Korea and Indonesia do not belong to the same cultural sphere, but they share a history of colonization by imperial countries. Therefore it will be meaningful to conduct a comparative study of literary works that are set during the colonial period of both countries. This study attempts to analyze Yeom Sang-seop’s novels Mansejeon (Before the Liberation, 1924) and Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s Tetralogi Pulau Buru (Buru Quartet, 1980-1988) as the representatives of colonial and post-colonial authors of both countries. By using the post-colonial theory of Homi Bhabha, the similarities and differences of post-colonial elements, such as mimicry, ambivalence, and resistance will be analyzed. Both of the authors’ works depict the situation of the colonial period of both countries. In these novels, even though the colonized people mimic the colonizers, they still receive unequal treatment which sparks the colonized people’s sense of resistance that led to the formations of resistance. The colonizer provides education for the colonized in order to make them ‘mimic and follow’, but at the same time they conduct surveillance of the colonized. In the comparison of Mansejeon and Tetralogi Pulau Buru, Japan and the Netherlands’ education systems for the colonized display differences. Furthermore, by analyzing the main characters of both works, it is shown that these characters are able to heightened their awareness of their nation and people through the colonial education that they receive. This national consciousness leads them to conduct a form of resistance. However, they are also surveilled through this system. In Korea, acts of resistance were not widespread at that time so the surveillance is also not very extreme. On the other hand, acts of resistance in Indonesia is at first not very active but becomes more widespread and even leads to the act of sending those who resist into exile.
Yeom Sang-seop, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Postcolonial Writing, Mimicry, Resistance, Ambivalence, Surveillance