This paper attempts to examine how Vyvyane Loh's contemplation on the national identity of Singapore is exemplified through cultural memory and violence that are made tangible in the moment of the national upheaval. Violence in Breaking the Tongue makes possible the representation of trauma and allows readers to experience the cruelty of war. Violence also serves as the narratological strategy to evoke cultural memory. References to Chinese culture and Chinese classics constitute the cultural memory in this novel, by which Claude survives Sook Ching, and in the end recognizes and reshapes his identity. Another character, Ling-li, is characterized as the follower of General Yue Fei's legacy of loyalty, strengthening the connection between ethnic Chinese and the Chinese culture. Although such connection incurs criticisms on Loh's reiteration of the national ideology for her remodeling Claude as his ethnicity determines, it also invites reflection on whether Chineseness becomes an unbreakable burden for ethnic Chinese in Singaporean context.