The imperialistic injustices of the 19th century have become the firmly institutionalized injustices of the 20th century in many countries, as evidenced by the fact that Pramoedya wrote this novel while imprisoned in Indonesia because he was considered a subversive writer.
This work, the second volume of the Buru Quartet speaks convincingly for itself. The balanced and enchanted life of natives in the Dutch East Indies of the 1890s is disrupted as they are set against one another and destroyed by the Dutch. As Minke, the main character of This Earth of Mankind, struggles to reclaim a dignified identity amid the confusion, we can feel the universal plight of the oppressed anywhere, whether caused by governments, terrorists, or technology. If this seems a bold claim for a novel, it is because Child is the kind of work that upholds the drastically important tradition of literature’s attempt to create empathy.