FAUX-K-STORIES: MARRIAGE CONTRACT #2

Han Ji-Hoon, The Mr. Darcy..?
Keywords: Korean Drama, Marriage Contract, Kdrama recap, K-drama, #Kdrama #MarriageContract

Warning!

Faux-K-stories are intended for the purpose of satire, parody, and criticism. None of the depictions of characters and events are true. While the specific show “Marriage Contract ” is used as the basis, many elements of other Korean dramas are used as reference. Read at your own peril. 



It is interesting to see how much impact English novelist Jane Austen had on the post-Korean War culture especially on the romantic architypes hold by Korean society. Well… most of this impact should be assigned to “Pride and Prejudice” and to a lesser degree “Sense and Sensibility.”

Interview:

---Do Min-joon, Professor of Cultural science at Chun-jin University

Through the cultural disintegration resulting from the fall of the traditional Confucianist cultural identity, the cultural reforming efforts of the Japanese occupation, and the devastation of the Korean war which dealt the final blow, the baby boomer generation, who came to age in the post-war period, found themselves in a void in terms of how to conceptualize romance. They simply didn’t really understand the concept we now see as love. It wasn’t that they didn’t feel the biological need for sexual relationships, companionship, and more importantly the need to form a family. The explosion of the birth rate during this period is evidence that Koreans were shagging like rabbits. However, they didn’t really have a fully formed conceptualization of “Love” and “Romance” like we have now.

What the baby boomer generation ended up settling on is a very pragmatic approach which should not be surprising as they were the generation that rebuilt the economy of Korean from the ground up during their life time. Sex, reproduction, passion, and child rearing were done in a very fragmented and functional basis. While child rearing and reproduction was restricted to the boundaries of the family, Sex wasn’t. Passions, on the other hand, were assigned to the man’s social arena and redirecting it to frivolous things like love was frowned upon. This departmentalized approach to life as you may expect had its issues such as the matter of children born out of wedlock. In an age when the method of contraception was still primitive these things happened. It happened a lot. There is a reason why Korea had been the top exporter of infants meant for foreign adoption for decades.

While pragmatic, this approach required a lot of mental gymnastics to be done in order for it to be maintained. The following generation, who grew up in these households, ended up rebelling against this approach to life and love. This is when Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice” made a splash in Korea. The novel had been introduced to Korea a decade earlier. However, its influences only started to break through to the mainstream culture during his period. Who knew that a story about the English Regency era aristocracy would resonate so much with Koreans who at the time had barely risen above the pervert line?

---End of Interview:

One of the major Korean cultural architypes created by “Pride and Prejudice” was the “Mr. Darcy.” This character in “Pride and Prejudice” became the romantic template for Korean men for decades. Well…more accurately, it was the template of what Korean women wanted in their men. I mean Korean men don’t really read romance book then and even now. Thus, you could say that “Pride and Prejudice” indirectly created the Korean “Mr. Darcy.”

So, why did the “Mr. Darcy” caught on?

Interview:

---Do Min-joon, Professor of Cultural science at Chunjin University

Well, in my opinion, the “Mr. Darcy” architype had the advantage of making it possible to actual make the negative aspects of Korean male look appealing to the opposite gender. I like to call this the “gentrification of the badboy.”

As the product of their Korean War generation parents, the Korean baby boomer male had a combination of insecurities resulting from the lack of freedom, lack of paternal affection, and dependence on a maternal figure. These insecurities then caused issues with having an active and healthy relationship with females. The “Mr. Darcy” architype, by giving females a new psychological filter on how to interpret the damaged personality of their romantic mates, made it easier to justify bad behavior in their mates. No longer was this behavior conducted via self-oppression and self-denial. Now it became romantic!

---End of Interview:

This is where the male part of this tragic story comes into the picture. Han Ji-Hoon is a “Mr. Darcy”! He is so a “Mr. Darcy!”



Warning!

Faux-K-stories are intended for the purpose of satire, parody, and criticism. None of the depictions of characters and events are true. While the specific show “Marriage Contract” is used as the basis, many elements of other Korean dramas are used as reference. Read at your own peril. 




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