After the Russo-Japanese war, landowner Han Gil-ju believes that the only way for Korea to survive is to befriend Japan. He sends his son to a Japanese language school and exploits tenant farmers, but his family is ultimately destroyed. Meanwhile, Pak Gom-son, a tenant farmer, incites other farmers and laborers to resist the tyranny of landowners and Japanese imperialism. He is captured while leading the March 1st Independence Movement in Musan and is tortured to death. His son Pak Si-dong grows up to be a staunch nationalist. Learning the socialist ideology, he comes to lead a strike in the coal mines.
This is an epic novel by Ri Ki-yong, published in North Korea from 1952 to 1961. It is set in a period of new social changes, in which Korea is forced to open its ports and eventually becomes colonized by Japan. Through the gradually expansion of the setting from Chungcheong Province to North Gando and Seoul, as well as a long time span of over 30 years, this novel reflects the history of Korea of the times.
1952년~1961년까지 북한에서 발표한 이기영의 대하장편소설이다. 이 작품은 한국의 개항 이후 식민지로 전락하는 등 새로운 사회적 변화가 이루어지는 시기를 배경으로 삼았다. 충청도에서 북간도, 서울로 점차 확대되는 무대와 30여 년에 달하는 긴 시간적 배경을 통해 당대 한국의 역사를 총체적으로 반영하고 있다는 평가를 받는다.
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