Of Race and Man: Reconstructing Citizenship and the Nation in Abdullah Hussain's Interlok

  • Ahmad Thamrini Fadzlin Syed Mohamed Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia
  • Noraini Md. Yusof Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Ruzy Suliza Hashim Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Abstract

This paper attempts to provide an alternative perspective of Abdullah Hussain's Interlok (2010) by examining the original version of the novel published in 1971. Exploring the controversy through claims made by the general public, academics and experts through the Internet, we argue that those who found the novel racist in essence are themselves guilty of racism. The paper will further suggest that Abdullah Hussain is a fierce nation builder who attempts to redefine the nation's idea of citizenship and nationhood that can be explained by using the Race Relations Cycle theory. Most importantly, the article demonstrates the writer's desire to try and redefine citizenship among the Malaysian people by deconstructing well-perceived stereotypical race constructions and promoting unity in a new nation.


Keywords: Interlok, racism, nationalism, Abdullah Hussain

Author Biographies

Ahmad Thamrini Fadzlin Syed Mohamed, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia

Centre for Liberal and Language Studies

Noraini Md. Yusof, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities

Ruzy Suliza Hashim, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities

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Published
2016-03-11
How to Cite
SYED MOHAMED, Ahmad Thamrini Fadzlin; MD. YUSOF, Noraini; HASHIM, Ruzy Suliza. Of Race and Man: Reconstructing Citizenship and the Nation in Abdullah Hussain's Interlok. Malay Literature, [S.l.], v. 24, n. 2, p. 171-188, mar. 2016. ISSN 2682-8030. Available at: <http://jurnal.dbp.my/index.php/MalayLiterature/article/view/521>. Date accessed: 04 feb. 2023. doi: https://doi.org/10.37052/ml.24(2)no1.