"Playing With Fire" ( Cho Chong-rae ) Analytical Essay by The Research Group

"Playing With Fire" ( Cho Chong-rae )
Reviews this novel on the causes and effects of murders carried out by a Communist war criminal in the Korean War, examining issues of forgiveness, revenge and justice.
# 14663 | 1,350 words | 1 source | 1999 | US
Published on Jul 15, 2003 in History (Asian) , Literature (World) , English (Analysis)


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Description:

Cho Chong-Rae's Playing with Fire relates the story of a war criminal many years after he has committed murder. His crime was committed during the Korean War when he was a Communist sympathizer. Since it was many years ago, the reader is left with the task of deciding whether Hwang Bokman (which is not his real name, or rather it is only one of his real names) should be punished in the way that he ultimately is for the long-ago murders of dozens of people. While the book is putatively about a single family and the questions that they must answer, it is very much more generally a book about the nature of collaboration, about the legitimacy of revenge, and about the purpose of punishment.

From the Paper:

"Playing with Fire

Cho Chong-Rae's Playing with Fire relates the story of a war criminal many years after he has committed murder. His crime was committed during the Korean War when he was a Communist sympathizer. Since it was many years ago, the reader is left with the task of deciding whether Hwang Bokman (which is not his real name, or rather it is only one of his real names) should be punished in the way that he ultimately is for the long-ago murders of dozens of people. While the book is putatively about a single family and the questions that they must answer, it is very much more generally a book about the nature of collaboration, about the legitimacy of revenge, and about the purpose of punishment.

The reader of this book is asked at least implicitly to decide whether the ..."

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