(En)Gendering the Nation: An Analysis of Kuo Pao Kun's <em>Descendants of the Eununch Admiral</em>

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Susan Philip


In this paper, I take the position that as a nation, Singapore is 'gendered' in a specific and very deliberate way which serves to re-entrench the dominant role of the patriarchal state over its people, towards the goal of achieving economic prosperity and stability. The state has provided its people with a remarkably comfortable lifestyle, and has taken in return the political will and agency of the people. I argue that this is done through the construction of two levels of gender: a masculine, paternalistic gender at the state level and a de-masculinised, neutered gender identity at the level of the people. This deliberate and considered gendering of state and nation will be analysed through a close examination of Kuo Pau Kun's 1995 play <em>Descendents of the Eununch Admiral</em>, a sublte allegory which looks at state intervention in the creation of a materialistic society, but also implicates the individual who capitulates to materialism, thus losing both spiritual ease and political agency. 


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PHILIP, Susan. (En)Gendering the Nation: An Analysis of Kuo Pao Kun's Descendants of the Eununch Admiral. SARE: Southeast Asian Review of English, [S.l.], v. 48, n. 1, p. 39-55, may 2017. ISSN 0127-046X. Available at: <https://sare.um.edu.my/article/view/3498>. Date accessed: 20 sep. 2020.