Document Type : Original Article


1 Sanata Dharma University, Indonesia

2 Sebelas Maret University, Indonesia


This study examines the resilience and challenges faced by indigenous children in pursuing their career aspirations in 1930s colonial Java through the children’s novel “Bocah Mangkunegaran”. Using a descriptive-qualitative method and drawing from postcolonial theory and reader-response perspectives, it explores the impact of colonial contexts on their career ambitions across various sectors. Their career choices in trade, agriculture, craftsmanship, palace guards, and the arts reflect their ability to overcome challenges and demonstrate unique resilience. For instance, in trade, they leaned toward entrepreneurial roles, seeking independence from colonial influence. Similarly, in agriculture, they aspired to roles like water custodians, emphasizing the importance of these positions. Their career paths often mirrored parental influences, integrating cultural heritage. Their roles as palace guards highlighted the complexities of indigenous children within the colonial structure.