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Regarding <Gambyeolgok>, the new Gasa work

  • The Studies in Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Abbr : Korean Poetry and Culture
  • 2010, (26), pp.33-54
  • Publisher : The Society of Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

SA WHAE, KOO 1

1선문대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

<Gambyeolgok> is categorized into Gyu-bang Gasa which contains stories including criticism and grievance situation of women from Yangban families. <Gambyeolgok> deals with private laments of seven ladies who had been grown at the same town until they got married. They are reunited 20 years after their marriage sharing the wonderful time and promise to meet again. Judging from the notation and words the characters use and the colophon printed at the end of the book, this work is regarded to be written about February 1892, the period of enlightenment. The structure of this story is divided into three parts such as ‘Seosa(introduction),’ ‘Bonsa(body),’ Gyeolsa(closing), which is the most common type of Gasa works. ‘Seosa’ presents the title and the writing motivation of <Gambyeolgok>. ‘Bonsa’ is divided into three parts again. The ‘Bonsa 1’ shows the way grownup girls leave their parents upon getting married. ‘Bonsa 2’ again separates into two. The first part describes the married families, characteristics and personalities of each seven characters. The second part criticizes women’s lives filled with misfortune and sorrow, and at the same time pictures the hope and expectation about the upcoming new civilized age. In ‘Bonsa 3’ seven characters plead how they suffer from feudalistic restriction and yet reestablish their resolution to respect traditional ethics. In ‘Gyeolsa’ part describes the picture that these seven women resignedly accept their reality as they have to part with each other. This also tries to appeal readers for sympathy about the grievous situation of the women. In short, <Gambyeolgok> is designed to discourse on the grief and sorrow of the women who are destined to follow traditional morality named ‘Samjongjido (patriarchal ideology which is pressured to women)’ in the male-dominated feudalism society. Thus, <Gambyeolgok> contains grievance and difficulties of the women who live just as assistants instead of being subjects of their own lives.

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