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Radical Imagination of Gender in Chosun Dynasty in Banghannimjeon

  • The Research of the Korean Classic
  • 2008, 0(17), pp.189-216
  • Publisher : The Research Of The Korean Classic
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature > Korean Literature > Korean classic prose

Kyungmi Kim 1

1이화여자대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

Banghannimjeon is notable in the sense that it implicates radical imagination of gender. In this work which is supposed to be written in the late 19th century, a character with new gender identity which shows the subversion of the existing gender system, and a character who denies the patriarchal marriage because of the critical sense of the established marriage are found. Moreover, this work goes so far as to show the marriage between the same sex. Of course, this work tries to emphasize these two characters have known each other for a long time. Nevertheless, it is no doubt that under this suggestion the aspect of homosexuality is hided. Because of this new tendency of Banghannimjeon which reflects new consciousness of women and sexuality in the late Chosun dynasty, this work is distinguished from other novels of heroines. This study focuses on this aspect of gender identity and analyses the homosexual implication of the marriage between Bangkwanju and Younghyebing. With the consideration of the general thought on homosexuality and other cultural aspects in the late Chosun dynasty, this study could see that the radical imagination of gender in Banghannimjeon is a kind of fictionalizing of homosexuality which had been hided in that society. Although this work could not clearly provide new language of homosexuality, the radical thought of sexuality which is implicated in this work is very remarkable.

Citation status

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

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.