Written by students of FC1750.06
at Founders College, York University
Yet what Sukhui longs for is someone who resembles Apollo with curls drooping over his forehead. She has a crush on a mythical figure in Western literature who rules her thoughts. In Greek mythology, Apollo himself is notorious for leaving his mate, and although he has fathered numerous children, he remains single. Given a choice, Marpessa selects Ida instead of the sun-god, for she knows he will abandon her when her beauty fades.
Sukhui, however, is vain of her beauty, taking great pride in her fair complexion, stylish clothes, and her royal title as queen of E. High School. In her stepfather's "ivy-mantled" suburban home, she imaginatively steps into a French movie to savor the joie de vivre in a romantic atmosphere. Unless she wakes up from this make-believe world, chooses her path wisely, her life will be full of regrets.
What is the right choice? What is the wisest course of action in resolving the rival claims of society and individual preferences? How do we know that we won't find ourselves one day looking at the rain reflecting on our life, filled with sorrows? The naive narrator falls in love with an image of divine manhood enshrined in Western culture. Being part of that culture, I can understand her infatuation with the traits that Apollo embodies -- music, poetry, sunlight, and prophecy.
Ishiguro, Kazuo. A Pale View of Hills. London: Faber and Faber, 1982.
Kang, Sinjae. "The Young Zelkova." In Flowers of Fire: Twentieth-Century Korean Stories.
Copyright © 1996 by the authors. Information from this article should be attributed to the authors.