In his article “Eating and Suffering in Han Kang’s The Vegetarian” Won-Chung Kim examines how Han investigates suffering through the topic of food and eating. Kim shows that The Vegetarian is a work that thoroughly investigates both what constitutes suffering and what role carno-phallogocentric thinking can play in such suffering: suffering becomes in the novel a psychological, physical, and spiritual effect of dietary resistance to male-dominated Korean society. After offering a working definition of sufferings, Kim argues how the suffering caused by Yeong-hye’s refusal to follow the reigning norms of the meat eating, patriarchal society disintegrates the intactness of her personhood as a woman and a vegetarian. By metamorphosing her into a “given” face of a suffering victim that haunts us, Yeong-hye provocatively challenges us to reframe the current violent structure of our eating.
"Eating and Suffering in Han Kang’s The Vegetarian."
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