Introduction to Language and Culture Essay

Words: 1998
Pages: 8

Select a Malaysian short story in English. Try to obtain an overall sense of what happens in the story. Then, concentrate on identifying who it happens to (the protagonist), who or what stands in the protagonist’s way or presents a conflict (the antagonist), and the key incidents of the plot.
Complete the following plot summary:

Title of story : After the War
Author : Anwar Ridhwan (Translated by Ungku Maimunah Tahir)
1. Who is the protagonist of the story? Masitah.
2. Indentify the antagonist(s). Jali, son of Masitah.
3. Quote the exact lines in the story which introduce the point of conflict. ‘You love him more than us.’ Sumi ventured to say for both her sister and herself. ‘Because
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As she resumed her walk home, a man she didn’t know stood before her. Masitah wanted to cry out but the man covered her mouth tightly. She didn’t know how long the man had been there.

From that point onwards, Masitah’s burden began. Though Anwar Ridhwan did not really tells us what happened after that incident, but by Masitah’s memory and how she puts her feeling into words gives us a clear vision of her feelings towards Jali, the son she had with another man. Does Masitah love this child? Is there hate towards him or only painful past that every time she looks at her son, it reminded her of the tragic incident that had happened to her. In the middle of the story, when Masitah heard her daughters talking to Jali, his deep and sonorous voice pierced her heart because she remembered that voice was the same one with the one she heard that particular morning. The morning that had caused all these burdens. The burdens that she had to bear all her life.

But it was Jali’s voice that pierced her heart. A deep and sonorous voice which could transport her mind to a particular incident.

Her burdens became worst when she found out that she was pregnant three months after that particular incident. Referring to the author’s background , we know that during that time and even now, bearing a child out of wedlock is a sin and shameful act. Masitah did not have the courage to tell her husband about the incident. She just kept quiet all those years. Budin,