Women and Modernity: Reading the Femme Fatale in Early Twentieth-Century Indies Novels
This article discusses one major trend among novels of early twentieth-century Indonesia, that is stories of the tragic femme fatale. A close examination of one such novel, Tan Boen Kim’s Riboet or the Venomous Flower, and others like it reveals a curious thematic pattern in which women are cautioned against embracing new practices and ways of life such as obtaining education and taking up a profession. This article argues that these novels reflect a certain social symptom as they convey profound critiques of women in the age of modernity.
Volume & Issue:
Page range: 157-182
Cornell University Southeast Asia Program