Representation of Aceh in Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s This Earth of Mankind

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Kismullah Kismullah


Acehnese has been depicted for their heroism and craziness in great deal of literature as a result of their firm stand and continuous fight during the war against the Dutch colonial power at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century (Siegel, 1979; Hurgronje, 1906). As in a number of his other works of fiction, in his first novel of the Buru Quartet, This Earth of Mankind, Pramoedya Ananta Toer also makes many references to Aceh and the Acehnese (Toer, 1982). This paper aims to explore the aspects of heroism of Acehnese fighters and another side of human tragedies in the context of Aceh war as represented by Toer in this novel. The two themes are extracted and highlighted as the results of the analysis of Toer’s narrative through the flashback made by one of his characters much of whose life has been dictated by his past engagement against Acehnese fighters in a number of battles in Aceh. While the heroism is amplified as being part of the characteristics of the Acehnese fighters, the tragic elements feature the suffering experienced by the colonial soldier later in his life. Both aspects reflect Toer’s perspective and emotional tie to one of the ethnic groups from the extreme west of the archipelago.

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KISMULLAH, Kismullah. Representation of Aceh in Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s This Earth of Mankind. Proceedings of English Education International Conference, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 2, p. 565-568, nov. 2016. ISSN 2527-8037. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 06 dec. 2022.