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HuihuiNavigating Art and Literature in the Pacific$
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Jeffrey Carroll, Brandy Nalani McDougall, and Georganne Nordstrom

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838959

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838959.001.0001

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Un/Civilized Girls, Unruly Poems

Un/Civilized Girls, Unruly Poems

Jully Makini (Solomon Islands)

Chapter:
(p.46) Chapter Three Un/Civilized Girls, Unruly Poems
Source:
Huihui
Author(s):

Selina Tusitala Marsh

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824838959.003.0004

This chapter argues that identity can be reclaimed from those who have taken it away and made it foreign, alien to the roots of a culture repressed or reshaped. The discussion revolves around Jully Makini’s two poems, “Civilized Girl” (1981) and “Roviana Girl” (1986), both of which reflect themes found throughout Pacific poetry in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They are anticolonial in sentiment, protest uncritical adoptions of Westernization and modernization, lament cultural losses, and scoff at neocolonialism. Makini’s poems feature two unruly girls who refuse to submit to disempowering stereotypes. The chapter suggests that the gendered body in Makini’s poetry serves as a trope for the postcolonial Pacific Islands nation—specifically that of the Solomon Islands. It explains how Makini critiques the unquestioning adoption, not only of the Western trope of femininity, but also of all things Western that have the potential to corrupt, confine, and plunge the nation of the Solomon Islands into an identity crisis.

Keywords:   identity, Jully Makini, Westernization, modernization, neocolonialism, unruly girls, stereotypes, gendered body, Solomon Islands, femininity

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