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Apocalyptic Vision of Home in Cleveland Raining

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2009, 22(3), pp.213-236
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

정광숙 1

1숙명여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper discusses the ideas of location, home, and identity presented in Song Rno’s Cleveland Raining. Location and home are critical elements for a person to maneuver and establish his or her identity. Cleveland Raining depicts the process of how three Korean Americans and one Ohioan experience racial, familial, and circumstantial problems and come to terms with their identity and circumstance in Cleveland, Ohio. The Korean American characters have to deal with their racial/ethnic identity as well as familial issues, while Mick has to “attack” his own circumstantial issue. By going through a time of change, Jimmy realizes his dream of building an ark which will be a new home for him and Mick; Mari quits medical school to become a “professional healer” and joins Storm’s community of bikers; Storm recognizes her Korean identity; and Mick overcomes his fear of corn and eats kimchee. In his play, Rno, a second-generation Korean American, combines realistic narrative and some improbable, unreal elements in order to say that this play is something that is to him “emotionally true, while not necessarily being ‘real.’” Offering a curious and yet a poignant insight of the diasporic life of Korean Americans, particularly their (and everybody’s) desire for home, Rno demonstrates the difficulty for Asian Americans (and even some white Americans) to find a home or even have a sense of home in the United States. He projects his vision of a new home, which is different from the traditional sense of home, and of a new world which is free from racism, is tolerant of differences, and accepts diverse ethnic cultures. Relying totally on a fantastic imagination to achieve this vision, however, Rno suggests only an apocalyptic vision of home is possible.

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