Book Talk Home | Search Book Talk | Login | RSS
Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
This Burns My Heart
An epic love story set in the intriguing landscape of postwar South Korea.
More about this book

Do you think Soo-Ja feels pity for Min? Do you?

Created: 04/08/12

Replies: 9

Posted Apr. 08, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 369

Expert

Do you think Soo-Ja feels pity for Min? Do you?

Min asks Soo-Ja, "If you had to choose, would you rather be yourself or Eun-Mee?" (p. 291) Soo-Ja realizes, "The thing about capturing a prize fish is that everyone admires the fish, and soon forgets about the fisherman." (p. 292) Do you think Soo-Ja feels pity for Min? Do you?


Posted Apr. 10, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

Expert

RE: Do you think Soo-Ja feels pity for Min? Do you?

Considering Soo-Ja's own intentions for marrying Min, does that excuse Min in any way or make you reconsider your opinion of him?

Lisa


Posted Apr. 11, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 81

Expert

RE: Do you think Soo-Ja feels pity for Min? Do you?

Soo-Ja keeps expecting a different response from Min. Her reasons for marrying him were false and self-serving. On page 183 she admits to Yul that she made a terrible mistake when she married Min. It was one of the few times in the book that I felt Soo-Ja was a real character.


Posted Apr. 11, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
irisf

Join Date: 01/16/12

Posts: 63

Expert

RE: Do you think Soo-Ja feels pity for Min? Do you?

I do believe that Soo-Ja feels pity for Min. He had been mistreated his entire life by his parents and for that reason I did, too. However, his motives for pursuing Soo-ja were less than honorable I had ambivilous feelings for him. There were times I felt he was pitiful and others when I was angry with him. I felt more empathy for Soo-ja because her opportunities were so limited and she felt that she would have more of an opportunity to pursue her goals with Min. It appeared to me that in this culture love played almost no role, if any, in these marriages.


Posted Apr. 11, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

Expert

RE: Do you think Soo-Ja feels pity for Min? Do you?

I found it hard to feel much pity for Min. Only when his father put the failing business in his son's name - leaving Min backed into a corner - did I feel badly for him. Or maybe he was getting his just desserts for treating Min the same way.

When they owned the motel, and Soo-Ja was left with all the work while her husband messed around with the maids, I absolutely hated him.

He provoked a lot of emotion in me - mostly anger.


Posted Apr. 12, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 100

Expert

RE: Do you think Soo-Ja feels pity for Min? Do you?

I don't think she feels pity for Min. I think she excepts the traditional Korean role of wife and daughter in law too readily and she understands why Min may be the way he is over time, but she never seems to pity him. She regrets marrying him, but still does her duty as his wife. Maybe her Soo-ja's strength contributes to Min's ineffectiveness. I was frustrated with Min, I thought he would change, I guess in the end he did at least do the right thing which went against his father's wishes.


Posted Apr. 12, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
christineb

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 30

RE: Do you think Soo-Ja feels pity for Min? Do you?

I think she does feel some pity for Min but it gets covered by by her daily unhappiness and hard work. I didn't feel any pity for MIn- actually I didn't like him and wanted to shake some sense into him. I realize that culture played a part in both of their personalities but Min was just inherently weak.


Posted Apr. 13, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

Expert

RE: Do you think Soo-Ja feels pity for Min? Do you?

Each married the other under false circumstances but Soo-Ja lost out the most, in my opinion. Min turned cold on her on their wedding night, for goodness sake! And he and his father schemed for Soo-Jo to borrow so much money from her father it was likely to ruin him. He gave it because of his love for his daughter, and gave gladly. He may be the kindest person in the book.

We all make mistakes, but Min and Soo-Ja made some huge ones. I believe Soo-Ja, had Min moved her to Seoul, would have been more kind to him. His general lazy nature seems it would have fit well with her as the breadwinner, too. But he lacked the spine to stand up to his father, to say no, I won't head your business. And soon he's paying the price (literally) for that.

Interesting he treats his wife with such a firm hand but is so indulgent to his daughters. Was he pitting them against Soo-Ja out of spite? Consciously or unconsciously I really believe he was, to make her life even more miserable. And the reason? He felt emasculated he couldn't take care of his family after having gone bankrupt.

Soo-Ja has every right to feel no pity for Min. If she does that says much about her character and how she was raised.


Posted Apr. 25, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 94

Expert

RE: Do you think Soo-Ja feels pity for Min? Do you?

I believe she does but it would be hard to feel any kindness towards someone who is so self absorbed. I was interested in trying to look at this and other questions about this in light of the Asian take on women as property rather than as individuals. I didn't think Soo-ja had a predisposition toward these feelings, but I believe her parents exhibited signs of this as did Min (and certainly his family).


Posted Apr. 25, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cheryls

Join Date: 05/22/11

Posts: 3

RE: Do you think Soo-Ja feels pity for Min? Do you?

I think that she might have felt a little pity for him because his family treated him badly. But on the other hand she might not have felt all that bad for him because she was going to use him(so she thought) to further her own career plans.


Reply

Please login to post a response.