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Diaspora appeared in Seokyoung Hwang's Novels

  • Korean Language & Literature
  • 2012, (80), pp.251-276
  • Publisher : Korean Language & Literature
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

CHOI, EUNYOUNG 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The aim of this thesis is to find the aspect of diaspora which is appeared in Seokyoung Hwang's novels, expecially, <Visitor>and <Baridegi>. This thesis points out that the two novels are different from other novels written by Hwang, in order to investigate the difference, it considers the aspect of diaspora appeared in <Visitor> and <Baridegi>. Then, What is diaspora?This thesis shows that diaspora is not only in a specific country or ethnic group, but also over the world in 21th century. They are forced to move to other countries without their will. Moreover, diaspora is a negative result of the neo-liberalism and the globalism. However, this thesis does not make diaspora identity simply 'the victim of a super suppression', and analyzes what they agonize about concretely, how they think the world and themselves differently, how they react actively. Bari, who is the main character in <Baridegi> is a diaspora, a North Korean refugee moving unstabled. On the other hand, Yoseop, who is the main character in <Visitor> apparently looks stable in USA, but at the same time he is a different kind of diaspora being restrained by his memory of Korea war. Bari and Yoseop, both of them try to drag a memory to the present. They critically think that the society easily trow away important memories. The one of the main themes of two novels is a dichotomy between good and evil. They criticize not a 'evil', but the belief in 'absolute good'. <Visitor> shows revenges between a christian group and a communist group. This novel points out that the belief in 'absolute good' and revenges ruin the each of human beings. Meanwhile, <Baridegi> shows aspect of a dichotomy between a western world and non western world. but Barry, who is the main character of this novel does not join the way of thinking, and asking for herself. For her, dichotomy just makes oppressions stronger. She criticizes the dichotomy that globalism is evil and diaspora is good. Seokyoung Hwang experiments a way of writing in borrowing Korean Shamanism in <Baridegi>,<Visitor>. The main characters Bari and Yoseop work as a shaman. They are minorities not only in Korea but also the outside of korea, and never accepted in a main world like a shaman in a Korean history. As a minority, they become a subject of healing and communicating as if the shamans unacceptable in a Korea history. In these two novels, Korean shamanism is a opposite to Mass media which has a strong power. While Mass media delete important memories, Shamans try to make it be. These two novel are different from other novels written by Seokyoung Hwang that diaspora becomes a subject of healing. In his previous work, the characters shows a contradiction of the world, but not a subject of healing others. but these two novels do not make characters victims in history, do make them a very strong human being to oppose that history.

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.