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The Girl from the Coast
Transcript of The Girl from the Coast
-Parents’ attitude changed towards her “You could come inside.” “It’s too hot.” “You won’t even use my name anymore.” “That wouldn’t be right-not for someone of your standing.” “Please come inside.” “Thank you. I am happy where I am.” The girl walked towards her father. He moved back, away from the doorway. “I wished we could go back to the way things used to be. People didn’t watch me all the time then.” (117)
Creating A New SelfBeing the ‘first lady’ -Accepted the fact that she is the ‘first lady’ “To her surprise, she adjusted remarkably well to her new life. But the old woman was still her friend and counsellor.” (47) -Developed feelings towards her husband “Why do you have to go away so much? And for such a long time? I really suffer when you’re not here.” (68)
She is not used to being the ‘first lady’ during the early days of her marriage -Keep asking for her parents and wanting to go back to her village “I don’t like it here, mak.” “You’ll learn what you have to do, nak. In time, you’ll like it.” “Take me home, mak” (25) -Does not like mBok to address herself as ‘this servant’ “Please don’t call yourself ‘this servant’, mBok.” (26) -She wanted to help with the chores “Can I help grind flour?” (42) -Not used of wearing jewelries “The Girl from the Coast had never owned jewellery.” (30)
How The Nameless Girl Is Exposed To The Aristocratic Life?Through marriage -The nameless girl’s parents decided to marry her off to an aristocrat named Bendoro Bupati “Hush, don’t cry. Don’t cry. You’ll soon be the wife of a great man.” (2)
Dutch officers, promoted European education: for sons of aristocrats (priyayi) The so-called mixed-marriage children due to the relationship between the Dutch officers with nyai .
Preferred an extensive network of diplomatic and trade relations with indigenous rulers to direct colonial rule. The Aceh War was marked the beginning of a new era of expansionJava-based Cultivation System were received in the Netherlands from direct rule to control through contracts
Mistresses can be found in Javanese practices PROVIDED them with the status of co-wife or selir.The ‘Nyai’ had become a symbol of unequal race relations and dis-empowerment.
A ‘nyai’ does not have a life. She is NO MORE THAN A SLAVE TO SATISFY HER MASTER. IN EVERY RESPECT! But also she always has to be prepared that her master will get enough of her. If she does something wrong she may be sent away with all her children while her own children upon which the Natives look down because they are not born from a legal marriage.
Pramoedya’s Definition of ‘Nyai’
According to Australian historian; Susan Abeyasekere-Blackburn, there are many definitions of ‘nyai’: Status and economic powerRespected positionSymbol of colonial exploitationMorally intolerable form of cohabitation
Inter-racial sexual intercourse Concubinage of a European man and an Indonesian woman (usually his ‘nyai’ or housekeeper) had been part of colonial practice since the beginning of Dutch presence in the archipelago
Concubinage and Polygyny
The adaptation of the term ‘Nyai’ to define the status of a native “CONCUBINE”, “HOUSE-KEEPER” or “MISTRESS” in a colonial Dutch East Indies household.
Multiplicity of social and linguistic perspectives
“Recognising her advantage, Mardinah pressed her attact. “So you think you know what I’m after. Someone of higher status than the Bendoro sent me here. It is time the Bendoro was properly married to a real noble. There are a lot of noble girls in Demak who would marry him. He can take whomever her chooses. Four wives, at that.” (87)
‘Nyai’ – Definitions
In addition the priyayi was meant: to be a man of integrity and honor, imbued with a deep awareness of the moral demands of his position, of his obligations to the rulers, the people the high ethical code of the elite. The image of the priyayi:was of a man able to meet the spiritual and ceremonial as well as technical demands of office.
Original term :para yayi "younger brothers" (of the king), and by extension it came to include the governing aristocracy, Nobles and officials, court-based administrators and local chiefsa priyayi a well-born Javanese holding high government office, Should be familiar with classical literaturemusic and dancethe wayang kulit (puppet shadow play)the subtleties of philosophy, ethics and mysticism.Should have mastered the nuances of polite behaviorlanguage and dress the arts of warskilled in the handling of horse and weapons
A story about: powerlessness
the impoverished vs. the privileged in society
the girl is: courageous
uncovers her hidden strengths
nurtures her independencefights
to define herself and her future
Toer's women and men characters
act against traditional patriarchy
urban-rural bias class discrimination
The Girl from the CoastBeautiful young woman From a fishing villageArranged marriage Wealthy aristocratForced to leave her parents and home behindPractice wifeclass differences being woman in colonial Indonesia.Pramoedya's literary skill is evident in every word of this book.It is one of his classic works of fictionIt is based on the life of his own grandmother.
Pramoedya Ananta Toer 6 February 1925 – 30 April 2006 Indonesian author of:novelsshort storiesessayspolemichistories of his homelandHis works span:the colonial periodIndonesia's struggle for independenceits occupation by Japan during the Second World Warthe post-colonial authoritarian regimes of Sukarno and Suhartoknown for translating the works of Steinbeck and Tolstoy into Indonesian.
Munirah Binti Munawar Ali(GS32505)
Wan The Fatima Wan Badaruddin(GS32346)
The Girl From the CoastBy: Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Soon, she slowly adapt herself to being the ‘first lady’ -Learn to make batik and cake and about pious legends from the distant Middle East “The girl from the Coast began making batik, under the guidance of an instructor. Her hands, which were becoming softer through her enforced activity, began to make patterns with a pencil. A week later another teacher came to instruct her in making cakes. And every three days, still another teacher came and taught her pious legends from the distant Middle East.” (43)
Life in 1900- Political Domination in Indies