An Aspect Related to Children and Sino-Korean Literature in the Late Joseon Dynasty－Focusing on the Looks of Children Represented within Works
This thesis is the result of reviewing the relational aspect between Sino-Korean literature and children by researching the materials of Sino-Korean literature in the late Joseon Dynasty. Through this research, this thesis aimed to reveal the characteristics of children’s looks shown in Sino-Korean literature in the late Joseon Dynasty, and the value of researches on children in the history of Sino-Korean literature.
The Chapter 2 examined the looks of children as an object of education. After going through the stage of distributing enlightening books for child education in the mid Joseon Dynasty, the exemplary image of children was strongly pursued through family motto and will of each family in the late Joseon Dynasty. The parents’ expectation of a child who would become a successor of family tended to force the ideal image of human to children even in childhood.
The Chapter 3 examined children as a potential writer. The children who were great at writing sentences, especially poetry, were widely praised as a prodigy. Also, in the late Joseon Dynasty, the children appeared as a writer group of children’s songs. Meanwhile, just like the case of Shin, Hoo-Dam, there were also cases of attempting to write enthusiastically. This aspect of emphasizing the literary competency of children implies that the literacy education in childhood was regarded as very important.
The Chapter 4 examined the forms of children described within works. Especially, in the late Joseon Dynasty, the works about children were sharply increased by utilizing various genres. Those works extensively represented my[our] longing and lovely children, extraordinary children overcoming a crisis based on their wisdom, immature and pure children in childhood, and socially-neglected/abandoned children.
In conclusions, the characteristics of Sino-Korean literature related to children in the late Joseon Dynasty could be summarized. First, the sub-genres of Sino-Korean literature accepting children were expanded, and the frequency of works was remarkably increased. This shows the positive change of Sino-Korean literature in the late Joseon Dynasty, aiming to include children in the place of literature. Second, the children in the place of Sino-Korean literature were mostly based on the direct interpersonal relationship with authors. Most of the children represented in works were real people who could be called a proper noun, and they were mostly represented as beings of longing and love. Third, it was relatively rare to find a case in which the children captured in sociological gaze such as abandoned children or begging children became the main characters of works. This means that the Sino-Korean literature of those days was insufficient to righteously recognize the reality of children, so that it was insufficient to have a full-literary gaze.
Late Joseon Dynasty,