Exile in Robert Raymer’s ‘Mat Salleh’ and Wong Ming Yook’s ‘a Beautiful Lady and the Fish’

In: English and Literature

Submitted By redkryst
Words 2433
Pages 10
Rebecca Yeoh Yao Xia
Dr Rashidi
HXE 305 Malaysian Literature
10 December 2015

Exile in Robert Raymer’s ‘Mat Salleh’ and Wong Ming Yook’s ‘A Beautiful Lady and the Fish’

Homi K. Bhabha in his book, The Location of Culture said that
“…the question of identification is never the affirmation of a pre given identity, never a self-fulfilling prophecy - it is always the production of an image of identity and the transformation of the subject in assuming that image.” (Bhabha)

When the British colonized Malaysia, local Malaysians were known as the ‘Others’ while the British were identified as the “Self”. This is seen during the colonial era within Malaysia. However as time passed, during the post-colonial era, the identity of Malaysia seemed to be the issue that readers and writers tried to identify. In the postmodern era of Malaysia, creating or reinventing individual identity in a nation or in a cultural group becomes more crucial in building stability in identifying oneself. Therefore the issue of exile will be addressed in accordance to Robert Raymer’s Mat Salleh and Wong Ming Yook’s The Beautiful Lady and the Fish. In Rehman Rashid’s ‘A Malaysian Journey’ gives us a vivid description of a Malaysian who feels out casted in his homeland, his community, and his people. Through the analysis of the two short stories mentioned above, the issue of ‘exile’ would be seen in the light of exile from a family, culture and from a nation. Through that, similarities and differences will be drawn and identified.

Robert Raymer is an American who has been living in Malaysia for more than 20 years. He currently lectures in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. He has also published a compilation of short stories titled ‘Lovers and Strangers Revisited’. ‘Mat Salleh’ is a short story from this compilation and it is a story about a Malaysian Malay, Yati who went to the United States of America…...

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