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Once the Shore

About Paul Yoon and Once the Shore Overall Analysis of Characters

Overall Analysis of the Island

ENGL418 Ethnic American Literature

About Paul Yoon & Once the Shore

born 1980 New York City American short story writer Korean American

2006 Best American Short Stories 2009 John C. Zacharis First Book 2009 O. Henry Award(And We Will Be Here)

About Paul Yoon & Once the Shore

In my opinion novel is like a love letter sent from the author to the reader I actually wasnt that much aware of my Korean American identity while I was writing. However, I rather cherish every other culture and interested in the lives of people living outside U.S.
Source: Paul Yoons interview with Korea Joong Ang Daily

About Paul Yoon & Once the Shore


Brief info about Once the Shore, the entire book

2006 Best American Short Stories

Settings of all 8 stories are island


Characters with bitter memories of brutal history Focus on alienated people living in island Stories created upon authors stay in Jeju

About Paul Yoon & Once the Shore


Summary of Once the Shore

SettingA resort in an imaginary Island called Solla CharacterAn American in her sixties staying in the resort A young Korean waiter named Jim working in the resort.

About Paul Yoon & Once the Shore


Summary of Once the Shore

They share their inner scar Jims brother killed by U.S submarine. Her memory with her husband and husbands suspected extramarital affair

Main Characters
American Widow: sixties, American from upstate New York -Try to find the cave which her husband wrote something on the wall Husband : Dead

ENGL418 Ethnic American Literature

Main Characters
Jim: Waiter, Twenty six, From mainland Jims brother: Fisherman, killed by United States Submarine

ENGL418 Ethnic American Literature

Sub Characters
Manger: Fond of Jim Luis: Help American widow and Jim to find the cave

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Excerpts
A couple from Boston had shortened their stay on the island lest the incident provoke anti-American sentiment, which was developing on the mainland (p. 17) Jim had grown an affinity toward the American widow (p. 21) He was so kind, the boy (p. 24)
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Excerpts
The name of Jim -Dont know his Korean name Luis -The way of writing

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Similarities between Characters


Taken away ones lover Sharing similar experience; loss Grappling with separation Characters can feel an unity within the island

ENGL418 Ethnic American Literature

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Relationship between Characters


Mundane in a way that evokes an entire relationship Characters from different social classes and historical moments move through the stories

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Compare to The Chinaman


No external tension between characters More like interdependent relationship, helping and understanding each other Cant get persons information exactly such as ones nationality directly from the reading
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Island VS Mainland
Discrepancy with mainland Different attitudes towards US

Cultural Diversity
Workers & tourists from around the world Diverse nationalities converge Accept others as individuals

The inspiration: Jeju Island

Jeju Special Self-Governing Province

Locals unhappy with government decision

The Imagined Island


Never my intention to write about a specific island Represent all culturally diverse places More realistic?

Discussion Questions
If the story were set in a place that exists in real life, would it be any different? What is the significance of Luiss character?