Tchokkan's Mountain Rites

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In “Mountain Rites”, Ch’oe Chŏng-Hŭi defied the conventional marriage morality and revealed the indictment of the early and arranged marriage custom in Korea. In the story, Tchokkan is an innocent fourteen-year-old girl who is still attached to her parents. Even when her father, a poor farmer who is concerned of his family’s living sets an arranged marriage for her in exchange of some grains, Tchokkan seemed almost clueless about where she’s going, who she is marrying, or what marriage is even like. In the beginning of the story, Tchokkan was worried more about moving away from her parents, rather than marrying a stranger. Without knowing anything about marriage, Tchokkan was raped by her husband on the night of the wedding, which caused her an irreversible mental trauma. Tchokkan’s in-laws, including her husband are described as good-hearted by nature within the story, but the main reason for their kindness is to keep her from running away. Tchokkan’s mother-in-law, who is widowed at age forty, was only nice to her because she desperately needed Tchokkan to marry her son who has already passed the age for marriage. Although she seemed kind to Tchokkan, her kindness only derived from her wish for her son’s happiness and satisfaction. …show more content…

As Professor Kim mentioned in the introduction, she is one of the many “defenseless victims of patriarchal oppression” (42). And the author uses Tchokkan, who is still young, naive, and clueless about what marriage is like in the patriarchal society, to criticize the early marriage traditions in Korea, especially arranged early marriages. Rape, regardless of the relationship of the two parties shouldn’t be accepted for any reason. However, because women were viewed “as a biological instrument for patrilineal continuation” (41), marital rape was and still is a very unfamiliar term in

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