‘When did all of this begin?’ she sometimes asked herself, in such moments. ‘No-when did it all begin to fall apart?’
-The Vegetarian, Han Kang
About the book:
Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. The acceptable flatline of their marriage is interrupted when Yeong-hye, seeking a more ‘plant-like’ existence, commits a shocking act of subversion. As her rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre and frightening forms, Yeong-hye spirals further and further into her fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming – impossibly, ecstatically – a tree.
This is a dark psychological story that cannot be accepted by everyone. If I have to describe this book in one word then I will call it ‘Bizarre’. But, this is what our psychology is like. Inside, we feel infinite inexpressible feelings but outside we are like robots, smiling and taking on whatever is thrown at us mercilessly, this is what is bizarre.
The story revolves around the Yeong-hye who had suddenly become vegetarian and it affects her family. The dreams and the Mongolian mark have been connected to the story as a strange twist. But, in the end, I suppose, we need a reason to outcome our inside feelings, to outburst our expressions and throw the real us in front of the world.
I have great respect for In-hye, the sister of Yeong-hye to stick through her till the end. The care and support of a sister depicted by the Author is just bliss for the dark side of the book.
The book is so dark, that I can feel the heaviness inside me. It took me some time to accept the story and move on with it. In countries, where non-vegetarian play an important part in the diet, neglecting the family cries for oneself and doing all the madness destroys everything that one can be thankful for.
I just want to give one message for everyone, to read such a dark and heavy book requires great control of the mind. We may feel thousands of things in our fantasy which are not supposed to be the way we imagine it, means we have reached our threshold and step back rather than following our crazy thoughts. ‘Mind control’ is a very big deal, so try to achieve it, make sure the things which are taking you down towards the destruction and violence have to be left behind, locked in a box and never to be opened again.
I highly suggest this book for the people who go through mental illness to know the do’s and don’ts, the consequences of the actions.
‘The Vegetarian’ delivers a great message about understanding psychology and the mental illness of a person. All these people need is love and care.
The only thing that makes me uncomfortable is the culture. The messed up relationships of in-laws and the painting on the body.
Book review: 4/5