Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Spring 2010

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In

Comparative Literature

First Advisor

David Wittenberg

Abstract

This thesis examines how Chang-rae Lee's A Gesture Life (1999) represents the issues of war crimes. Writing the comfort women issue, Lee handles the bitter history of the Second World War in a postmodernist way. Against the modernist perspective on war history that draws on a simple and moral conclusion, Lee's writing underscores the function of narrative and the influence of trauma in the representation of the war crime. It offers a literary approach to the issue that complicates the role of the perpetrator and the victim, thus distances itself from the common understanding of war crimes. I argue this literary representation of the history of war crimes could be more powerful than historical writings, because it will ultimately challenge the concept of war itself.

Keywords

Modern Novel, Narrative, The Comfort Women Issue, Trauma, War Crimes (WWII), War Memory

Pages

iv, 60 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 59-60).

Copyright

Copyright 2010 Ying-bei Wang

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