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The Performance of Virtue and the Loss of Female Individuality in Choson Korea: A Feminist Reading of the Tale of Ch'unhyang

Title
The Performance of Virtue and the Loss of Female Individuality in Choson Korea: A Feminist Reading of the Tale of Ch'unhyang
Authors
Willoughby, Heather A.
Ewha Authors
Heather A. Willoughby
SCOPUS Author ID
Heather A. Willoughbyscopus
Issue Date
2011
Journal Title
ASIAN WOMEN
ISSN
1225-925XJCR Link
Citation
vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 51 - 79
Keywords
Korean ideals of womanhoodfemale virtuethe performance of genderp'ansori
Publisher
SOOKMYUNG WOMENS UNIV
Indexed
SSCI; SCOPUS; KCI WOS scopus
Abstract
The Tale of Ch'unhyang is perhaps Korea's most well known and oft repeated folk story. Originating in the middle of the Chosen dynasty, it has persisted in various forms for nearly four hundred years in part because it is replete with moral lessons, including notions of filial devotion, obedience, and faithfulness; but none is as enduring and fundamental to the plot as the concept of womanly virtue. This paper will provide a feminist reading of the story to articulate the mandates of Choson Confucian society on women. We argue that the Tale Ch'unhyang reveals that the price of fulfilling the Confucian ideal of womanhood lies in the sublimation of female self and in the loss of individuality. Taking a historical approach, the paper contextualizes the Confucian ideals of female virtue, discusses performative acts of gender, and analyzes the ways in which the traditional narrative art of p'ansori continually rearticulates historical norms of those ideals. It concludes with an extended feminist reading of particular p'ansori versions of the tale.
Appears in Collections:
국제대학원 > 국제학과 > Journal papers
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