The main theme is commitment; commitment to one’s work, to one’s passion. Every worker is an artist if he loves his work and is immersed in it. The Gessler Brothers’ commitment towards their work is really touching. For them the struggles, the hardships are nothing as long as they keep doing their work.

There aren’t many characters in the story but those that are there are well portrayed, beautifully described and realistic.The ending of the story is quite sad. There’s a sense of loss and grief. And that is what the author wants the readers to feel for those true craftsmen like the Gessler brothers who value quality, as the title suggests. (https://englicist.com/notes/quality-john-galsworthy).

Students’ Reflections/Responses:

1.Nimas Ageng Zahra Nirwani (20020154029):

In the story, young Gessler experiences trading difficulties because he competes with companies that use advertisements. If I were a young Gessler, I would also use advertising in my products. I will make boots with good quality, introduce them to my colleagues, and put up ads to make my boots known to many people.I’m sure if I use advertising, my boot is not inferior to large companies because buyers also need good quality in a product. Besides, because nowadays many people use social media, I will use social media for promotion because social media spreads quickly, thus making my boot easier to be recognized.

2.Kamilah Syadza Tasyakurina S. (20020154001)

Many people think that advertisement as the most important part of business thesedays and of course because it is the easiest way to attract customers. If I were young Gessler, I would love to prioritize more about the quality of my product. It may seem hard to deal with but just imagine if we have a business with low quality even though there’s a big advertisement, the customers will leave us immediately after knowing that our product has a poor quality. The thing we must to remember is, as usual, in business, there are a lot of ups and downs. I think, if we want to start a business then we should put much effort in it so we can be a successful businessman. After we gain many customers, and much profit, we can start to advertise our product.  Or we can start with both quality and advertise … but if we are capable enough.

3.Intan Marta Puspitasari (20020154008)

Modernization always happens in our life and we’re as human cannot refuse it. When I’m in position of young Gessler, as a young brain, I will change the business concept. I will pay attention on “good quality” based on “good techniques”. Good techniques are like, trying to make advertisement (not just stay at shop), making boots in modern way (not draw the foot more), renovating the shop become more interesting. So, it’s not a problem if I have cooperation with company. But I will utilize this situation by borrowing money for my assets to renovate a new sale’s life.

4.Sarah Aiko Adhritama (20020154036)

If I were in the position of young Gessler, I will prioritize myself first. Even though making shoes is the thing I love the most and I can make money from that, still, taking care of my own health is important. I will eat healthily, have enough sleep, then I can start making shoes and sell them. And I will promote my shoes as best as I can.

5.Annisa Ayu Dianitami (20020154046)

If you were in position of young Gessler, what would you do to face such difficult situations? Nowadays, the world has changed where promotion is more important than quality. However, we have to keep up with the times, especially for business matters. If I were a young Gessler who having a hard time, I would stick with making products and promoting them without compromising on quality. I’m going to implement several strategies that build customer trust in my quality products. Other than that, I will also make products that people will like. That way, my business can grow so that I won’t have any more difficulties.

What do you think of their reflections?

N.B. Thanks for blogwalking

Author: admin

MUCH. KHOIRI adalah dosen Kajian Budaya/Sastra dan Creative Writing, penggerak literasi, blogger, editor, penulis 70 buku dari Unesa. #Kitab Kehidupan (Genta Hidayah, 2021). #Menjerat Teror(isme) (Uwais Inspirasi Indonesia, 2022)

11 thoughts on “WHAT IF I WERE MR. GESSLER? (1)”

  1. Sintani Fina Sari_EL20A_016 says:

    Yeah they are right, good quality of a product is the main thing in business, but promotion is an important thing in business. Success in doing business is a combination of the good quality that we produce and the existence of good communication to consumers, namely advertising.

    1. Much. Khoiri says:

      Thanks a lot, Sintani. Your comment is good, indeed.

  2. Hernawati says:

    Wow… those are great responds to such kind of situation. Remind me when I was still in in their position as college student. I’ve been there….
    Time flies.

    1. Much. Khoiri says:

      That’s right. Time flies so fast.

  3. Annisa Ayu Dianitami says:

    I also agree with Aiko’s opinion. Even though we focus on business, we also have to stay healthy. When we are healthy, we can do the job optimally.

    1. Much. Khoiri says:

      Ica, thanks so much

  4. Annisa Ayu Dianitami 2020 B says:

    I also agree with Aiko’s opinion. Even though we focus on business, we also have to stay healthy. When we are healthy, we can do the job optimally.

  5. SALSA AMALIKA 2020A says:

    I’d totally agree with Nimas. It is because in nowadays social media put the highest rank to influence the people.

    1. Much. Khoiri says:

      Salsa, thanks a lot.

  6. Sri Rahayu says:

    If I were Mr. Gessler I would like to open my eyes to the newest fashion and then I made my products better than , or might be the best. And I’d advertise them over the world using digital marketplace….

    1. Much. Khoiri says:

      Thanks for an amazing comment.

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