This study reveals what was meant by a parallel love between main
characters, Cho Ok and Lee Sang.
Ch Ok and Lee Sang lost their heart to each other the first time they
met together, and fell in love with each other. However, their attitudes
toward love were different from the beginning, and their love broke up as
soon as Cho Ok understood how different the lover's attitude to love was
from hers, in which the real relationship between them was thought to be
Lee Sang was only one of the men who thought of Cho Ok as a partner
to satisfy their sexual desire. So he probably degraded her as a public
sexual parter, comparing her to ‘a well by the road.’ He could satisfy his
lust by extreme luck because she chose him as her lover, but was finally
broken off due to her finding out what he was truly like. None the less,
he was able to return to his previous, usual orbit of life without any mental
On the other hand, Cho Ok as a woman with knowledge and beauty
mistook Lee Sang as a talentless, secular scholar for a gentle scholar with
a high mentality, which made her make an approach to him and go out
with him. What is more, she believed that she could achieve ‘Po Eui ji
Kyo’ she usually had a strong desire for. By this reason, she thought of
her relationship with Lee Sang as ‘a chaste deed,’ although it was just an
extramarital relationship to unrelated others. But she gave up the
relationship in frustrating despair, grasping what kind of person he was.
Their attitudes were reverse to each other’s, as their awareness toward
the partner was extreme. While Lee-Sang achieved his goal of sexual love
with a young beauty, Cho Ok lost her desire to the relationship with a
gentle scholar only into misery.
This study is about the cause of her love as a chaste deed. She adhered
to her cause as a person who had a self-conscious desire to be a classical
scholar. Besides, her attitude to derive a plausible cause from her love was
not only self-conscious but also arbitrary. Though she insisted that she
derived a cause for ‘Po Eui ji Kyo[布衣之交]’ with Lee Sang, and regarded
her behavior as a chaste one, she failed to reach the interior meaning of
‘Po Eui ji Kyo’, and her relationship with him was degraded to only’ going
out with a scholar’ in the literal meaning. Therefore, her chastity resulted
in ‘a scandal with a secular scholar.’ Po Eui Kyo Jip [布衣交集] as the title
of this book is thought to ambiguously contain the antinomic meaning of
both original ‘Po Eui ji Kyo’ Cho Ok yearned for and ‘going out with a
man holding no office’ as an literal meaning at the same time.
Consequently, Cho Ok can be evaluated to have been an anti-modern
woman who wanted to realize her self with an ideology focused on men,
though she had a strong sense of independence, and a tragic type
transfigured by her desire to realize her self.