When my name was Keoko Quotes

When My Name Was Keoko

Throughout My name is Keoko, Park portrays how a nation, a family, and individuals must respond to crisis and oppression in various forms of resistance. For some, their fight is literal, and they go to war and fight courageously for their family's well-being (Tae-yul). For others, it is subtle, and they fight using subversive underground tactics to dismantle the oppressor (Uncle). And for others, they don't seem to fight at all — yet even in their non-action, resistance manifests in unexpected ways (Abuji).

At the core of this novel, Park explores how individuals — when faced with the most challenging realities of life, death, loss, and abuse — must find ways to cope and endure by fighting. Yet fighting does not have to look the same for every individual. People should not expect a strong young man like Tae-yul, who is interested in plane mechanics, to respond to crises in the same way as an elder like Mrs. Ahn who can barely walk does — yet both must find ways to resist defeat. Whether mentally, spiritually, or physically, each character demonstrates a range of resisting occupation.

The most obvious and expected form of resistance is actual resistance by military force. Tae-yul decides to join the Japanese Imperial Army and later becomes involved as a kamikaze pilot.