Comfort Woman Narratives in Korean American Literature: Understanding the Korean American Identity through Han and the China Doll Stereotype Open Access

Chung, Nancy Da Yea (2016)

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In this thesis, I attempt to understand the Korean American identity by analyzing two Korean American novels: Nora Okja Keller's Comfort Woman and Chang-rae Lee's A Gesture Life. I discuss how the novels' comfort women narratives intersect with those of the Korean American women in relation to the China Doll stereotype. This examination is performed through tracing han - a form of trauma linked to Korean experiences - in each novel. I then contextualize this reading in broader terms towards an exploration of the collective Korean American identity.

Table of Contents

Introduction. 1

Chapter 1: An Analysis of Nora Okja Keller's Comfort Woman. 6

Chapter 2: An Analysis of Chang-rae Lee's A Gesture Life. 20

Conclusion. 35

Works Cited. 39

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