The Korean War and Its Aftermath Research Paper by JPWrite

The Korean War and Its Aftermath
An analysis of the literary works of Pak Wan-so and Cho Chong-rae.
# 67195 | 8,450 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2006 | US
Published on Jul 02, 2006 in Asian Studies (East Asian Cultures) , History (Asian) , Literature (World)

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This paper studies the fictional works of Pak Wan-so and Cho-Chong-rae to illuminate the history and aftermath of the Korean War. The author acknowledges that using works of fiction as historical references is controversial. However, she maintains that these authors accurately and intentionally represent what it was like to live during these tumultuous times and give the reader a vicarious experience of the challenges of war for Koreans. The paper focuses on female author Pak Wan-so's "The Naked Tree", which depicts the effects of the Korean War on the emotional lives of its survivors and their journey from despair to optimism. Next, the paper turns to Cho Chong-rae's powerful anti-war message in "Playing with Fire", about the moral ambiguities of war and its debilitating effects on the personal moralities of those who survived it. Issues examined include the destabilization of family life and a national period of disillusionment and questioning. Also studied is Korea's relationship with the United States and Korean attitudes toward America.

From the Paper:

"In The Naked Tree by Pak Wan-so (Pak Wan-so, The Naked Tree, pages 1-188. Trans. Yu Young-nam. East Asia Program, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York: 1995.) Pak depicts Kyong-a's, the female protagonist's, struggle to overcome the sense of hopelessness that permeates war torn South Korea. Everywhere Kyong-a turns she witnesses the irrecoverable damage done by the war on individual lives that profoundly alters her sense of being. Both Kyong-a and her mother experience incredible tragedy and struggle to recover. Pak seems to ask how did the war affect the emotional lives of women who lost relatives? Her answer is hopeful; yet, because of the trajectory of history it is intertwined with memories of irrecoverable loss. Ultimately, Pak suggests that the memories of the damage done by the war have left their imprint on the families who have survived and is a testimony to their strength as well to their suffering."

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