Challenging Colonial Construction of Diseased Bodies: Polyvocal Narrative Voicesin Bushnell’s Moloka’i

Universitas Negeri Semarang > Faculty of Languages and Arts > Publikasi > Challenging Colonial Construction of Diseased Bodies: Polyvocal Narrative Voicesin Bushnell’s Moloka’i

Ruly Indra Darmawan, S.S., M.Hum.

Research Areas:
Asian Postcolonialism Study, Science Fiction

Key Findings:
“This study examines the representation of disease in the form of leprosy through a
reading of O.A Bushnell’s Moloka’i to address damage, trauma, inequality in a
postcolonial Hawai’i landscape. Bushnell’s novel criticizes the stereotypical view of Hawai’i as a paradisal archipelago through a narration grounded within the
socio-historical circumstances of leprosy outbreak and the ensuing discrimination and
segregation towards its sufferers. Moloka’i problematizes colonizer/colonized dichotomy
by placing the disabled lepers’ body in the entangled aspect of colonial hegemony and
indigenous resistance within the interconnected nature of disease, disability and
colonialism. This paper underlines how an econarratological perspective deconstructs
readers’ own presupposition concerning Hawai’i through the construction of virtual
storyworld narrated from contrasting settlers/natives binarism in a polyvocal narration.
An econarratological perspective actively invites reader to retrospectively shift their
outlook from the dominant discourse rooted within colonial authority toward the
emergence of indigenous voices, previously submerged in the narrative of diseases and
disability. The use of first-person narrative personas problematizes the subjective
consciousness in imagining material realities on how similar spatial scenes are
reimagined and then contrasted from a settler/native perspective. To concurs,
Bushnell’s Moloka’i challenges the colonial construction of the indigene’s diseased body
as non-human Others through the emergence of polyvocal native voices established
upon indigenous cosmology.”

Link to the Publication:

How to Cite:
Indriyanto, K., & Darmawan, R. I. 2023. Challenging colonial construction of diseased
Bodies: Polyvocal narrative voices in Bushnell’s Moloka’i. Forum for World Literature
Studies, 15 (1), 61-80.

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