The Second World War which lasted from 1939-1945 left a deep dent in the lives of many victims in the world. The four-year Japanese rule in Malaya created a permanent scar in the hearts of the Malayans which lingered on even after many decades. The sufferings of the Malayan people under the inhuman Japanese army are clearly depicted in the two novels selected for this research, Rani Manicka’s The Rice Mother (2002) and The Japanese Lover (2010). The novels are about how women are subjected to the effects of war during the Japanese occupation, the pain of separation from a mother and her child, and the challenges a woman goes through to survive within a community. Manicka has used the Japanese occupation in Malaya as part of the settings for both novels. The characters will be studied under the light of trauma theory to highlight the irreparable damages caused by war on the psyche and the emotions of the characters as portrayed in the two novels. Trauma describes experiences that are emotionally painful and distressing whereby the victims face the inability to cope with life and it leaves behind a fundamental life-altering effect. This study aims to highlight the atrocities of the Japanese army in Malaya by studying the female characters in the selected novels. Secondly, this study will analyze the damages brought by the war to the female characters in the novels using the trauma theory and finally show how the war left a permanent damage in the lives of the female victims. The novelist highlights the injustices done to women in such societies and how they suffer even more after colonization. This double marginalization shatters and traumatizes the female identities. Therefore, this article will further break down the coping mechanisms used by the female characters to survive.
Ayaicha, Somia; Mani, Manimangai; Ewan Bin Awang, Mohamed; and Khelifa Chelihi, Rania
"The Traumatic Effect of the Japanese War on Women in Rani Manicka’s Selected Novels,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 24:
1, Article 7.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol24/iss1/7