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Title: How to Make a Home: Space, Memory and Narrative in Singapore Literature
Authors: Khoo En Ping Clarilyn
Issue Date: 13-Nov-2017
Citation: Khoo En Ping Clarilyn (2017-11-13). How to Make a Home: Space, Memory and Narrative in Singapore Literature. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This paper examines how characters in Singapore literature explore methods of making or searching for home in Singapore in order to resist a condition of homelessness, with varying degrees of success, where home is a physical place where an individual feels they belong, and feeling a sense of home is feeling an emotional connection to a particular space due to shared memory. In the first chapter, comparing Heartland and Gone Case shows how characters unsuccessfully attempt to navigate the HDB heartlands, and end up feeling emotionally estranged from where they live. This emotional estrangement is caused by a lack of connection to generational memory, producing a sense of rootlessness and homelessness in characters. In the second chapter, Boom demonstrates how to maintain a home in the face of physical destruction and emotional trauma, and confronts the latter in order to recover connection to the past. The emergence of a specifically imaginative mode of preserving home in Boom suggests that narrative may be actively used to recreate a sense of home in space. The third chapter examines how narrative in The Resident Tourist becomes actively used to explore modes of belonging, and how the search for home becomes increasingly alienating. Narrative enables connection between self and home, but this relationship is ever-changing and requires constant renewal. All the texts portray the difficulties of continuing to pursue and work towards home in Singapore while simultaneously presenting characters who continue hoping for home from within a hostile space.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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