The Vegetarian Symbols & Objects

Han Kang
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Blood

Throughout the narrative, blood shows up as a key symbol that has several variations - in the dream that triggers Yeong-hye's choice to become vegetarian; in the aftermath of her suicide attempt when it moves up into her IV bag; on the artist's shirt; and on the jacket of the doctor attempting to treat her in the psychiatric hospital. In all these variations, blood evokes the same element: the essential life force. In the dream, blood represents the life force of animals that have been killed for food. The blood in the IV bag and on the doctor's jacket metaphorically suggests that her life force is being sucked out of her by medical treatment. The blood on the shirt suggests both that Yeong-hye's suicide attempt cost her some life force, and that the artist is moved and inspired by his connection with that force.

Meat

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This section contains 1,423 words
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Buy The Vegetarian Study Guide
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