Broken Strings by Gang Gyeong-Ae
Hyeong Cheol is standing in between two decisions which he had to choose one of them: (1) take the path to have a better life or (2) fighting what is right for the society. Later, he decides to throw everything away, including leaving his lover, Hye Geong, and leaves to Manchuria with his family. Broken Strings looks into the characters who sacrifice their youth in Gando to go through with the people’s struggle.
Both Hyeong Cheol and Hye Geong want to have a better life. A life which they want to share love and happiness together and forever. However, the war, powerful social classes, and family struggle breaks them apart as Hyeong Cheol has no choice but to abandon everything and suffer together with his family by going to Manchuria together. They lose their own youth and happiness to the terrors of war that they have struggle. Gang wanted to address that the society shouldn’t go through these troubles as the people wanted to have better lives instead of being the victims of war. She wanted the world to have a better place with hope and happiness.
Gang addressed each character’s own personal suffering especially when making the right decisions. It is whether they want to have own freedom or fulfilling and helping people who are suffering. Although Hyeong Cheol takes their own family’s struggle into consideration, this led him to be mentally and physically unstable as he questions about why he has to go through the pain and suffering. He wanted to be together with Hye Geong for the rest of his life but he didn’t want her to go with him together because he wants to protect her from being in pain. With heartfelt and memorable love discussions between the couple, they have no choice but to part separate ways. It is a simple but heartbreaking tale that the young people has to sacrifice their own youth and happiness because of the war where themselves and their families have to suffer the agonies of pain.
Broken Strings is one of the short stories that is available in the 20th Century Korean Literature. This application is available at the iTunes store. It is only compatible to iPad and it is free. The 20th Century Korean Literature consists of Korean short stories that are translated in English. At the moment, there are 19 short stories and 1 novella. More short stories will be updated this year. If you don’t have an iPad, you can get the pdf versions of short stories through here.