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Missions of Female Heroes in Ancient Korean Narratives and the Aspects of their Realization - Focusing on the Mission of Female Heroes and their Realization Patterns -

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2023, (88), pp.37-60
  • DOI : 10.31310/HUM.088.02
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : January 9, 2023
  • Accepted : January 18, 2023
  • Published : February 28, 2023

Kim Chang-hyun 1

1공주교육대학교 국어교육과

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the aesthetic characteristics of female hero narratives in o ld K orean l iterature. I n general, a h ero in a no vel co mbines t he p ublic good of loyalty to the king with the private desire for reviving his family and takes it as his mission, and realizes popularism through this. The female hero adds to this the mission given by the innate condition of being a 'woman'. The Woman with a Sword (Gyeomnyeo) depicts the hardships faced by a w o man trying to become a h ero while o vercoming g ender and social oppression in the medieval period. By dressing up like a man, she transcends the social limits of women, just like the case of The Story of Hong Gyewol (Hong-gyewol-jeon). Hong Gyewol was able to save the emperor and raise the family by standing on top of all men because she dressed up like a man. However, The Story of Hong Gyewol falls short of strongly satirizing the male-dominated society. The Woman with a Sword w as set in t he Jo seo n period and set a real person as her husband, and The Tale of Lady Bak (Bak-ssi-jeon) was also set in post-war Joseon and set a real person YiSibaek as the spouse of the woman protagonist. As a result, Lady Bak, as a woman, is portrayed as a figure suffering from the social restrictions of Joseon, which reinforces the satire on the male-centered society. Besides, she and her family are the personification of the idealized national spirit. However, the literary value of The Tale of Lady Bak as a female heroic novel lies in that the female daughter, not the male father, is the main character.

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