Exile at Home: Alienation in Rehman Rashid’s A Malaysian Journey

Hoe Pik Lin, Wan Roselezam Wan Yahya


A Malaysian Journey served as a novel which detailed and recorded Malaysia’s journey as a country from its pre-independence era until the time of the novel’s publication in 1993. But more than that, it was a novel of Rashid’s personal journey as he rediscovered his country and his own identity. As such, it was a highly personal memoir which reflected Rashid’s state of mind, his condition, and the problems which he faced through the years. Alienation was one of the problems that Rashid encountered throughout his life. This sense of alienation may be manifested in many forms, which could be through his ethnicity, language, religion as well as location. This alienation could occur due to the isolation that others forcefully impose on him, or it could be from his rejection towards his contemporaries. Rashid’s sense of alienation only further fueled his condition as both an external and internal exile of his country, whereby he was unable to feel at home wherever he was. It was only after he discarded his foreign view of the country, casting off his state of mind as an exile at the end of the story that he was able to finally feel at home without being plagued by thoughts of alienation.



Bumiputra status, Malay ethnicity, personal memoir, post-colonial literature, unhomed

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.3p.9


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