Burning Mountain (Sanbul)
Theplay Burning Mountain by Ch`a Pomsok is drawn from a war-tornsociety. The people in this society are living under a major siegeand in constant insecurity. The community is, however, comingtogether to help each other. Culture and social interactions seem toplay a significant role in this effort. This piece will focus on thepositive and negative traits in the story.
Giventhat the society is in turmoil, members of the community are forcedto live in cohesion. They begin working together even in tasks forcedon them by the military. They are compelled to breach theirdifferences to work together. For instance, in Act 1 we areintroduced to two women, namely Mrs. Cho’e and Mr.s Yang, arguing.During their exchange of words, Chomnye interrupts and tells themthat their situation was not consensual, and since they were alreadyin the situation, the only thing they could do is to deliver on time.The women had been forced to collect grain by the self-defense army,and failure to complete could lead to dire consequences. The negativetraits such as the one exhibited by the two arguing women werebecause of the frustration they were facing. The women had no otherway to vent their frustration and became short tempered and feisty.As Chomnye mentioned, their quarrels were only going to affect themnegatively. She asks the women to drop the quarrel and work togetherto complete the task (Williams, 2009).
Asmentioned above, the community is going through a major threat. Thepolice have rampage the place killing most of the young men in thecommunity. The women are left widowed and struggling. The societycomes together to share in the struggle in what can be considered amajor positive trait in the story. The widows help each other to dealwith the losses. For instance, Chomnye and Ssallye help Sawol who isdeeply depressed, and they even spend the night over to keep hercompany. Another positive trait is the shared responsibility ofmaintaining security. Because of the deteriorating security, thecommunity comes together to keep watch. When the Captain calls forhelp for the night watch, each member of the community offers oneperson to be allocated a duty for the night watch.
Socialcohesion is a positive trait that acts as a form of glue thatprotected the community from falling apart. The widowed women are sodisturbed with the disruption of their livelihoods especially afterthe death of their husbands and other male members of their family.They only way they could deal with hard situations were by comingtogether and sharing the pain. Their organization for exercises suchas the night watch is only possible through social interaction andcohesion.
Evenin such times, the community still has to deal with some negativetraits such as lack of cooperation and friction among the people asseen in Act 1. For instance, the community is struggling to providefor their families. During one occasion the Captain and his team hidefood that was meant for a lot of people leading to the deprivation ofthe valley workers adequate nutrition. However, the community managedto pull together and achieve some sense of peace (Williams, 2009).
Mostof the negative traits are perpetrated by the police and theself-defense army as they felt that they had the authority over thepeople. They would burn their property and kill themindiscriminately. The community manages to survive by the practice ofpositive traits such as cooperation and cohesion. The playwright’schoices were not surprising giving the nature of the story. The storyportrays a struggling community, and the playwright seems to besupporting the idea of cohesion and social interaction by depictingpositive traits amongst the suffering people and negative traits forthe oppressors.
Inconclusion, as evident in the play, social cohesion is one of thesignificant positive traits that helped the community to thrive.Through this aspect, the society members were able to console eachother at the times of pain and offer each other support. However,greed, lack of cooperation, and conflicts serve as the dominantnegative traits in the play.
WilliamsTheodore de Bary (2009). THEA: Topics in Drama – East Asian Theatre(pp. 135 – 195), Columbian University Press.
No related posts.