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A study on the type of Honggildongjeon

  • Journal of Korean Literature
  • 2016, (34), pp.195-220
  • Publisher : The Society Of Korean Literature
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature
  • Published : November 30, 2016

Kim, Dongwook 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Honggildongjeon has been cited as a work of heroic novels that have a ‘life of a hero’ structure. However, Honggildongjeon is heterogeneous with heroic novels. Heroic novels consist of a dual structure of Cheonsanggye(celestial world) and Jisanggye(terrestrial world). The protagonist of heroic novels comes down from Cheonsanggye, and reaps victory with the help of assistants who pass the celestial order. In contrast, Honggildongjeon has no description of Cheonsanggye. The protagonist Honggildong is not a character from Cheonsanggye, and the work has no celestial assistant helping him. In the ending, Honggildong fails to solve the problem of discrimination in the country, and leaves for islands across the sea. The protagonist and the ending of Honggildongjeon are similar to hermit novels(逸士小說). The protagonists of hermit novels don’t come from Cheonsanggye. They are competent but fail to achieve victory against the contradictions of society and disappear in the end. This study revealed the characteristics of the Honggildongjeon as a work of hermit novels. Commonly accepted view about the type of Honggildongjeon may need to be changed.

Citation status

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