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Toni Barker October 21, 2014 Genre: Traditional Literature Alternate 1

Literary Analysis
Bibliographic Information:
Climo, S. (1993). The Korean Cinderella. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.
Plot originality: Being a retelling of the traditional Cinderella story, the plot is very original.
The main characters name is Pear Blossom, rather than Cinderella. Other than a wicked
stepmother and stepsister, and a man searching for her, the stories have a completely different
story line. It is fresh and unpredictable.
Climax: The plot builds until the magistrate interrupts Omoni, Pear Blossoms stepmother,
mistreating Pear Blossom. The finding of Pear Blossom, by a search with her sandal, leads into
the falling action of the story.
Location: The Korean Cinderella takes place long ago in a village in Korea.
Effects of setting: The setting affects the characters by making the characters authentic. Taking
place in Korea, the characters act in such a way as living in a small village Korea.
Theme: The theme of the story is determination, perseverance, and hope. All of these
characteristics combined, helps Pear Blossom to complete the tasks that her evil stepmother
gives her. Before each task, she asks out loud, Will none in this world help me? Each time, she
is visited by tokgabi, in the form of a helping animal friend that helps her complete the otherwise
impossible task. Pear Blossoms hope and determination helps her make it to the village festival
so she can enjoy a picnic.
Symbols: In the authors note, tokgabis often appear in Korean fairy tales. Sometimes
kindhearted, other times fearsome, these goblins help or trouble humans as they choose. Some
people believe that they are the spirits of good people that have died. If the tokgabis in the story
represent a good person that has died, these tokgabis could represent the spirit of Pear Blossoms
dead mother.
Character development/growth: After the magistrate announces that he wants to make Pear
Blossom his bride, Omoni does nothing but stare, stiff as a statue. The author does not mention
Omoni or her stepsister Peony after this part of the story. This causes the reader to assume that
neither Omoni nor Peony had changed by growing into a better person.
Diverse groups of people: The author accurately portrays those of Korean culture. Both the
author and illustrator research and/or visited Korea in order to authentically portray the Korean
Appropriate Style: The authors style of writing is very appropriate to the subject. The author
write in extensive detail when describing different things from clothing to animals to nature. I
feel that this is important because it shows how much the author appreciates the Korean culture.
She also includes many Korean terms which also adds to the authenticity of the story.
Dialogue: The dialogue reads very natural. The characters say things differently such as Who
will tend Pear Blossom now? rather than, Who will take care of Pear Blossom now? This also
adds to the authenticity of the story.
Point of View:
Appropriate point of view: The story is told in third person. The story being told from this
point of view is purposeful in that it reads in the natural way that a reader expects from a
folktale. The purpose of folktales is to tell a story that is later retold many times again. If it was
read as I, the folktale would lose meaning.
Characteristics Specific to Genre:
Illustrations: The illustrations extend the authors descriptions quite extensively. The illustrator
had visited Korea before creating her paintings for this book. All of her illustrations are based on
extensive research, observations, and a passionate interest in Korean culture. Thusly, her
illustrations are true to the Korean culture.
Does the story represent cultural norms, or is it rewritten to conform to Western culture? :
As previously stated, the author and the illustrator did extensive research before creating this
book. The story represents the Korean cultural norms. Tokgabis are a big part of the story, and
they often appear in Korean fairy tales. The author also incorporated Korean words into the story
such as her stepmother Omonithe Korean word for mother, Haisun, EwhaPear Blossom.
Oral Traditions: Instead of beginning as Once upon a time, the story begins as Long ago in
Korea. The story also omits the and they lived happily ever after ending.
I really enjoyed the Korean version of Cinderella. The plot was extremely creative and
original. I appreciate how much research that the author and illustrator did before creating this
book. Their passion for creating an authentic piece of literature shows from beginning to ending.
The scholastic website recommends this book for grades K-2, but I disagree. I think that
this would be more appropriate for intermediate grades. The concept isnt difficult, but I think
that younger students would be bored with the long and descriptive text. Based off the amount of
cultural authenticity and appreciation, I would use this book in teaching about different cultures,
specifically Korean.