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The structure and meaning of Rite of Passage in the film <The Host>

Im, Jeong Sig 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The film <The Host> directed by Junho Bong features the structure of 'Rite of Passage' which follows the process of 'Separation-Transition-Incorporation.' The film shows the process of 'Rite of Passage' experienced by the two naive characters, Kangdoo and Hyunseo. In the beginning, Kangdoo and Hyunseo are separated, transitted to the other side of the world in the midst of the film, and finally reunited to be reborn. The separation is represented in the scenes of abduction, confinement; transition in the scenes of swoon, hunger, torture, falling prey to the monster, and return to the womb; incorporation in the scenes of escape and revival. Kangdoo is reborn as a new character through 'Rite of Passage.' Hyunseo as a new character of Sejoo in another type of family through her sacrifice. The adventure of the two main characters signifies the destruction of time, renewal and recreation. The monster in the film <The Host> represents the god of stranger, enemy and death and works as mediator to draw the existential transformation of the characters. The monster symbolizes the unjust and corrupted social system of government, mass media and police as well as a grotesque creature. The enemies Kangdoo is faced with are not only the monster but also monstrous social system. The general idea of 'Rite of Passage' in <The Host> can be traced back to that of Babylonian annual rituals and Akitoo festival. Kangdoo and Hyunseo can be compared to the hero Marduk or the babylonians who took the role of Marduk in the festival. The concept of 'Rite of Passage' is a universal theme.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.