An Ecofeminist Reading of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian
Keywords:Eco-Feminism, Nature, Patriarchy, Vegetarianism, Exploitation
Ecofeminism depicts the movements and philosophies that establish a close relationship between women and nature. It is also an academic movement that sees a critical connection between the domination of nature and the exploitation of women. The term ‘Ecofeminism’ was coined by the French writer Francoise d’Eaubonne. This term intersects the two critical perspectives- ecology and feminism. Ecofeminist theory asserts that a feminist perspective of ecology does not place women in the dominant position. This theory can be used to explore the connection between women and nature in culture, religion, literature and thus address and bring out the parallels between the oppressions of nature and the oppressions of women. Using gender as an important factor, ecofeminism examines the conditions that cause and perpetuates the subordination of both women and nature. This analysis includes seeing men as the curators of culture and women as the curators of nature, and also how men dominate women and humans dominate nature. This paper titled, ‘An Ecofeminist Reading of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian’ discusses the term ecofeminism and how this theory can be analysed and applied in this book written by Han Kang, a South Korean writer who won the Man Booker International prize for fiction in 2016 for this particular book. The book is about a home-maker whose decision to stop eating meat after a deadly nightmare about human cruelty leads to various problems in her personal life. This paper mainly tries to bring out how women and nature are oppressed by the patriarchy and how both are showing resistance toward this dominance. It investigates how man colonizes nature and as well as women. There are various other books that can be analysed under this feminist theory but this book in a way different as the main protagonist of this book sees vegetarianism as a way of not causing any harm on anything, but asserting her identity and freedom in patriarchal society. Thus this paper brings of the various ecofeminist aspects that can be analysed in this book through the various contexts related to the protagonist.
Smith, Deborah, translator. The Vegetarianism. By Author Han Kang,Granta Publications, 2015.
The Fruit of My Woman, a short story written by Han Kang, Granta Publications.
Metamorphoses, an epic poem by Ovid.
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