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This Earth Of Mankind

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Dana Sianghio

on 29 September 2013

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Transcript of This Earth Of Mankind

1. The use of language in the novel denotes social class and the view people have on others

2. Eurocentric history is evident in the novel

3. There is a division in social class because of race and colonialism

4. Gender inherently affects the roles in society of a person


1.1 Minke is astounded when Nyai Ontosoroh speaks Dutch fluently
1.2 Minke speaks to Herman Mellema in Dutch
1.3 Mr. Mellema berates Minke in Malay
2.1 The natives pay homage to the newly crowned Queen of Holland
2.2 Herman Mellema purchased Nyai from her parents
2.3 The conversation between Jean Marais and Telinga is another
3.1 Nyai is not acknowledged as the mother of Annelies and
Robert because she is a native
3.2 Robert does not associate himself with the natives even
though he’s half-native
4.1 Minke does not know how to greet Nyai when he first
encounters her
4.2 Women work in the Mellema business and wear calico shirts
4.3 The court did not listen to Nyai Ontosoroh

: The story revolves around him, native who has been educated by Dutch teachers, although a descendant of Javanese royalty. He falls in love with Annalies Mellema. He goes against the racist society that exists in his world.
: She is an Indo girl who is the love interest of Minkie. She is the most beautiful girl that Minke has ever laid eyes upon. She is also the daughter of a concubine and a Dutch man.
Nyai Ontosoroh
: She is the mother of Annelies. She is a concubine of Herman Mellema. She is educated and skilled in business and other typically European fields although she's a native.
Herman Mellema
: A pure-blooded Dutchman. He is a big, fat, tall and racist. He is the biological father of Annelies. He is also the father of Robert Mellema.
The native characters in the story are shown as of a lower status quo than those with some or pure dutch blood.

of the plot happens when the characters are revealed and are shown to have racist attitudes
rising action
is when Minke is followed by a hit man
is when they discover Herman Mellema's corpse, in the pleasure house next door, due to poisoning
falling action
is when Minke and Annelies decide to get married but the legit son of Herman wants to take over the business cause the Islamic marriage they had was not Dutch
is when Minke and Annelies' mom lose the case against Mauritus and eventually lose Annalies.
The story begins with the main character, Minke, a name he received from one of his early teachers who had tried to call him monkey but had come out as monk, though he has been called Gus by his mother. Minke is the only native student at a Dutch school called H.B .S. in Surabaya, Indonesia. His life changes forever when he is invited by his friend, Robert Suurhof, to the home of Nyai Ontosoroh and meets her two children, Robert & Annelies Mellema fathered by Herman Mellema a pure Dutchman, it is his meeting with Annelies and subsequent interactions with her that push forward the events of the story. Some time later Minke has a "falling out" with Robert Suurhof, due to his close relationship with Annelies whom Robert secretly loves, and after frequently visiting the home that Mama or Nyai convinces him to move into their home. Sometime after Minke receives a summons to his home town to attend his father's promotion where he is greeted by a harsh father but welcomed back with open arms by his mother.

Upon returning there have been rumors spreading about a scandalous relationship between him and Annelies which separates him from his pears, seeking a respite he finds comfort with his friend Jean a Frenchman and learns his story. However, Minke's problems do not end with these rumors as he is supposedly being followed by a hired assassin and has to deal with Robert Mellema, It is around this time that he learns of Nyai's story and of Maurits Mellema who later causes major problems for the three of them, during this time Robert has left the house and is not seen again until the last chapters.

Due to problems and rumors surrounding Minke, he is expelled from his school for a short period of time before being re-accepted. Once he is taken back by the school we learn that it is decided that he would marry Annelies after his graduation in 3 months time. Before this can happen, Minke and Darsam, one of the house guards, follow the supposed assassin "Fatso" into the pleasure house next door to discover Herman Mellema dead due to poisoning and Robert Mellema reappers only to run away and disappear. This leads to a large trial to find out the circumstances of the death which causes the group of three to be the center of attention. Once the trial ends things seem peaceful for a time and Minke is able to graduate with the marriage soon to follow.

His mother attends his wedding and distresses over the fact that her son seems to be more Dutch than Javanese and it is here that his former friend Robert Suurhof makes an appearance to make amends. However, Herman Mellema's legitmate son, Mauritus, makes outrageous claims to his father's former company run by Nyai and tries to claim Annelies as well. Nyai and Minke know that this is something they cannot win but decide to fight until nothing else can be done. Despite their best efforts, in the end Annelies is shipped off to Amsterdam while taking only her wedding clothes made by Minke's mother inside her mother's old suitcase.

Setting & POV
Set in Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia (after WWII)
Surabaya, Java - city where novel takes place Late Dutch Colonial Rule (late-mid 19th Century)
First person point of view to capture Minke's reactions and ideas
Full transcript