Among the different versions of Gimyeongcheoljeon, Bak Jaeyeon version is considered as the most similar one to original Gimyeongcheoljeon, and it’s more like novel than Jeon. In relation to the main character figure and inner function of war novel, the influence of jeon-gi novel is detected in Bak Jaeyeon version. Hence, it is important to understand the novelistic forming ways which can be found in Bak Jaeyeon version than the aspects of historical relation.
In Gimyeongcheoljeon, Gim Yeongcheol had to leave Joseon because of war, and had family in a foreign country. But in the end, he went back to Pyeong-an-do. However, in Bak Jaeyeon version, Gim Yeongcheol was described as the man who didn’t want to go back to his native country. He wanted to stay in foreign country, and had comfortable life. The reason he went back to Choson was because of fate, not because of his desire.
The spacial backgrounds of Gimyeongcheoljeon are Geon-ju, Deung-ju, and Pyeong-an-do. While Gim Yeongcheol was moving place to place, he met a woman in each place, and got married three times. In all three places, he had a son separately. However, comparing to other two places, the life in Pyeong-an-do was barely described. This characteristic is related to the ‘recording of experiences and observation’ style found in novelettish novel in 17th. In Gimyeongcheoljeon, Gim Yeongcheol conveyed his experiences to Gim Eung-won in his old age. Gim Yeongcheol didn’t tell the whole experiences to Gim Eung-won, but he chose some parts more meaningful to him, and recomposed the story. For Gim Yeongcheol, the symbolic meaning of Pyeong-an-do was death. When he was in Pyeong-an-do, his whole family was nothing but suffering. On the other hand, the symbolic meanings of Geon-ju and Deung-ju were ‘richness’ and ‘family affection’. Comparing to Pyeong-an-do, Geon-ju and Deung-ju were a paradise. Therefore, it can be said that the author of Gimyeongcheoljeon wanted to show the real aspects of Pyeong-an-do through the story of Geon-ju and Deung-ju.
There are big differences in the narrative views among Bak Jaeyeon version, Hong Setae version, and An Seokgyeong version. Each author agreed that Gim Yeongcheol was a tragic character who was forced to do something usually unable to do. The author of Bak Jaeyeon version focused on describing how Gim Yeongcheol not want to go back to Pyeong-an-do, and embodied his psychology with excellent narrative technique. However, Hong Setae more focused on Gim Yeongcheol’s desire to go back to Pyeong-an-do, and merits as a soldier. And An Seokgyeong disagreed with Hong Setae version, and had a doubt toward Gim Yeongcheol. Even though some differences in the narrative views are found, there is one common recognition laid on the variants of Gimyeongcheoljeon. Because Gim Yeongcheol had wives and sons in foreign land, accusation is inevitable.