Reading literature makes us comprehend social standing of time when authors write about societies through their works. In other words, reading literature is not only just reading but also studying foundation of the literature. ‘The Song of Chun-Hyang’ and ‘My Innocent Uncle’ by Ch’ae Mansik show the social circumstances of Choson period in 18th century and 19th century respectively. Choson was the last dynasty of Korea that was founded in 1392 and lasted for five centuries. Under the rule of Choson Dynasty, Chinese Confucian principles dominated over the society. In 19th century, Choson was under Japanese colonial rule when the author, Ch’ae, wrote the story. In the social circumstances that were mentioned earlier, there are many factors such…show more content… The emperors are at the top and the beggars are at the bottom and everybody lives according to his means. There’s nothing so disgusting as kissing up to someone for your livelihood, and going so far as to lose your individuality in the process. There’s nobody as pathetic as such a person. Why does a person need a second bowl of rice if the first one fills him up? (427 Ch’ae)
The author intends to not only blame the narrator for being a traitor but also reveals his cynical view over the Choson society through the uncle’s perspective. The reason is that a number of people became traitors in order to survive during the Japanese colonial period.
Additionally, the author suggests a difference between the uncle and the narrator. The nephew is an uneducated man. On the contrary, the narrator blames that his uncle made a mistake going to college for five years because he did not make any money (Ch’ae 426). Even though the narrator criticizes the uncle for not utilizing what he studied in Japan but having a faith in socialism to change the Choson society, it puts himself into being criticized by readers. Readers do not think the uncle is stupid but consider him as one of the intellectuals who can see through the realities over Choson