Critics as Guidance: Parenthood in The First Malay Autobiography Hikayat Abdullah
This paper aims to identify parenting guides in the first Malay autobiography of Hikayat Abdullah and then analyse them in the context of the traditional Malay society in the 19th century AD. The conquest of Abdullah Munshi as Father of Modern Malay Literature has provoked various reactions from scholars. Some consider Abdullah Munshi to bring renewal in Malay literature through criticisms of custom and culture that have been practiced since his birth. There are other scholars who disagree with the coronation and consider Abdullah Munshi's criticisms have deviated far from previous writing conventions. However, none of these studies have highlighted the criticism as a guided talk that he firmly emphasized. Thus, using the textual analysis method of Hikayat Abdullah and supported by the perspective of Swettenham (1895) on the minds and cultures of the Malay community which was objectively assessed by him, this study was able to improve the image of Abdullah Munshi, which was considered pro-British. What's more, the criticism is a guide focused on family institution especially to parents. Indirectly, this study proves that Abdullah Munshi views parenting guidance as something serious in order to produce a dignified and civilized generation. In conclusion, the autobiography of Hikayat Abdullah is not merely a new writing deviating from traditional Malay conventions, but is beneficial to the authors’ audience.
Keywords - Guide, parents, autobiography, Abdullah Munshi, Hikayat Abdullah