Manifestation of Colonial Discourse and Anthropocentric Outlook in James Michener’s Hawai’i

Kristiawan Indriyanto

Abstract


One of the foremost developments in literary criticism is the awareness that colonialism results in ecological devastation of the colonies through exploitation of nature. This phenomenon is legitimized through Western anthropocentric paradigm that considers nature merely as commodity to be utilized for humankind's benefit. This paper analyses the underlying Western colonial discourse that rationalizes ecological exploitation in Hawai'i based on the reading on James Michener's Hawai'i. With postcolonial ecocriticism as the framework, the present study focuses on the conflicts that arise between the islanders and the white settlers concerning human and non-human relationships. Western discourse promotes the superiority of their culture based on the privileged position in a binary opposition which is contrasted with the backwardness of the natives. The labelling of certain Hawai'ian traditions as pagan and heathen practice plays a pivotal role in articulating the Western anthropocentric paradigm in which the missionaries function as agent of colonialism. The culmination of Western colonial discourse manifests in the transformation of Hawai'ian landscape for capitalistic enterprise of agriculture and sugar plantation. This event also signifies the commodification in the landscape and centre-periphery relationship which underlines the economical exploitation of the colony.


Keywords


Colonial discourse; Ecological imperialism; Hawai’ian literature; Postcolonial ecocriticism

Full Text:

PDF

References


Adams, William M. “Nature and the Colonial Mind.” In Decolonizing Nature: Strategies for Conservation in a Post-Colonial Era, edited by W. M. (William Mark) Adams and Martin. Mulligan, 16–50. London: Earthscan Publications, 2003. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781849770927-8.

Arnold, David. “Narrativizing Nature : India, Empire and Environment.” In Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities Postcolonial Approaches, edited by Anthony Deloughrey, Elizabeth M. Didur, Jill. Carrigan, 35–50. New York: Routledge, 2015.

Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. Post-Colonial Studies: The Key Concepts, 2nd ed. Oxon: Routledge, 2007.

Barrow, Leonard James. “Aumakua (Guardian Ancestors.” Rapa Nui 13, no. 2 (1999): 49–56.

Buell, Lawrence. “Ecocriticism: Some Emerging Trends.” Qui Parle 19, no. 2 (2011): 87. https://doi.org/10.5250/quiparle.19.2.0087.

Buell, Lawrence, Ursula K. Heise, and Karen Thornber. “Literature and Environment.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources No. 36 (2011): 417–40. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-111109-144855.

Caminero-Santangelo, Byron. “Shifting the Center: A Tradition of Environmental Literary Discourse from Africa.” In Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century, edited by Stephanie Le Menager, Teresa Shewry, and Ken Hiltner, 148–62. New York: Routledge, 2011. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203814918.

Crosby, Alfred W. Ecological Imperialism The Biological Expansion of Europe : 900-1900. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Emerson, Nathaniel Bright. Unwritten Literature of Hawaii. The Project Gutenberg Ebook, 2007.

Estok, Simon C. “Afterword: Reckoning with Irreversibilities in Biotic and Political Ecologies.” Ariel: A Review of International English Literature 44, no. 4 (2013): 219–32. https://doi.org/10.1353/ari.2013.0029.

Fairclough, Norman. Analysing Discourse : Textual Analysis for Social Research. London: Routledge, 2003.

———. Critical Discourse Analysis : The Critical Study of Language. Second Edi. New York: Routledge, 2010.

Feldman, Mark B., and Hsuan L. Hsu. “Introduction: Race, Environment, and Representation.” Discourse 29, no. 2/3 (2007): 199–214. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41389776.

Griffiths, Matthew. The New Poetics of Climate Change. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc., 2017.

Gupta, Clare. “Sustainability, Self-Reliance and Aloha Aina: The Case of Molokai, Hawaii.” International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 21, no. 5 (September 20, 2014): 389–97. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504509.2014.880163.

Haley, James L. Captive Paradise- A History of Hawaii. New York: St Martin’s Press, 2016.

Heise, Ursula K. “Ecocriticism and the Transnational Turn in American Studies.” American Literary History 20, no. 1–2 (2008): 381–404. https://doi.org/10.1093/alh/ajm055.

Heise, Ursula K. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Ecocriticism.” PMLA 121, no. 2 (2006): 503–16. https://doi.org/10.1632/003081206x129684.

