A Stylistic Analysis of a Selected Short Story in Agnes Newton Keith's Land below the Wind: Narratorial Shift, Ambivalence and Mimicry in Colonial Writing
Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how the story short A Man of the River Goes Home (henceforth MRGH) by Agnes Keith in her Land Below the Wind (1939) differs from the rest of the stories in this compilation. As an autobiographical work, Land Below the Wind deals mostly with the author's account of her own life and experience in Sabah during the British colonial era. This may include things she needs to endure, how she feels about the country and her inner thoughts as a white woman who
... t starting to adapt to a new life in Sabah. This paper is based on this particular short story (MRGH) since it demonstrates how the author changes her style of writing from an autobiographical to a creative mode (i.e transforming fact to fiction). In other words, this is among few instances where Agnes seems to offer a different stroke of her penmanship and that the language and element of fiction used in her narrative is particularized in such a way that it enables her to explore the life of the main character, Abu Nawas while at the same time reflects her own situation being away from home in North America. A Man of the River Goes Home as a short story also testifies Agnes's ability to critically empathise with the native during the era where colonial rules were taking its roots and that her narration of 'Abanawas versus the White Man's Law' definitely offers a perspective of a white woman spreading the message of humanity to her western readers amidst her ambivalent position as a wife to a colonial administrator.