Narrative structures in Korean folktales: A comparative analysis of Korean and English versions

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Abstract

A narrative is a sequence of connected events arranged by a narrator. Folktales are a genre of narrative stories that every cultural community possesses. They have spread through verbal storytelling rather than written formal texts and reflect cultural beliefs, cultural identity, traditions and social customs. In this paper, I comparatively analyse the narrative structure of two versions of Korean folktale stories: the original Korean version and their English versions rewritten by American writers. The results of the analysis reveal that a modification in narrative structure occurs during the process of trans-creating folktales into a different language to appeal to a target audience that has a different cultural background. The results of my analysis show that the story schemata of folktale stories and story patterns vary between cultures, reflecting the different cultural orientation of each audience.

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