Search icone
Search and publish your papers

King Mongkut: Man, Myth, and Misrepresentation

Or download with : a doc exchange

About the author


About the document

Published date
documents in English
6 pages
4 times
Validated by
0 Comment
Rate this document
  1. The real King Mongkut
  2. Anna claim to having been born in Carnarvon
  3. The portrayal of King Mongkut in The King and I
  4. The king: Not the only character to receive ill treatment at the hands of the script writers
  5. The general untruths found in the story
  6. The elaborate 'Small House of Uncle Thomas'
  7. The King and I: Banned in Thailand
  8. Anna and the King
  9. Conclusion
  10. Works cited

Fewer stories of a Western encounter with the ?Other? have been more popular than that of the English governess Anna Leonowens and King Mongkut (Rama IV) of Siam, now Thailand. The fascination began with the two books written by Anna herself, The English Governess at the Siamese Court and The Romance of the Harem, published in 1870 and 1873, respectively. Her story did not become famous, however, until Margaret Landon condensed the two books into the best-selling Anna and the King of Siam in 1944 (Kim 2). Two years later, the book was made into a movie starring Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison then a Broadway production as a musical play by Rodgers and Hammerstein with Gertrude Lawrence as Anna and Yul Brynner as the king. The most famous adaptation of the story was the 1956 Hollywood film entitled The King and I, with Deborah Kerr as the English school teacher opposite Brynner. It raised a scandal in Thailand for its ridiculous representation of King Mongkut, one of Thailand's national heroes, and was consequently banned there. Nearly a half-century later in 1999, Twentieth Century Fox decided to revive Anna Leonowens' story once again, supposedly determined this time, however, to give an accurate portrayal of Siam and its monarch. Although Anna and the King corrects many of the earlier faults of The King and I and even adds outright jibes at imperialism and the attitudes of British colonizers, it is still infused with the idea of the romanticized encounter with the exotic ?Other? and displays evidence of newer, more insidious forms of colonialism that continue to pervade Western-dominated institutions like the media.

[...] Despite all these conscious efforts to point out the evils of colonialism, Anna and the King is filled with just as much prejudice and exoticism as its predecessors and the making of the movie demonstrates newer forms of colonialism present in today's world. Of the Buddhist monk chants?which are at least accurate this time?Louis remarks: sounds like we're living in a beehive.? The princess is also described as a ?monkey girl? and admittedly in an endearing way that could be found in a child of any origin; this still plays to racist stereotypes, however, and was an invention of the script-writers, not an actual characterization of the Princess Fa-Ying. [...]

[...] The King and I has been banned in Thailand since its release for its complete misrepresentation of King Mongkut and the Siamese people and culture. Needless to say, when Twentieth-Century Fox approached the Thai government about shooting a remake of the film, officials were wary. After five major revisions of the script and still two rejections from the National Film Board, the Hollywood crew turned to neighboring Malaysia to film Anna and the King (Tripathi, King and 7-8). Despite Fox's intent to ?ensure the cultural and historical accuracy requested by the local government? (Tripathi, ?Fact and Fanciful Fiction,? 10) by employing Thai consulters and ?portray the talent and vision of King Rama IV (?Getting to Know the resulting production was still banned by the Thai censorship board with a very long list of valid reasons for their decision. [...]

[...] American Univ. of Paris Comp. Lab., Paris Feb . Elmore, Mick. King and U.S. News and World Report Jan. 2000: 35. OCLC FirstSearch. WilsonSelectPlus. American Univ. of Paris Comp. Lab., Paris Feb . Fisher, Bob. Authentic Fairy Tale.? American Cinematographer. Dec. 1999: 18. OCLC FirstSearch. WilsonSelectPlus. American Univ. of Paris Comp. Lab., Paris Feb . ?Getting to Know You.? Bangkok Post. Outlook Nov Thai Students Online Apr . Mattimoe, Edward J. ?Royal Treatment.? America Apr. 1996: 23-25. OCLC FirstSearch. WilsonSelectPlus. [...]

Top sold for literature

Defining and Studying the Modern African Diaspora (Colin Palmer)

 Philosophy & literature   |  Literature   |  School essay   |  09/14/2007   |   .doc   |   2 pages

Society Woman: Days of a Russian Noblewoman

 Philosophy & literature   |  Literature   |  Presentation   |  05/29/2008   |   .doc   |   5 pages

Recent documents in literature category

Stitches. A Memoir - David Small (2010)

 Philosophy & literature   |  Literature   |  Book review   |  01/27/2020   |   .doc   |   2 pages

The Submission essay - Amy Waldman (2011)

 Philosophy & literature   |  Literature   |  Book review   |  01/24/2020   |   .doc   |   3 pages