The novel The Vegetarian is divided into three sections, each of which is recounted by a different
narrator. Why does the author never permit Yeong-hye (who is, after all, the vegetarian) to serve
as narrator of her own story? What does this choice of narrators tell us about Yeong-hye, her
situation, and her story? Cite carefully-chosen details from the novel to support your argument.
Do NOT summarize the plot of the novel; analyze it.
The film adaptation of The Vegetarian was directed by Woo-Seong Lim and appeared in 2009 in
Korea. It is readily available for a nominal fee on the Internet (be sure to watch the right film).
The director chose to present the events of The Vegetarian in a different order than they are
presented in the novel. Why does the director not follow the narrative chronology of the novel?
How does this new narrative structure change the viewer’s understanding of The Vegetarian.
Indicate the scenes you watch using tracking numbers. For example, 14:20 would indicate 14
minutes and 20 seconds into the film. Do NOT summarize the plot of the film; analyze it.
According to Charse Yun, a Korean-American translator and blogger, 31% of the translation of
the novel The Vegetarian consists of adjectives and adverbs added by Deborah Smith, the
translator. This means that nearly every third word of the translation into English that you we
have read cannot be found in the original Korean version of the novel. Choose three passages
from the novel not discussed in class that contain lots of adverbs and adjectives. Remove all the
adjectives and adverbs. Compare the new, adjective- and adverb-free version of these passages
with the original translation. What is the effect of all these adjectives and adverbs? How do they
change the experience of the reader? Do they change the reader’s understanding of the novel?
Note on the formatting of papers:
*All papers must be submitted in .doc or .docx format. