Analysis Of The Memoirs Of Lady Hyegyong

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By any measure, The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong, known as Hanjungnok (Records written in silence), is a remarkable piece of Korean literature and an invaluable historical document, in which a Korean woman narrated an event that can be described as the ultimate male power rivalry surrounding a father-son conflict that culminates in her husband’s death. However, the Memoirs were much more than a political and historical murder mystery; writing this memoir was her way of seeking forgiveness. As Haboush pointed out in her informative Introduction, Lady Hyegyong experienced a conflict herself between the demands imposed by the roles that came with her marriage, each of which included both public and private aspects. We see that Lady Hyegyong justified her decision to live as choosing the most public of her duties, and she decided that for her and other members of her family must to be judged fairly, which required an accurate understanding of the her husband’s death. It was also important to understand that Lady Hyegyong had to endure the…show more content…
In this sense, she wrote the memoirs to defend the honor and integrity of her father, uncle and brother, in order to tell the truth about the circumstance surrounding their deaths. The first Memoir of 1795 was addressed to the heir of her natal family and took the form of a public appeal in her effort to reestablish her family’s moral legitimacy and honorable family tradition. Before we explore her memoir, it is important to note that she felt responsible for her family’s downfall – believing that her marriage into the royal house had led to directly their suffering and decline. Beyond the scholarly merit of her stories, they are important in the view Lady Hyegyong provides of the court life and the strict Confucian beliefs that stress filial piety, loyalty and virtue. To being with, the move from
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