Occupation Suji Kwock Kim Analysis

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In the late nineteenth century, major imperial powers sought to increase its influence in trade and attain colonies. Japan was one of these powers. However, because of its restrictions in space, it had a big disadvantage compared to other powers. Therefore, Japan viewed Korea as a stepping-stone to industrial and agricultural development. Through the assassination of the Korean royal family, Japan gained great influence in Korea. By 1910, Japan successfully took over Korea. This era was documented and transformed into the poetry through “Occupation” by Suji Kwock Kim. In the poem, Kim uses extended metaphors, euphemism and sarcasm to depict the policies and cruelties that the Japanese inflicted upon the Korean people. She uses the image of “a house” to symbolize the oppression and constriction that the Korean nation endured during the thirty five-year-rule of Japan. In the first eight lines of the poem, the speaker describes the construction of…show more content…
A warm and cozy feeling is brought upon people when thinking about a house, however, the house Kim is describing is much darker and haunting place. “They hammer/bodies into the earth/like nails,/they paint the walls/with blood.” The author’s usage of the gruesomeness of this metaphor expresses the atrocities done by the Japanese officials in order to attain control of Korea. “The house”, which was built on the death of many and painted with blood, is such brilliant sarcasm used by Suji Kwock Kim. Moving inside, Kim begins to reveal the characteristics and state of those who inhabit it. “Inside the doors/stay shut, locked/ as eyes of stone.” The image of the “the doors stay shut” and “locked as eyes of stone” tells the reader that whatever the house represents, it is restricting and confining the people in it. This was exactly what the Japanese government tried to do. From 1910 to 1945, the Japanese banned the teaching of Korean language and history, while making

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