Five Things About.... The Vegetarian

Five thoughts on Han King's The Vegetarian:

This is not a happy book, not that books have to be happy. Just be prepared- the characters are all completely miserable.

There have been many comparisons to Kafka and his abstract existentialism, and I definitely concur. As a reader we’re constantly questioning the characters’ distortions of reality, all the while forming conclusions about their identity. 

The narrative is told in four parts, with another character’s dreams and thoughts spliced on. I typically don’t love this style, since it makes me feel inevitably detached from characters, as there’s no return to their thread for closure. It worked for this novel, though, form and function coinciding. Detachment is such a crucial thematic concept, so it’s parallel to the structure was appropriate. 

I appreciated the glimpse into South Korean life- the food, setting, gender roles, medical system, etc…

There’s this interesting portrayal of this sort of decay of natural beauty, specifically flowers. At one point an artist paints beautiful floral designs all over another character, but soon the beauty fades, the flowers symbolizing something much darker and almost grotesque

No comments:

Post a Comment