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Title: Death of the contemporary self: contextualising suicide in the urban space.
Authors: Tan, Puay Shian.
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Literature
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: By comparing Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood (1987) and Kim Young-ha’s I Have the Right to Destroy Myself (1996), this paper asserts that both authors express the act of suicide as a cultural response to the new urbanity of the 1960s Japan and 1990s South Korea. The act of suicide in both novels thus symbolizes the prevalence of the loss of one’s self and identity in the face of rapid social transformation. With this relationship between urbanization and the contemporary self, this paper will first examine the two authors’ articulation of urban spaces so as to establish the significance of urbanization in the portrayals of suicide, before discussing the parallels between the physical killing of oneself and the death of one’s self and identity. Through the similarities and differences of the two East Asian cultures, this paper aims to make sense of the portrayals of suicide within the urban spaces of Japan and South Korea, and hopes to conclude with the broader implications of these representations of suicide on the individual, the culture and the society.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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