The Story of a Widowed Mother: The Mother–Son Relationship in The Record of So Hyŏnsŏng 


Vol. 27,  No. 1, pp. 1-24, Jun.  2024
10.18399/acta.2024.27.1.001


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  Abstract

This article explores the widowed mother figures in So Hyŏnsŏng rok 蘇賢聖錄 (The Record of So Hyŏnsŏng), particularly how a widowed mother successfully distinguishes herself as the head of the household through her relationship with her son. The story deals with the aspirations of mothers of elite yangban families who dream of achieving power despite the social limitations placed upon them. The Record presents the ideal mother–son relationship as both close and hierarchical. The closeness of their relationship enables the mother and son to achieve emotional unity when the boy is young. However, by demonstrating that she is more capable and has better judgment than her son, the mother ensures that their relationship remains hierarchical, enabling her to retain a superior position in the relationship into the boy’s adulthood. The story portrays the complicated relationship between a controlling mother and submissive son in a positive light, despite it being in sharp contrast to the compassionate mother and heroic son of earlier literary works. This article argues that Madame Yang, the widowed mother and main protagonist, reflects both the anxiety and aspirations of contemporaneous Korean women facing the major social changes of the 17th century.

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  Cite this article

[IEEE Style]

Y. KIM, "The Story of a Widowed Mother: The Mother–Son Relationship in The Record of So Hyŏnsŏng," Academia Koreana, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 1-24, 2024. DOI: 10.18399/acta.2024.27.1.001.

[ACM Style]

Youme KIM. 2024. The Story of a Widowed Mother: The Mother–Son Relationship in The Record of So Hyŏnsŏng. Academia Koreana, 27, 1, (2024), 1-24. DOI: 10.18399/acta.2024.27.1.001.

[APA Style]

KIM, Y. (2024). The Story of a Widowed Mother: The Mother–Son Relationship in The Record of So Hyŏnsŏng. Academia Koreana, 27(1), 1-24. DOI: 10.18399/acta.2024.27.1.001.

[MLA Style]

Youme KIM. "null." Academia Koreana, vol. 27, no. 1, 2024, pp. 1-24. doi:10.18399/acta.2024.27.1.001

[HAVARD Style]

Youme KIM (2024) 'null', Academia Koreana, 27(1), pp. 1-24. doi:10.18399/acta.2024.27.1.001

[ACS Style]

KIM, Y.. Academia Koreana 27 2024, 1-24. 10.18399/acta.2024.27.1.001

[ABNT Style]

KIM, Y.. null. Academia Koreana, v. 27, n. 1, p. 1-24, 2024. DOI: 10.18399/acta.2024.27.1.001

[Chicago Style]

Youme KIM. "null." Academia Koreana 27, no. 1 (2024): 1-24. doi:10.18399/acta.2024.27.1.001

[TURABIAN Style]

Youme KIM. "null." Academia Koreana 27, no. 1 (2024): 1-24. 10.18399/acta.2024.27.1.001

[VANCOUVER Style]

Youme KIM. null [Academia Koreana]. 2024;27:1-24. DOI:10.18399/acta.2024.27.1.001

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