Exploring Human-place Relationship in K.S. Maniam’s Between Lives

By Mohammad Ewan Awang and Wan Roselezam Wan Yahya.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study aims at foregrounding the element of place and the phenomenology of the reciprocal human-place relationship in K.S. Maniam novel Between Lives. The novel captures the essence of the central characters, whose development throughout the novel is not solely the consequence of human connection or interaction, but also subject to the structure of place that frames the setting of the novel. The novel simultaneously invokes a sense of place, and the powerful spirit emanating from it — calling for human beings to approach a given place with openness, which eventually draws them into a reconciliation with their ‘lost’ genuine self-identities. This paper seeks to bring forth the significance of place and its significance over the characters involved, and how a deep relationship with place is as necessary, and perhaps as unavoidable, as close relationships with people; without such relationships, human existence is bereft of much of its significance. Between Lives has a rich incorporation of place, and it also asserts an organic hybrid — that nature or place and human are intertwined and that memories, histories and the past are continuously relived to project a ‘sense of place’ and a ‘sense of belonging’.

Keywords: Literature of Place, Malaysian Literature

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.13-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 681.232KB).

Mohammad Ewan Awang

Postgraduate Student Researcher, Department of English, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Mohammad Ewan Awang completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Malaysia in April 2009. His major field of interest is place studies in literature. He is also interested in the area of Romantic literature, Asian literature, and Ecocriticism. He is currently working on a research on Nature Imagery in Victorian Literature and pursuing his postgraduate studies in English Literature in University Putra Malaysia.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wan Roselezam Wan Yahya

Senior Lecturer, Department of English, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Wan Roselezam Wan Yahya is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia. She is involved in several researches dealing with literature & culture, psychoanalysis & literature, literature in ESL, and diasporic literature.

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