The Agents
Jean Tay comments about the agents “They are really the people you meet on the street – the people who annoy you.” Although they are an exaggerated portrayal of property agents in real life, they seem quite realistic in the views and values they present. In the same manner as the Civil servants, the property agents represent progress and the future, as they are the product of the property boom in Singapore, attracted to the quick money to be made.

When we first meet them in Act One, Scene One, we see very clearly that what they say is not what they mean. They sell property by all means possible, even if it means creative use of the truth (‘life will be perfect once they move into their dream home’). When we see them speaking to one another, we see that they have bought into the materialistic vision that they represent and their aim in life is to make money.

In many ways, Boon fits into this world. But he also seems very different from them too, and by the end, he seems to have moved away from the materialistic vision he wanted

Qualities of the property agents

Personal Quality
Evidence
Analysis
Materialistic
‘these are the keys to my new condo’
Agent 1 makes a big point of the fact that he has a new condo, much to the annoyance of Boon who is ‘still staying with [his] mother’
Buy into the hype that they sell
‘This is not your basic luxury condo. It’s a one-of-a-kind, ultra-exclusive, high-end-SUPER-luxury sky villa’
‘I tell you, this is the real thing’
The exaggeration we see them using in Act One, Scene One, is also their reasons for buying their condo, clearly indicating that they are as materialistic as the people they sell to.
Frustrated by family
‘I stay with my in-laws until want to vomit blood’
Agent 2 is sympathetic to Boon when he finds out he has fallen out with his mother, and lends him the keys to the Paradise Gardens showflat.
Aspirational
‘Scotts Place. Very shiok, walk down only shopping centre’
They aspire to better themselves from what they have had in the past – to live their dreams out.