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‘Pretending to Be a Grown-up’ in Linda Sue Park’s When My Name Was Keoko

  • 인문논총
  • 2024, 63(), pp.129-149
  • DOI : 10.33638/JHS.63.6
  • Publisher : Institute for Human studies, Kyungnam University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : December 31, 2023
  • Accepted : February 6, 2024
  • Published : February 28, 2024

SEUNG-HAN SHIN 1

1광운대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper defines the actions of children who resist militarism in Linda Sue Park’s When My Name Was Keoko as ‘becoming adults’ and argues that these actions function as an effective means of overthrowing the imperial Japanese militarism. To do so, I first examine how Sun-hee succeeds in decoding a message that the adults fail to do. Through her unique reading between the lines, Sun-hee resists the logic of war constructed by the adults by subverting the strict Confucian hierarchy. Next, I demonstrate that Tae-yul critiques war by volunteering for a kamikaze commando and subverting the militaristic ideology it implies. In this way, Sun-hee and Tae-yul, through their unique acts, crack the militarism that is the ideological foundation of the Pacific War. It is the central thesis of this paper that through these acts of ‘pretending to be a grown-up,’ the children in When My Name Was Keoko reorganize the war space of colonial Korea into a subversive space.

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