The Death Watch By Yeow Siew Hoon April 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Urahara Kisuke @ 1:46 am

Personal Review

The Death Watch is written by Yeow Siew Hoon, the “ young “ generation of Malaysian

writer who was born and raised in Penang. She lives in Singapore in the present time.

Whenever she was free, she would travel and writes during her own time off. This short

story is about a man named Harry, married to the lusty Jane. Harry, in his old age right

now, wished that her wife would be dead in no time. This is because he was tried of

feeding her super-obese wife and worried that his savings after his wife’s death would soon be finished

before her death. Jane was once a slender, beautiful women but her lust for food had made her a super size

women. For a few years, both of them had a happy marriage but things started to go dull when Jane started

to eat excessively and ended up being an obese. Their 3 children quickly moved out to another house once

they have started to earn their own money. The endless feeding continued until one night when Harry wished

that Jane would die quickly, he bought three roasted chicken and ate it with his wife. During the meal, he got

choked. He was struggling to breath and tried to ask his wife to help him. But, sadly, her could not move to

help him and she ended up watching her husband died. The Death Watch itself means that

Harry waited for her wife to be dead but ironically, her wife ended up watching his death. Unconditional love

is the theme of the story. Harry let his love for Jane turned him into a coward and weak-hearted man, who

cannot stop Jane from consuming more food day by day. As a result, Harry could not stop Jane when she

became larger and his savings were drained to the last cent. His unconditional love also caused him to lose

love from his children. Yeow Siew Hoon’s story added another life that resembled the Malaysian culture. This

attention-grabbing story was good enough to relate readers to their everyday life. The irony that had been

showed at the end of the story is the most intriguing part. Jane’s unhealthy eating habit is an explicit and

clear picture of Malaysian and Singaporean lifestyle. Based on the research done by the Ministry of Health,

the country’s level of obesity is one of the highest in South East Asia region. The unhealthy way of eating

habits and social relationship are one of the major problem that most Malaysian and Singaporean is having

at the present time. Although that this story portrayed the negative side of the modern Malaysian and

Singaporean people, its purpose is to raise the awareness of the reader on the importance of taking care of

our health especially in food consumption and habit. In addition, it also showed the side effect of

incapability of controlling one’s lust, resulting in the lost of love and care in the family. Next , for the

elements of nativization in the story, the writer mentioned a lot of popular Malaysian food such as nasi

lemak, rending, roti prata, kuey tiow, laksa and the famous Western junk food such as Mc Donald and

Kentucky Fried Chicken. These names are not just popular in its own category but it is also the food that can

caused people to obese easily if taken excessively. They are undeniably delicious but it must be taken in a

controlled quantity.


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