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The Critical Representation of Family in Changing Dailytoon- Focusing on two webtoon series Danji and Myeoneuragi(The Daughter-In-Law)

  • The Journal of Korean drama and theatre
  • 2019, (65), pp.71-98
  • DOI : 10.17938/tjkdat.2019..65.71
  • Publisher : The Learned Society Of Korean Drama And Theatre
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : August 12, 2019
  • Accepted : September 23, 2019
  • Published : September 30, 2019

Koo, Ja-jun 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

After the ‘feminist reboot’, the proliferation of female narratives began in various media. Feminism-based female narratives are actively being created in webtoons. This calls for the necessity of examining the changes in female narratives in webtoons, considering the context of ‘feminism reboot’ and webtoon history. In that sense, Danji' and Myeoneuragi(The Daughter-In-Law) are interesting texts that show the connection and disconnection between the traditional webtoons and the webtoons after the feminist reboot. These two webtoon series partly utilize the characteristics of the existing dailytoon, but transform it, revealing the critical recognition of the family that has not been shown in the dailytoon through the perspective of the female narrator. The protagonist of Danji is based on the artist herself. She hides her original identity and adopts the assumed name Danji to reveal her identity as an alienated daughter strongly, thus obtaining the freedom of depicting her family honestly. Based on the realistic descriptions of characters and the narrative approach to be reminiscent of an autobiographical first-person documentary, Danji causes anxiety and urgency, which used to be difficult to find in the old dailytoons, and gets the readers immersed in its stories. Myeoneuragi(the Daughter-In-Law) makes active use of SNS such as Instagram and Facebook instead of the old webtoon platform. In a similar approach to found footage, Myeoneuragi(the Daughter-In-Law) attracts readers by showing the Instagram pictures posted by Min Sa-rin, the main character of the webtoon series, and the drawings of episodes in her daily life. The readers recognize that the webtoon is a work of fiction about a fictional character but, at the same time, mistake Min Sa-rin as someone they are familiar with in their surroundings or the artist herself. Despite many differences in materials and narratives between them, the two webtoon series both put the viewpoints and experiences of women in the front as the minority in the family by borrowing or altering the format of dailytoons. Although the ideology of normal family still works in strong and firm ways, it is no longer possible to hide the fact that so-called "normal family" demands alienation and sacrifice from women that are daughters or daughters-in-law. These two webtoon series clearly show the fact that we have only begun to recognize family cracks that began long ago. It also reveals the need to go beyond the existing narrow understanding of dailytoon and 'daily life' of dailytoon.

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