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Destruction of the Dignified Object Called Man in María Luisa Bombal and Kim Chaewon’s Works

  • Cross-Cultural Studies
  • 2018, 53(), pp.103-130
  • DOI : 10.21049/ccs.2018.53..103
  • Publisher : Center for Cross Culture Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Literature
  • Received : November 10, 2018
  • Accepted : December 12, 2018
  • Published : December 30, 2018

Eun-kyung Choi 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The Chilean female writer María Luisa Bombal (1910 - 1980)’s “El árbol” (The Tree) (1939) tells the process of Brigida’s epiphany. Brigida first tried to gain her father’s love and failed, and later her husband’s love and failed, then tried to substitute that love from men with solace from a tree. At the end of the novel, the epiphany occurs when the tree is cut down. In the present work, I explain the meaning of Brigida’s epiphany, by comparing this Chilean short story with the Korean female writer Kim Chaewon(1946 - )’s “Trick of Water: A Kiss with Nothing” (2015). In this Korean short story, Kim insists that a woman who tries to find comfort in life through love with a man is destined to fail. I also examine the errors of the female characters’ behaviors in these two short stories that led them to their self-destruction, trying to modify their behaviors in order to be loved by a man and their tendency to consider the man as everything in their life, and not as a part of their life. In order to explain the fated failure of finding comfort in life in the love of a man, I analyze the fleeting characteristic of acquiring an object of desire using Jacques Lacan’s “Theory of Desire” and “The Destruction of the Elevated Object into the Dignity of the Thing.” Thus, I conclude that women need to acknowledge that comfort in life cannot be found in the love of a man and that they should stop confining themselves to this fictitious characteristic of the dignified object called man.

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