Monday, June 25, 2012

Black Beauty

[conclusion in English is in the bottom of this post]

Sebuah buku yang menggedor pintu kesadaran kita semua akan perlakukan manusia terhadap sesama makhluk ciptaan Tuhan. Black Beauty adalah kisah tentang kehidupan seekor kuda, yang ia tuturkan sendiri dari sudut pandangnya. Kisah dimulai ketika Beauty masih seekor kuda muda (colt) yang masih menikmati indahnya menjadi kuda yang bebas merdeka di sebuah peternakan bersama ibunya. Beauty dididik dengan baik oleh sang ibu yang selalu menanamkan nilai-nilai kehidupan. Dari awal ibunya menekankan bahwa kehidupan kuda memang selalu tergantung pada manusia yang menjadi majikannya, kuda tak akan pernah merdeka. Mereka beruntung bila mendapatkan majikan yang memperhatikan kepentingan mereka dan memberikan kasih sayang kepada mereka, namun adakalanya nasib membawa mereka ke tangan pemilik yang kejam, dan memperlakukan kuda bak sebuah mesin. Kemanapun nasib membawa, sang ibu mengajarkan kepada Beauty, bahwa ia harus selalu berusaha sebaik mungkin.

Setelah itu Beauty berganti-ganti pemilik. Ada pemilik yang baik hati dan memahami kuda, ada pula majikan yang hanya suka memaksa kuda bekerja keras. Beauty pernah bekerja sebagai kuda penarik kereta bagi tuan/nyonya rumah, pernah pula menjadi kuda penarik cabs (kereta taxi). Kadang ia merasa bahagia, kadang pula sengsara. Semuanya ia lalui dengan selalu berusaha melakukan yang terbaik dan tak memberontak seperti ajaran ibunya.

Dan lewat penuturan Anna Sewell ini kita secara tak langsung diajak untuk lebih memahami tentang cara merawat dan menyayangi kuda, atau makhluk lain ciptaan Tuhan secara umum. Anda akan menemukan banyak pelajaran moral dari buku ini. Dan satu hal yang menarik, kuda—meski secara fisik nampak serupa satu sama lain—ternyata memiliki karakter yang berbeda karena masa lalunya pun berbeda. Sama seperti manusia!

Lima kereta untuk kisah yang menyentuh ini! J

Conclusion:

We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.

I always thought Black Beauty is a children book. Well, it is—perhaps, but I am grateful to read it as an adult, as I got so many deep philosophies throughout the book, which I might not have appreciated as a child. The main theme is how we should treat animals as God’s creatures, that animals—just as human being—can feel and need affection. Sewell gave several examples in this story, of people who ill-treated their horses, as if they were machines. In fact, not only that it’s not good for the horses, in the long run it was not good for the owner too. Over-working would only shortening horse’s productivity, and at the end the owner must sell it and buy a new horse after every short interval of time.

Sewell also criticized how people at that time (the 19th century) used horses as fashion accessories. The use of bearing rein, for example; its purpose was merely to lift horses’ head to appear stouter when they were used on carriages. Victorian high class people liked to show off their stout horses, it’s the latest fashion. They never thought about the horses, how they must bear the tension and uncomfortable neck position for hours. If the horses could talk, here’s what they might say:

You, who never had a bearing rein on, don't know what it is; but I can tell you it is dreadful. (...) I like to toss my head about, and hold it as high as any horse; but you can fancy how it would feel if you tossed your head up high and were obliged to hold it there for hours together, not able to move it at all, except with a jerk still higher; and all this time your neck was aging till you did not know how to bear it." ~p. 46

There are a lot of other examples of ill-using of horses in this book that made me want to slap all those absurd people who only thought about their appearances. But on the other hand, Sewell also gives many examples on how you should treat horses (or animals in general). Being the same creation of God, they too need to be loved, like us. From Black Beauty and his friends, I learn that they didn’t mind to work hard, as long as the owner took care of their needs and stands for them when they were in danger or being treated badly.

In the end, man and horse (which represent all animals) were all habitant of this earth. We can’t live alone; we need each other, so why don’t we work everything together, hand in hand? When man and horse can trust each other, they would be a strong partner in a harmony of life. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Five stars for Black Beauty, it’s indeed one of those touching readings!

Title: Black Beauty
Author: Anna Sewell
Publisher: Wordsworth Edition Limited
Published: 1993
Pages: 201

7 comments:

  1. Wah, kok panjangan conclusionnya daripada review bahasa Indonya yah? :D
    Aku pernah baca cergam Black Beauty ini, jadi tau sekilas soal berganti-ganti tuan dan saat Beauty dan kuda lain dipaksa untuk berjalan dengan kepala tegak. Ternyata itu menyakitkan dan nggak alamiah sama sekali ya buat mereka...

    Kapan2 pinjam aaah *tetep*

    Suka kalimat ini, pelajaran yang bagus banget bagi kita manusia yang kadang-kadang masih semena-mena memperlakukan binatang (bisa jadi cerminan bagaimana kita memperlakukan sesama manusia) --> From Black Beauty and his friends, I learn that they didn’t mind to work hard, as long as the owner took care of their needs and stands for them when they were in danger or being treated badly.

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    Replies
    1. Hahahah... 'pinjem mode'-nya gak pernah off ya? :P

      Aku setuju bahwa cara kita memperlakukan hewan merupakan cerminan kita memperlakukan sesama ya, karena dasarnya adalah satu: kasih.

      Delete
  2. oh gitu? kupikir black beauty cerita tentang anak-anak yang suka bersahabat dengan kuda. tertipu desain covernya orangebooks

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    1. Bukan, Sin. Memang Black Beauty buku untuk anak-anak, tapi tokoh utamanya para kuda (terutama Black Beauty) dan orang-orang dengan siapa mereka bekerja. Tema utamanya adalah cara manusia merawat dan bekerja sama dengan kuda. Memang bagus juga untuk anak2, tapi menurutku buku ini justru harus dibaca orang dewasa, terutama yang memeilihara binatang.

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  3. akhirnya nemu jga org yg nulis tentang ini film.menurut saya ini film paling masuk akal dari perspektif si kudanya.menyentuh bgt ketika ia memperoleh majikan yg galak.dan ketika khirnya ia berganti pemilik seorang yg memang sayang binatang.dengan di waha pohon kesukaanya ia pun bermain dengan senang di perkebunan yang luas it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maaf, kayaknya kamu salah deh, aku ngomongin tentang bukunya, bukan filmnya.

      Delete
  4. nice blog
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