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A study of the meaning and results of getting fortune in “Myoung-Dang demanding victimization(犧牲明堂, MDDV)” of Korean Feng-Shui Folktales

  • The Research of the Korean Classic
  • 2013, (27), pp.141-175
  • Publisher : The Research Of The Korean Classic
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature > Korean Literature > Korean classic prose

HONG NARAE 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

There are some cases of story patterns in Korean Feng-Shui Folktales showing that some people made their dreams come true through getting Myoung-Dang (明堂, a place for grave, which causes good fortune, MD) demanding the sacrifices of their spouse and/or offspring, and the delivery of illegitimate child when the heroine is not yet married. In this thesis, this kind of story pattern is defined as “Myoung-Dang demanding victimization (犧牲明堂 MDDV)”. I have studied the two points in MDDV over paying attention to the process and results of story development. The one point is the searching for the reason why this kind of anti-ethical folktales could be popularized in that age. And the other point is the finding of the systems of thought appeared in MDDV. Korean Feng-Shui Folktales have generally showed that MD is the source of good fortune based on the concept that there is a giftrelationship between good deed and good fortune. But, characters do not wait for good fortune by doing good deed in MDDV. These MDDV characters rather try to occupy MD in spite of any kind of victimization required if they can certainly get good fortune in short time. Any victimization appeared in MDDV symbolizes the human life itself like the death of family member or the immoral fecundity of unmarried woman. The victimization appeared in MDDV can, therefore, be said to be a ritual or intentional deed for attracting good fortune into their life. We can ascertain the fact that human desires can be unboundedly reproduced through one extreme MDDV whose story is that a desire of getting son ends in the sacrifice of sons for the purpose of the success of his grandson. Extreme development of desires required the sacrifice of the original desire in the end. MDDV was a warning and a taboo from the transcendental power to human beings running for the boundless desire. The meaning of ultimate good fortune which characters got in MDDV makes us agonize to understand it. Interestingly, MDDV shows that problems appeared in MDDV were solved by magnanimity for unmarried mother and illegitimate child although extreme pursuit of patriarchal ideology resulted in MDDV. It makes MDDV a meaningful folktales containing sociocultural function and significance. This point also gives the significance to the study of MDDV for the contemporary life.

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