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  1. 1. SHAME written by: Shirley Geok Lin-Lim Presented by; Nor Syafiqah Bt Zakaria Noor Masitah Bt Zulkifly 15 April 2013
  2. 2. Literary Criticism • Historical criticism • Social Criticism • Cultural Criticism • Gender Criticism
  3. 3. • Author’s background • Summary of the story • Relation between the story and the author’s background
  4. 4. Shirley Geok-Lin Lim Born in 1944 in Malacca. A baba nyonya. An American writer of poetry, fiction, and criticism. Lim had a pretty unhappy childhood. Born into a life of poverty, deprivation, parental violence, and abandonment in a culture that, at that time, rarely recognised girls as individuals.
  5. 5. Mei Sim has been scolded by her mother as she sat with her legs wide opened which is an inappropriate practice in her culture. Siew Eng was being abused, tortured and discriminated by her own mother as her mother believed with the fortune teller’s words. A huge shame filled Mei Sim HISTORICAL CRITICISM
  6. 6. In this story, we can say that Lim portrayed herself as Mei Sim and Siew Eng who have such unhappy childhood as a Baba Nyonya girl. She really emphasized on the importance of their culture and traditions. Siew Eng who was being abused, tortured and discriminated by her own mother as her mother believed in superstitious is the symbolism of the thing that might happened to most of the Baba and Nyonya girls including the writer during that particular time; when their society apply the culture the best! So, it is proved that this story is based on the author experiences in her life during her time.
  7. 7. Social The criticism provokes us to think why and how we are responding in a certain way. It is related to the traditions, beliefs, the way one thinks, the norms which in relation with the arts in Baba and Nyonya culture.
  8. 8. • A society where the people do not see a woman as an individual. • The people would appreciate it if the girls could marry a rich man. Page 29: “… but she tolerated Jeng Chung as the niece whose successful marriage to a rich towkay’s son…”
  9. 9. • Baba Nyonya society (peranakan) must behave according to their society’s expectations. • In Peranakan’s culture, girls are not allowed to sit with their legs open as it is not polite. – Eg: Mei Sim’s mother said “We’re going to visit Tua Ee. And don’t sit with your legs open there. She think I bring you up with no shame.” Pg 25. – Mei Sim’s mother scolded her “Ta’ malu!” “you no shame! Close your legs.”
  10. 10. Even at the end of this story, Mei Sim stuck with an accident where her mother caught her with a little boy who was trying to touch her dress and that she felt a huge shame filled her. In this story, we can see how much Baba and Nyonya society is concern towards their manners especially when it comes to girls. In Malaysia, Baba and Nyonya culture was well known in their way to nurture their society.
  11. 11. • Traditions Aspect • Cultural Taboo • Superstitious
  12. 12. Tradition Malay influence is very strong in the Baba and Nyonya tradition; clothing and food, but they have also retained their Chinese heritage, especially their religion, name and ethnic identity. The characters are having Chinese-styled names. E.g: (Mei Sim, Siew Eng, Jeng Chung) Mei Sim’s mother visited her aunty at least once a week with gifts of fruit, pulot, and ang-pows and consulted her on every matter in the Chung family’s life. This shows that, the Malay culture such as visiting among relatives are still practiced at that time. During the ancient time, they retained some practices of Chinese cultures but at the same time adapted local Malay traditions in order to minimize the culture shock.
  13. 13. ~Skirt~ “Girls must wear skirt.” (ancient Chinese culture & Malay culture) *throughout the whole story, all the female characters are wearing skirt. ~Kebaya~ ‘Mother had put on her gold bangles, gold earrings, and a long chain of platinum with a cross as a pendant. Her kebaya was a pale blue...’ (page 26, paragh 3) ~Sireh~ ‘The two women returned to the chairs beside the sireh table, where two neat green packages of sireh rested.’ (page 33)
  14. 14. Cultural Taboo • Most Peranakans are Hokkien ancestry. They speak Baba Malay (creole dialect) which contains many Hokkien words. – “Mei Sim could only hear the trishaw man mumbles like, “hey…yau soo….chei….” Pg 27. – Noted that “yao soo..” carries the meaning that “wanna die ah!!!” (negative meaning) • Mei Sim’s mother said that the trishaw man was angry at puppy dog, bringing him bad luck. – Commonly, Baba and Nyonya societies are still believe in the fortune teller and about the luck.
  15. 15. Superstitious • Mother said Siew Eng was cursed. “ – The fortune teller had told her that the girl would eat her blood, so she wouldn’t nurse or hold the baby, had sent her to a foster mother, and had taken her back at seven to send her off to the kitchen where she slept on a camp bed”. (Pg 31, third last paragraph) • Mei Sim’s grand aunty believes in superstitious. She treated her daughter badly and violently because of the fortune teller. – Eg: “You must stay for lunch, I have already told that prostitute daughter of mine to boil the rice….” – pg 29. “Grand-aunty had four sons, of whom she loved only the youngest, and a daughter who she treated as a bought slave…”
  16. 16. - Pg 31. She shouted and slapped her daughter. - Pg 33, paragraph 5, line 4-8. Purple bruise bloomed on Siew Eng’s arm, just because she walked slow. - Her mother never assumes her as a family member in the house. Eg: pg 33, paragraph 5, line 8, “you think you can be so proud in my house.” • Sim’s grand-aunty physically abused and mentally abused Siew Eng. She did not provide appropriate care for her. – Eg: Pg 31, “Siew Eng hung her head. Her samfoo was faded and worn at the trouser bottoms, the thin cotton print didn’t hide her strange absence of breasts. She was already sixteen, had never been sent to school but had worked at home washing, cleaning and cooking since she was seven.” • “Sundal” pg 31 ¨“what do you say? What do you say, you prostitute?” Pg33
  17. 17. GENDER • There is a difference between men and women in the society at that time. • Women are submissive, men are portrayed to be dominant at that time. History of Chinese and Malay until now, male is always dominant over female.
  18. 18. • Mei Sim’s grand-aunty prefers son than daughter. “Grand-aunty had four sons, of whom she loved only the youngest, and a daughter whom she treated as a bought slave.” (pg29, paragraph 4) • This is related to the culture and their tradition. As in both Chinese and Malay culture, they put focus on male as they will become heir of their family. • Female is not having important position and roles in family, their rights have been ignored.
  19. 19. – Eg. Page 32, paragraph 6“…We women must accept our fate. If we want to have some fun also, stomach will explode. Where can we hide our shame? But men, they think they are datoks because they can do things without being punished…” • From feminism point of view, women want confirmation of status. They seek for a place for themselves neither in family nor society. Although women cannot control the men, they can at least control their money to show that they have certain power.
  20. 20. Thank you ^^,