In this paper, I examined 38 tragic versions of ‘Snail Maiden(우렁색시)'. These are divided into ‘(A) male and female transformation type’, ‘(B) breakup type’, and ‘(C) remarriage type’ according to the pattern of the ending. In type (B), which was recorded relatively later, ‘seogi (瑞气)’ is replaced by beauty, etc., and taboo motifs are omitted, showing a secularization aspect in which the mystic pixels are reduced or omitted.
In ‘Snail Maiden(우렁색시)', the injustice of the powerful taking the wife of a man from the lower classes is denounced. In the face of the tragic situation of tyranny of those in power, the mystic divine aspects in dark poetry such as ‘coming down from the sky(적강, 謫降)’, ‘the notion of Dragon Palace’ and ‘mysterious energy(서기)’ are powerless and play a role in heightening the tragic situation.
In the simple type and the overcoming hardship type, which are the marriage types, they provide comfort in a harmonious world where fantasy and transcendent power help the protagonist to lead to a happy ending. However, in the tragic type, divine power is frustrated by the violence of the world. Through the image of the world that does not meet the resentment and expectations of the self, the tragic type depicts the suffering self as dwarfed in the face of the violence of the world.
It is believed that the existence of the tragic form up to the 38 versions has helped to bring us to a fuller understanding of life by making us wary of a world where lawlessness and violence are rampant. The Korean folktale tradition group was able to gain hope and comfort through the relationship-type of ‘Snail Maiden(우렁색시)', and at the same time, could be wary of the dangers and evil circumstances that exist in human life through the tragic versions of it.