The Empowered and the Disempowered: Class Struggle in Two Malaysian Literary Works

Ismail Khalaf Salih
Education Directorate of Al-Anbar, Iraq


This paper intends to highlight the difference between violation of law by the empowered class members and the disempowered class members in terms of the consequences to the society. The study focuses on the concepts of exploitation and abuse. The main theme is to explain how ordinary people are damaged and frustrated because of the empowered class corrupt exploitation of law and authority. The study will utilize two Malaysian short stories, “Ballerina in Pink” and “Sinful Saints”. Ballerina in Pink demonstrates corruption of an empowered class member who takes a bribery from a drug trafficker, protects him from the law and resulting traumatic impacts on society. “Sinful Saints” demonstrates situation-enforced crimes committed by the disempowered class members and the severe judgment by law. In other words, the two texts juxtapose the act of greed and the act of need. “Ballerina in Pink” reveals that the more corrupted police officers work in offices, the more drug traffickers walk in the streets. The story demonstrates that exploitation of law by the empowered class members brings disastrous consequences to society. Moreover, bribery is the most familiar offence the corrupt officers often commit. The greed, rather than the need, is the motivation of taking such bloody money. “Sinful Saints” reveals that working class members are more vulnerable to the judgment of law in spite of their relatively minor violation of law which looks with its own theoretical lens regardless of the moral situation and human feeling.


empowered, disempowered, class, law, exploitation, abuse, corruption

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