Savage Nature and Noble Spirit in Han Sorya's Wolves: A North Korean Morality Tale
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Peer reviewed article. This paper is a narratological study of Han Sorya's Wolves, a canonical novelette in the tradition of North Korean socialist realism that has been adjudicated outside North Korea as anti-American, anti-Christian, and extremely racist. The novelette, however, is a more metaphorical, hybrid, and complicated piece of writing than has previously been assumed. Descriptive and interpretative narratological analysis reveals that Wolves is a patriotic-proletarian morality tale against colonialism, imperialism, racism, and war. The story also reveals grand metaphysical and normative Neo-Confucian imperatives, which operate as moral shaping principles that are interwoven into character, plot, and theme.