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The Metonymic Meaning of “the Great Family” in Lv He-ruo’s Novels of the 1940s

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2020, (78), pp.35-69
  • DOI : 10.31310/HUM.078.02
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : July 8, 2020
  • Accepted : July 28, 2020
  • Published : August 31, 2020

SHIN MIN YOUNG 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In 1942 and in 1943, Lv He-ruo published Jaejasu (財子壽) and Hapgapyeongan (合家壽安), respectively. This paper is aimed at analyzing the fall of the “the Great family” and its metonymic meaning. Jaejasu shows the unfortunate fate of ‘We-mei (玉梅)’ in the feudal patriarchal order. This paper also examined the author’s judgment about mainland China and Taiwan, as well as the misfortune of a Taiwanese woman who suffered under the male-centered patriarchal order at the time. This is because the ‘crucial’ cause of the misfortune of We-mei is not attributed to her husband’s moral defects, but to the closedness of “the Great family”. In other words, Lv He-ruo thought that China was not aware of the changes around the world at the time and did not interact with other countries, thus resulting in Taiwan falling into a Japanese colony. And on the surface of Hapgapyeongan, the bankruptcy process of the opiate father is an important story. However, the author’s intention is in the complicated mind of his adoptive son who looks at his father addicted to opium. The son cannot ignore his opiate addict father, at the same time seeks the existence of a “new/another” father. This is interpreted as implying the composite situation of the helpless mainland China, suffering from opium and was bankrupt, and Taiwan which imagined that continent as their homeland. The adoptive/orphan son wants to get away from the opiate addict father on one hand and wants to be recognized by the new/another father on the other hand. The desire of the adoptive/orphan son is similar to what Taiwanese young people wanted to head to ‘the South’ during the Great East Asian War. In the middle of the war, Lv He-ruo revealed the fate of the Taiwanese community in the rapidly changing situations of the world, and the artist’s complex feelings about mainland China through works such as Jaejasu and Hapgapyeongan.

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