11.07.2019 in Review

The Stray Bullet Essay

The Stray Bullet reveals the aftermaths of the Korean War, Korean men lost their maleness due to body injuries, American military occupation in Korea, as well as general helplessness to support their families.  Eunsun Cho’s film “The Stray Bullet and the Crisis of Korean Masculinity” demonstrates how this de-masculinity brings about scopophobia and reversed gender and societal roles. Cho says, “Scopophobia, the visual symptom of this crisis, exhibits that the topology of the South Korean male’s psyche” (Cho105). 

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The Stray Bullet turns over the traditional societal roles as the men have a sense of to be looked after because of their malformation and ineffectiveness.  In this film, women are by and large seen as being more knowledgeable then the men.  They are able to afford money, work, and in some cases heal people and offer opportunities.  In addition to this, women in this film are regarded as aggressive while the men are not. Instead the men fall short of what their societal expectations.

The Korean film The Stray Bullet brings out a lot of hopelessness, abject poverty, dark future and desperation of men, women and children. The male character traits in the film portray this kind of situation although they are expected to be the head of their families and more so breadwinners. However, the situation is different in the story. To be specific, Ch’or-ho one of the characters in the film who is an accountant is unable to pay a dentist for his rotten teeth to be pulled out. The wife dies of child delivery complications. Another character, Yong-ho who has been a war veteran is unemployed even after the war. This makes him result to being a bank robber. The film brings out yet another character, Myong-suk whom due to economic hardship opts to become a military prostitute as a source of living.

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