Evolution of South Korean Literature with special reference to Han Kang

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Ms. Sonal Singh, Dr. Shilpi Bhattacharya


This paper aims to explain the dynasties that existed in Korea and the formation of  South and North Korean nation and the establishment of  their literature during the late twentieth century. And how China’s dominance, Japanese colonization, greed for liberation, split between North and South, the Korean War affected the literature of both the Koreas as well as brings an integral visibility of the South Korean writer Han Kang with respect to showcasing and emphasizing the “Horror of Humanity” in her work which she feels is intensely inhuman and thus tried to portray humanity by emphasizing the inhuman action and the illusion of being human. And it also explains the dominance of Chinese language in the Korean literature as earlier Korea didn’t had the script of its own and was a vassal state of China for over one thousand years. In 109 BC, China invaded and colonized Korea and established four commanderies which were ruled directly by the Chinese. Subsequently over the centuries until the late 19th century, a politically unified Korea maintained a tributary relationship with the ruling dynasty of China. Korea was deeply influenced and followed the Chinese form of governance, and the Chinese religion of Confucianism and later Korea developed its own vernacular alphabet called ‘hangul.’



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