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Imagination, dream of communication and healing, <Sookhyangjeon>

  • The Research of the Korean Classic
  • 2011, (23), pp.429-459
  • Publisher : The Research Of The Korean Classic
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature > Korean Literature > Korean classic prose

Kim, Sooyoun 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

<Sookhyangjeon> is a fantasy novel which includes basic mythicalness. Sookhyang matured a lot spiritually and physically as she was rejected by her parents and lived through various hardships. The arduous journey is a process of acquiring goodness; acquisition of god-men's ability helped by a transcendental being and by a natural being. The process of acq -uiring goodness is a travel structure to Yosiyeon and turning back to the first. The road to Yosiyeon is the course of training for Sookhyang as a weak human to accomplish the doctrines of gods by the help of an assistant, after that, Sookhyang was able to attend the meeting of gods, Yosiyeon. After she truly knew that she was a fairy, her way back to the world is a process of achieving good deed by Sookhyang herself having character like immortals living on earth. Even if good deed adopts the way of gratitude, but it has more meaning than that. Sookhyang acquires life-saving healing power through good deed. The place where she has got goodness is from worldly to transcendent. Beings who she meet in the gaining goodness trip are a blue bird and deer as natural beings, and god-men as supernatural beings. It is not easy to interact or commune with natural beings in reality. It is the same about supernatural beings. So, the space where she meet with them is a kind of a fantasy world. A fantasy world reflects the lack of reality. The world created with a hope for protecting the weak and communication with nature has assumed an alternative space for a harsh and abusive life. The alternative space, by definition, is a dream world as a reward or an alternative for real life. At the same time, the space is the world that can communicate with supernatural world as it exists in real boundaries not in celestiality Sookhyang's character like god polished up her good deed and has been boosted after she became immortals living on earth through her gaining goodness trip. Goddess represented by Seowangmo usually has the power of vitalizing or healing. Sookhyang also has got this power by training for goodness and her good deed. Meanwhile, in the <Sookhyangjeon>, leading Yisun into fairy Margo's temtation, Sookhyang's travel routes recur because her healing power should be shared with her spouse, Yisun. It offered an opportunity for Yisun to cure the empress dowager when she hovered between life and death. Yisun's travel may look painful at the hands of gods, but actually it is a festival, gods help him and they enjoy together with him. The festival of gods and Yisun in heaven means that he got qualification as a god. So, after Yisun and Sookhyang passed the process of training and a good deed and cured the empress dowager, they can get on. As the healing power of myths has been passed down to epic songs of shamanism, it keeps its mythical prototype, so, the power of healing death show up by the woman herself. But as for a novel, it is cannot be free from the influence of socio-cultural environment of its matrix. It is understandable that Sookhyang has to do nothing but satisfied to assist Yisun, not to come to the center to save the empress dowager, that is the reflection of realities of the time when this novel was written.

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