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[Opinion] Love Triangle

Posted August. 11, 2002 22:33,   


I love to watch movies, but these days I just don’t feel like going to see the movies. There are few good movies to watch. We now have a broader range of choice with the so-called multiplex theaters. But movies are all alike – violence, sex, alien invasion and some silly comedies. They might be good for relaxing for a short period of time. I just don’t think, however, it’s worth going to cinema to see those movies. There are no more ‘Cinema Paradise’ and ‘Thorn Bird’ that warm and touch our hearts.

▷That’s why I stay home for TV dramas instead. Watching them, I often get offended, though. Characters don’t mind eavesdropping conversations or peeping into diaries. And a married woman continues to see her old boy friend even after getting married. With too many coincidences, stories are more farfetched than appealing. Watching all those love triangles, we find one interesting fact. The love triangle today is much different from that in the past.

▷In the 1970s through 1980s, most of the triangle relationships involved one man and two women. Under the Japanese colonial rule, a man left his wife and children and went to Tokyo to study. There he fell in love with a modernized woman or an attractive beauty breaking the heart of his sacrificing wife back home.

This relationship centering on one man reflects the male chauvinism at that time. In the west, however, heroines in books and movies often got lost and torn between two men. Cleopatra was a woman loved by both Antonius and Cesar. Scarlet in ‘Gone with the Wind’ also was in love with both Butler and Ashley. The ‘one woman and two men’ relationship was more common.

▷Our TV dramas today are shifting the focus of the love triangle from a man to a woman. We have seen ‘Fairy Tale of Fall,” “Beautiful Days,’ ‘Glass Shoes’ and ‘Age of Innocence.’ A marriage between a young man and an older woman is also catching on fast. Of course, we still see the traditional ‘one man and two women’ relationship. But now it is more like a love quadrangle as a wife gets a boy friend to get even with her cheating husband. And I wonder whether the new pattern of a love triangle is a step forward or a backward.

Hong Yeon-sook, Honorary Professor of Linguistics at Hanyang University