The purpose of this essay is to examine the speculation upon the modem subject in Hwang, Soon-won’s < Il-wol >. The narrative of this novel is based on the process of the hero’s inner quest for the self-knowledge and the self formation related to the cognition of the modem subject and the otherness. < Il-wol > is illustrative of Hwang, Soon-won’s matter of concern about the modernity of our society.
It is general understanding that < Il-wol > is the work on the ontological solitude and the salvation of human beings. But in this point of view, it is difficult to explain the structural unity in this work. < U-wol > is composed of three main-motives; the motive of ‘baekjeong’, ‘solitude’, ’love’. For that reason in order to interpret the inclusive meaning of this novel, it is necessary to elucidate the relations between these motives and to redescribe them into the meaning of precedence* That is possible, I think, to understand the consistent process as the progress of hero’s self-reflection and self formation.
The motive of (baekjeong’ takes part in the stage to free himself from premodern bondage and to acquire autonomous individuality. And the motive of ‘solitude’ is related to the stage to obtain the independent internality of the subject. On the other hand the motive of ‘love’ is concerned with the last stage to consider the negativity of self-identical subject and
to recognize the otherness. This sequential process includes the consideration for the problem, that is realization of the genuine and mature modernity in our society in which premodernity and modernity are intermingled each other.