Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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Burmese Days, one of George Orwell's less well-known works, is often regarded as his personal testimony about his traumatic experiences in Burma. Since it portrays the life of a white man living in the colony, the theme of colonialism has been quite exhaustively explored. In contrast, gender issues in the novel have been left almost untouched. This article proposes that Burmese Days does not have only a single plot. Another plot, the patriarchal plot, develops alongside the colonial plot, although more subtly. Through these parallel plots, the interrelation between colonialism and patriarchy, together with the cooperation of the subjects under their domination, is revealed. Besides offering the reader another perspective on Burmese Days, this analysis aims to cast some light on the nature of power. Because the two powers in the novel work interdependently, it can be said that a particular power does not have a "center" within itself. It can be exercised and maintained through other kinds of power, which means many participants are included. Therefore, it cannot be straightforwardly dismantled. Instead, the whole oppressive system in which diversified elements interplay must be questioned.

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