Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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This paper aims at studying the image of women in modern Thai literature, with emphasis on analysis of the image of woman and the image of warrior. The main concept is that the two images, which seem contradictory, have usually appeared together in Thai literature in the past as well as today. One image is oftentimes obvious while the other is underlying. Women in Thai literature is, thus, present dual images, while the images of the ideal women emphasizes womanhood which is inferior in status to manhood in all respects. This study makes use of the didactic religious literature of the past as an introduction to the image of the ideal woman in Thai society. It will then move to historical documents to explore the image of historical heroines. The main focus of this paper will be the analyses of some popular novels and short stories in order to discuss the dual images of women in these particular literary genres. Novels and short stories are, apart from their great capability in recording social phenomena, movements, and changes, the genres with the greatest influence on the value system of society. Also, novels and short stories are to a certain extent a continuation of traditional narrative literature, e.g. tales, myth and so on, which had great influence in Thai society before Westernization. The study focuses on four novels: Chanhom by Wasit Detkunchon, A Woman Named Bunrot by Botan, Khu Kam by Thamayanti, and Nuea Nang by Krisna Asoksin, and two short stories: The Fifth Train Trip, by Atsiri Thammachot and A Pot Stained Beyond Scraping by Anchan.

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