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The Scorpion Orchid

Book Summary   by:ezann     Original Author: Llyod fernando
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THE SCORPION ORCHID

-Malaysian novel to address race as the major social issue challenging Malaysia/ Singapore.
•Fernando states, "I believe no Malaysian writer can claim to be writing with truth if he does not carry, woven into his fiction, the reality of relationships between the races, and its unavoidable undertow of threatened violence.”

SETTING & THEME

•Set in 1950’s Singapore – a time of racial tension and nationalistic uprising
•Theme of national birth and the anxieties present regarding racial conflict and ethnic self interest

SYNOPSIS

An exciting first novel set in pre-independence Singapore. Scorpion Orchid follows the lives of four young men—a Malay, an Eurasian, a Chinese and a Tamil—against a backdrop of racial violence and political factions struggling for dominance. Excerpts from classical Malay and colonial English sources appear throughout the narrative, illuminating the roots and significance of this period in history.

THE TEXT AS METAPHOR
•Text is a metaphor for growth of a new nation •The four young men gain a new awareness of their ethnic identities as the negotiate the race riots that destroy their complacent sense of camaraderie •The new awareness is central to their transition from adolescence to adult life •Represents the Malayan society and the transition between former tolerance and present assertiveness

•Scorpion Orchid generally preserves an allegorical distance between the personal and the political. • The personal and the political develop along parallel lines and mirror one another, and when they do intersect they remain clearly defined

CHARACTERS

•Santi, a Tamil Indian, Sabran, a Malay, Guan Kheng, a Chinese, and Peter, a Eurasian.
•Santinathan – Indian, refuses to observe conventions of university life, gets expelled – ends up as village schoolteacher
•Sabran – Malay, involved in politics, gets arrested and his future prospects somewhat set back considerably •Sabran reflects on his family in the kampung (village) that has sacrificed for his education and which exerts a strong emotional pull on him, but is in no position to offer him either comfort or advice.
•Guan Kheng – Chinese, comes from wealthy family, feels betrayed by the Malays who suddenly consider him a foreigner. Peter D’Almeida – Eurasian, confused about his identity, loses faith in ‘new’ Singapore, emigrates to England after he is beaten up in a riot (comes back at the end)
•Sally – uncertain ethnic background and origin, works at a hawker stall, part time prostitute, has an ambiguous relationship with all four men involving sex, money and love, although they pay her for sex she is treated as a friend

i hope that this note will help you guys.. :)
Published: October 21, 2012   
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