Feed on

The Vegetarian by Han Kang is a novel with more than one twist. Not only do we not read the book from the main character’s point of view, we read it from three separate narrators who all have a connection to the main character. The first point of view we read through is the husband where she first tells him and the readers that she is a vegetarian. She doesn’t seem to think it has anyshock value whereas from his point of view, we see it does. “Before my wife turned vegetarian,” This is the first part of the opening line of this book. We can already tell the tone of the tone of the husband’s voice. “I’d always thought of her as completely unremarkable in every way. To be frank, the first time I met her I wasn’t even attracted to her.” (Kang, 11) We, as readers, can tell that the husband doesn’t have high regards and high thoughts of his wife.

The tone of the husband is different from the tone of the other two sections. The different points of view are important so we can get many angles of the three dimensional character. The section told by the brother in law has a different tone, one we can see right away. “The oxblood curtain fell over the stage. The dancers waved their hands so vigorously the whole row became a blur of movement, with the individual figures and possible to make out.” (Khan, 63) One can tell that his main focus is the visual effect, how the audience reacts to the story on stage. HE doesn’t starts off talking about the performance not his feeling for the main character. By using the different tones and points of view, the author chose this so she can show the characters ideas and personalities, but she also creates four three dimensional characters while focusing on Yeong-hye story and life.

The last point of view is of Yeong-hye’s sister. “She stands and looks out of the rain-swept road. She is at the bus stop across from Maseok terminal. Huge goods vans thunder past, speeding along in the fast lane. The raindrops drum against her umbrella, so forcefully it seems they might rip through the material.” (Khan, 129) the sister is one that pays more attention to detail, even more so than her husband. While she, compared to her husband, has a more specific creative tone whereas her husband’;s tone paints a picture of the bigger scene. I believe she did this set up for her novel because she could create four believable characters while still focusing around a main point.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.