The Rural Development Campaign and Dongwoohoi in Kwangsoo Lee novel Heuk(soil)
This paper is to assert that Lee Kwang-su's novel Heuk(soil) is an representation of the construction of an ideal village as a part of Dongwoohoi Movement started by Dosan Ahn Chang-ho. This novel is closely associated with the development of the cooperative movement and Rural Development Campaign in the 1930s, describing the youth’s worry about how to live under the Japanese rule. In this connection, Lee proposed three agendas based on the ideas of Dongwoohoi, from “The Three Basic Projects of the Korean National Movement” publishied in the magazine Dongkwang(the light of the East) in Feb. 1932. Those three are the formation of intelligentsia, the enlightenment of farmers and workers followed by the production improvement and the cooperative movement. In the novel Heuk, the project of formation of intelligentsia are represented by love affairs, self-sacrifice, process of regeneration among the youth, and the injection of a professional into a rural movement. Also, the processes of improving life quality through the establishment of the cooperative movement, the enlightenment of farmers, and the production improvement are described realistically in this novel. In this point, Heuk is not a vague rural enlightenment novel. It confronts the policies of Government-General of Korea squarely, which were to control the rural society by the Rural Development Campaign. This point is demonstrated especially by two episodes in this novel. Firstly, the Japanese tries to exploit Korean rural society by way of planting in checkrows. Secondly, the cooperative movement initiated by Heo Sung eventually changes into Mr. Han’s platform of the alternative Rural Development Campaign, integrating the Production Increase Union of Yu Jeong-keun which was closely in collusion with the Japanese police station. In this plot, the problems of the Rural Development Campaign are detected, whereas the beautiful aspects of the ideal village, Lee Gwang-su and Dosan tried to construct, is revealed. Appropriating the Rural Development Campaign initiated by Government-General of Korea, this novel claims that the realization of an ideal village, such as Sal-yeo-ul and Geom-bul-lang, by the power of Korean intellectual youth, is necessary for colonial Korea.