Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Vegetarian

The Vegetarian / Han Kang, 188 pgs.

Yeong-hye has, by all accounts, a very standard, bland, and average life.  Then one day, she has a dream that leads to her giving up meat.  This creates quite a stir in her family and leads to her showing defiant behavior relating to this new vegetarianism but it is much more. Not only does she refuse to eat meat, she throws all of it out of her house and will no longer cook it for her husband.  When her father insists that she eat meat, she once again refuses and he physically abuses her as a result.  The situation keeps ratcheting up and she tries to take her own life.  In the second section, we move the the POV of Yeong-hye's brother in law.  What has made her seem so odd to the rest of the family, seems to make her more beguiling to him.  He invites her to model for him (he is an artist) and things get a bit out of hand.  In the third section, we see things Yeong-hye's sister.  She still cares for her sister but doesn't understand the changes that have come over her.  In the end, there is understanding and a shift that surprises.

This is really an odd and interesting book that I've done a poor job of summarizing.  If you enjoy an ambiguous tale that will make you think, this may be a good book for you.  

No comments:

Post a Comment