Introduction : We are introduced to Mariah, who is seen by the women in the village as being the source of the problem.
Rising action : The Imam goes to Mariah’s stall for the first time and Cik Gu Nab reports what she sees (and hears) to Cik Yam. Cik Yam confronts Imam about his visit to the Kedai Merpati.
We also see the internal conflicts faced by the Imam, particularly in his feelings towards his first love and also Mariah
Climax : The Imam informs Cik Yam of his decision to take Mariah as his second wife.
Falling action : Cik Yam approves of Imam’s decision to take Mariah as his second wife.
Denouement : Mariah and the Imam get married.
Place – small village in Molo, Imam’s house, Mariah’s Kedai Merpati
Time – indefinite, though it seems to focus on what the community commonly does in the earlier half of the day (morning to early noon)
Social environment – a religious community steeped in traditions, very closely knitted, as seen by the women’s protective attitudes towards their their fellow sisters
Nasi berlauk which is regarded as a symbol of Mariah’s desirability and how she is assumed to be a product to be consumed by the men
The nasi berlauk is also to a lesser extent seen as a symbol of a good housewife (this is as discussed by my students)
Short kebaya – a symbol of carnal temptation, a woman to be desired
Cik Yam – loyal, good Muslim wife, virtuous, has good culinary skills, unbiased (as seen from the way she disregards all the gossip about Mariah)
Imam – religious leader, secretive (when it comes to his feelings about Mariah)
Mariah - independent
CIk Gu Leh
Cik Gu Nab
Point of view
Third person omniscient as we see the thoughts of Cik Yam, the Imam and to a lesser extent, Mariah at the end of the story
Confused : Cik Yam is confused when Cik Gu Nab reports how Mariah is a threat to the other women.
Shocked : When Cik Gu Nab accuses Mariah of enticing the men in the village
Nostalgic – when the Imam looks back at his past love
Sarcastic and hostile – when CIk Gu Nab reacts to Cik Yam’s comments about Mariah
Distressed – when Cik Yam is overwhelmed by distress upon hearing the Imam’s request
Humans, when faced with a dilemma, may sometimes give in to temptation.
Women are expected to resign to their fate.
Beautiful woman are often regarded as objects of desire.