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Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 2023, 6(17); doi: 10.25236/AJHSS.2023.061722.

The Medical Narrative of The Vegetarian from the Perspective of Ethical Literary Criticism


Han Limin

Corresponding Author:
Han Limin

School of Foreign Languages, Sichuan Normal University, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610000, China


The Vegetarian by Han Kang won the 2016 Booker International Prize for fiction, in which a vegetarian named Yeong-hye is ethically accused in the society until identified as a madman clinically in the end. But the critical attention has focused on the linear narrative of plot development tracing the conflict created by the female rebelling against domestic violence. In this case, the medical narrative behind the plot development is destined to be ignored, which detracts from the medical ethical values of the fiction. Medical narrative breaks the conventional paradigm of the linear narrative in literature. This narrative looks at gender, dream and madness from a clinical perspective, which deconstructs the binary opposition in the plot development as well as reveals the medical ethical oppression when Yeong-hye is converted to vegetarianism from a meat-eater. It can be seen that medical narrative not only enters a new narrative field, but also challenges Logocentrism as such a new narrative view that the medical ethical values of the text can be unleashed.


The Vegetarian; Medical Narrative; Medical Ethics; Brain Text; Bioethics

Cite This Paper

Han Limin. The Medical Narrative of The Vegetarian from the Perspective of Ethical Literary Criticism. Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences (2023) Vol. 6, Issue 17: 122-131. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJHSS.2023.061722.


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