Early years[ edit ] Pramoedya was born on 6 February , in the town of Blora in the heartland of Java ,  then a part of the Dutch East Indies. He was the firstborn son in his family; his father was a teacher, who was also active in Boedi Oetomo the first recognized indigenous national organization in Indonesia and his mother was a rice trader. His maternal grandfather had taken the pilgrimage to Mecca. The Javanese prefix "Mas" refers to a man of the higher rank in a noble family. Consequently, he omitted "Mas" and kept Toer as his family name.
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The fourteen-year-old lovely girl from a fishing village became the wife of a nobleman, the assistant to the Regent of Rembang. Her parents thought they were giving her a better life in this arranged marriage. She found out she was just a "practice wife" or a concubine since a nobleman must marry within his own social class.
She is referred to as "the girl" throughout the story which seems fitting since she is treated like a piece of property, rather than as an individual. The kindness of an older woman servant helps the girl navigate her way in the household. Her story is written simply but emotionally, almost like a fable. The story took place during the Dutch colonial rule of Java Indonesia around The brutality of the Dutch occupants is described by many characters, especially the forced labor to build a railroad line.
The tale also gives us a look into the lives of the men and women in the fishing village where the fishermen risk their lives in the sea to put food on the table. This first book is the only one that survived.
The last two books were destroyed by the Indonesian military. The author spent more than seventeen years imprisoned by both colonial and independent governments for his political activity.
Maybe the reason is that the girl of the title herself understands so little of what exactly is expected of her, she has to learn every artificial response in the alien culture that she has been brought to.
And then when she returns to her village there is violence and coercion that is also shadowy and bewildering. But these events in her village form a kind of reversal, a kind of retaliation against that feudal governing class that strip the girl of the one thing she treasures, her own daughter. I wondered about the translation, as sometimes words jar, in particular the colloquial expressions that are probably meant to render the vernacular of the fishermen, but merely sit on the surface like a piece of dirty foam.
And I always felt as if I was outside of this, it was affecting, but in an intellectual way rather than emotionally.
Perburuan: Sebuah Novel
Pramoedya Ananta Toer