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30 September, 08:36

In "Cranes," why does Song-sam volunteer to escort Tok-chae to Chongdan?

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  1. 30 September, 09:03
    A. Song-sam wants to find out why his old friend is on the communists' side.


    In Hwang Sun-won's short story "Cranes", he delves into the North-South reconciliation political situation between the two Koreas. This story works on the divided political ideologies and how most enmities are a result of misunderstood perceptions of the people.

    The two protagonists Song-sam and Tok-chae were childhood friends but had to make political decisions after the intrusion of the Northern Communist forces. While Song-sam fled the village, Tok-chae had to stay behind as he "wanted to be with [his father] in his last moments so that I could close his eyes with my own hand". Besides, they were poor farmers who depend on the land and can't leave when the harvest was near. And when the North forces retreated and the South was once again reclaimed, Tok-chae was arrested of treason and to be killed. Song-sam volunteered to escort his old friend to Chongdam so that he can find the truth about why he did not flee and managed to survive even when the North was controlling the village.
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