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A Combination of a Tragic Love Story at the Red Light Distric) and a Domestic Tragedy - Narrative of “Deceived by Money, Despaired by Love”

Young Mee Lee 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

“Deceived by Money, Despaired by Love”(1936) is one of the most successful pop dramas during the Japanese Occupation of Korea(1910-1945). This paper is to prove its characteristics and its place in the history of popular arts, by comparing with “Falling Flowers, Flowing Rivers”(a film released in 1927) and “The Death of a Daughter-in-law”(a play, its date unknown). One of the specifics of popular arts is that the originality of each piece is poor compared to its high arts counterpart, however, it should be regarded as not a weakness but a basic element as popular arts are the product of social psyche which a particular time and a particular recipient ask for. In this respect, “Deceived by Money, Despaired by Love” is not an exception and has a strong similarity with its commercially successful drama and film predecessors. “Falling Flowers, Flowing Rivers”, a film released in 1927, is very similar to “Deceived by Money, Despaired by Love” in its plot as it is a heart-breaking love story between a call girl and a painter, a son from a rich family in which the heroine's brother cares about his sister a lot. There is an incident in which the call girl's love is tested, etc.. Meanwhile, “The Death of a Daughter-in-law”, a play produced in the mid 1930s, is also identical in its plot that the daughter-in-law is bullied by her mother-in-law, its heroine grows up with a brother as an orphan, and she is kicked out of the family as her mother-in-law fabricates a letter, saying she had an affair. Therefore, it could be said “Deceived by Money, Despaired by Love” is a reworking or a combination of “Falling Flowers, Flowing Rivers”(a tragic love story at the red light district) and “The Death of a Daughter-in-law”(a domestic tragedy). Among them, tragic love story at the red light district is a form which became popular in the 1920s and was an established convention in the mid 1930s. However, the story of abused daughters-in-law was a familiar element among the ancient and new novels but almost disappeared among New Wave plays in the 1920s and 1930s, and then, in the 1940s and 1950s, these domestic tragedies enjoyed again a huge popularity and developed as a form. Therefore, it can be assumed that “Deceived by Money, Despaired by Love” is a play which came in the middle of the changing trend of popularity from tragic love story at the red light district to domestic tragedy, and the combination of “Falling Flowers, Flowing Rivers” and “The Death of a Daughter-in-law” sums up such a phenomenon.

Citation status

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