Huggan, Graham. “‘Greening’ Postcolonialism: Ecocritical Perspectives.” MFS - Modern Fiction Studies 50, no. 3 (2004): 701–33. https://doi.org/10.1353/mfs.2004.0067.

Huggan, Graham, and Helen Tiffin. Postcolonial Ecocriticism: Literature, Animals, Environment. Oxon: Routledge, 2010.

Indriyanto, Kristiawan. “Aloha Aina: Native Hawai’ians’ Environmental Perspective in O.A Bushnell’s Ka’a’awa.” Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities 12, no. 1 (2020). https://doi.org/10.21659/rupkatha.v12n1.04.

———. “Hawaii’s Ecological Imperialism: Postcolonial Ecocriticism Reading on Kiana Davenport’s Shark Dialogues.” International Journal of Humanity Studies 2, no. 2 (2019): 123–33. https://doi.org/10.24071/ijhs.2019.020202.

Joni Adamson, and Scott Slovic. “Guest Editors’ Introduction: The Shoulders We Stand On: An Introduction to Ethnicity and Ecocriticism.” MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S. 34, no. 2 (2009): 5–24. https://doi.org/10.1353/mel.0.0019.

Kaomea, Julie. “A Curriculum of Aloha? Colonialism and Tourism in Hawai‘i’s Elementary Textbooks.” Curriculum Inquiry 30, no. 3 (July 1, 2000): 319–44. https://doi.org/10.1111/0362-6784.00168.

Kay-Trask, Haunani. From a Native Daughter : Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai’i. Revised Ed. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1993.

Maisaroh, Siti. “Reading Literature, Taking Philosophical Ideas, And Obtaining Characters.” Okara : Jurnal Bahasa dan Sastra 11, no. 1 (2017): 141–60. https://doi.org/10.19105/ojbs.v11i1.

Marland, Pippa. “Ecocriticism.” Literature Compass 10, no. 11 (2013): 846–68. https://doi.org/10.1111/lic3.12105.

Mcgregor, Davianna Pomaika’i. Na Kua’aina Living Hawaiian Culture. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2007.

Michener, James A. Hawaii. New York: Random House, Inc., 1959.

Mitchell. Donald D Kilolani. Revised Units in Hawaiian Culture. 4th ed. Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools, 1982.

Murphy, Patrick D. “Women Writers : Spiritual Realism, Ecological Responsibility, and Inhabitation.” Journal of Literature, Culture and Media Studies 1, no. 1 (2009): 5–11.

Newman, Katharine. “Hawaiian-American Literature Today: The Cultivation of Mangoes.” MELUS 6, no. 2 (1979): 46–77. https://doi.org/10.2307/467547.

Newman, Lance. The Literary Heritage of the Environmental Justice Movement Landscapes of Revolution in Transatlantic Romanticism. Palgrave: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011.

Oppermann, Serpil. “Ecological Imperialism in British Colonial Fiction.” Journal of Faculty of Letters Cilt 24, no. 1 (2007): 179–94.

Plumwood, Val. “Androcentrism and Anthrocentrism: Parallels and Politics.” Source: Ethics and the Environment 1, no. 2 (1996): 119–52.

———. “Decolonizing Relationships with Nature.” In Decolonizing Nature: Strategies for Conservation in a Post-Colonial Era, edited by W. M. (William Mark) Adams and Martin. Mulligan, 51–78. London: Earthscan Publications, 2003. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781849770927-9.

Robert P. Marzec. “Speaking Before the Environment: Modern Fiction and the Ecological.” MFS Modern Fiction Studies 55, no. 3 (2009): 419–42. https://doi.org/10.1353/mfs.0.1632.

Said, Edward W. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.

———. Orientalism. London: Penguin Books, 2014.

Scanlan, Emma. “Decolonizing the Light: Reading Resistance in Native Hawaiian Poetry.” Interventions 19, no. 7 (October 3, 2017): 976–95. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369801X.2017.1401950.

Silva, Noenoe K. Aloha Betrayed : Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism. London: Duke University Press, 2004.

Worster, Donald. Nature’s Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19105/ojbs.v14i1.3185

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2020 Kristiawan Indriyanto

 



View My StatsFree counters!
 
  


Creative Commons License
OKARA: Jurnal Bahasa dan Sastra is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at Rumah Jurnal IAIN Madura