This study is aimed at collecting and classifying sexual desire or behavior-related verbal descriptions shown in the old novels, to examine the sexual desire those days’ people perceived and their inclination contained in it. The findings are summariz ...
This study is aimed at collecting and classifying sexual desire or behavior-related verbal descriptions shown in the old novels, to examine the sexual desire those days’ people perceived and their inclination contained in it. The findings are summarized as follows.
Above all, sexual discourse described in the old novels was divided into ‘negative discourse’ and ‘positive discourse,’ in the chapter of ‘Understanding of the Sexual Desire’. Negative discourse generally mentions that sexual desire destroys a household and a nation, as well as personal body and mind. That is, sexual desire is the root of all individual and social vice. It deeply reflects the idea and inclination of the feudal ruling class that attempted maintaining patriarchal clan rules system, by oppressing sexual desire based on Confucian view of the world. The main descriptions of the positive discourse are sexual desire is an intrinsic attribute of all living creatures, coming from the reason of Ying and Yang. Furthermore, it affirms the sexual desire extremely, describing it as a driving force to move natural laws, as well as the root of humanity and all creation, saying ‘Morality comes from desire, desire comes from human beings composed of male and female,’ ‘Human desire lets natural laws flow’. Such assertion is actually a reversed metaphysics view of humanity and of natural laws.
And then, centering on a romance and prevailing state of society novels depicting love matters in the chapter of ‘How to deal with sexual desire, and its inclination,’ this study focused on the way how to deal with and conclude sexual behavior and incident shown in the novels, and examined the recognition and inclination expressed in the way of handling.
In the midst of romances, works in Namalyeocho describe sexual desire negatively or transform it into moral principles such as female virtues, faith, sacrifice and fidelity, except of <CHOI, Chi-won>, which is deemed originated from an inclination to establish social ideology and values through newly introduced Confucianism and Buddhism. However, <CHOI, Chi-won> intended to search the meaning of life in different angle from Confucianism and Buddhism, by exposing sexual desire and instinct outspokenly.
The most of romances generated from Keumo Myth of the 15thcentury to the first half of the 17thcentury depict that young man and woman have sexual relationship before marriage, without being discovered by their parents. Premarital sexual relations were never acceptable inaccordance with then social customs or Confucian morality and manners. But, those works describes such behavior positively consistently. Besides, like as Uisaeng of <Uigyeongcheonjeon>, even raping without controlling sexual desire was acceptable. Only thing that matters is whether there’s ‘genuineness’ or not. Any behavior to satisfyone’s sexual desire was acceptable, if it came from pure an dgenuine sexual desire.
Such acceptance is connected to the prevailing state of society novels that way. Works also known as male dishonoring novel criticize a stiff attitude denying ordinary and common lifestyle, especially sexual desire, enslaved by Confucian idea or spirit. That is to say, those works have meaning in depicting vividly the fact that ‘sexual desire cannot be restricted artificially as human real nature, and must not be oppressed,’ through sarcastic skill.
<Jeolhwa Kidam > and <Poeuigyojip > depict an immoral relation between a married man and a married woman. But, the foregoing works are not describing immoral relations as negative. That is, they assert that ‘sexual desire-related matters should be understood by connecting to personal inclination and its genuineness,’ which is deemed preoccupying modern way of thinking, considering personality important.