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The Ethics of Love in <Decision to Leave>

  • Journal of Popular Narrative
  • 2022, 28(3), pp.353-387
  • DOI : 10.18856/jpn.2022.28.3.010
  • Publisher : The Association of Popular Narrative
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Interdisciplinary Research
  • Received : September 26, 2022
  • Accepted : October 11, 2022
  • Published : October 30, 2022

HAN GWI EUN 1

1경상국립대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to interpret the ethics of love inherent in the film <Decision to Leave>(2022) by Park Chan-Wook. <Decision to Leave> embodies the ethics of love as an ‘exceptional event’ through ‘Seo-Rae’, who is in an exceptional state. This film shows that the ethic of love is only possible by accepting the alterity of the lover and acknowledging one's vulnerability, while continuing to address(말걸기) against ethical violence through self-consciousness of language. And in this process, it implies that the violation and overthrow of the world and the rift in the Symbolic Order are inevitable. In <Decision to Leave>, a Chinese who is not good at Korean and a Korean are set as the main characters, highlighting the fact that the ethics of love are closely related to the ‘language’. Language is subordinated to ideology, and as long as it is used, it is bound to be exposed to ethical violence. Recognizing this limitation is the beginning of ethics. Seo-Rae, who realizes that she is vulnerable to Korean, becomes an ethical subject. She resists violence, not with violence, but recontextualizes it and tries to ‘address’ continuously on that basis. Although this ‘address’ must fail, for that very reason, Seo-Rae continues to address to Hae-Jun by leaving herself as Hae-Jun's ‘unsolved case’. Hae-Jun “collapses” only after Seo-Rae disappears. And it is through this collapse that he crosses the Symbolic fantasy and arrives at salvation. <Decision to Leave> shows the paradox that salvation is possible not by the Symbolic Big Other, but by another vulnerable subject, “my savior who came to ruin my life.” This paradox is being produced through decalcomanic frame construction and editing, and scenes suggesting the gap in the Symbolic Oredr and the Real Order. The significance of this paper can be found in that it raises issues about the ethics of love and salvation through the interpretation of <Decision to Leave> in an era where romances that consume other are mainstream.

Citation status

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