Fear of Falling: Existentialism and Class Consciousness in Goh Poh Seng's A Dance of Moths

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Sim Wai Chew

Abstract

Leong Choon-Heng highlights the "contentment," docility and political "passivity" of the middle class and argues that these attributes stem from its totalisation of its historical experience of disenfrenchisement. Immersed in a non-participatory environment, it finds that it has no appetite or imagination for change. This essay augments our understanding of the issue raised through an analysis of Goh Poh Seng's 1995 novel, A Dance of Moths. The novel is pertinent to the issues raised because of the way it mobilises and negotiates contending class subjectivities.  Ultimately I argue, Dance contributes to the inscription of an imaginary that aids the reproduction of capital. In that sense it fosters a socially stratified itinerary. Taken as a whole, the novel provides useful insights into the processes of social class formation as well as tension, antimony and contradiction.

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How to Cite
CHEW, Sim Wai. Fear of Falling: Existentialism and Class Consciousness in Goh Poh Seng's A Dance of Moths. SARE: Southeast Asian Review of English, [S.l.], v. 50, n. 1, p. 711-82, may 2017. ISSN 0127-046X. Available at: <https://sare.um.edu.my/article/view/3401>. Date accessed: 25 jan. 2020.
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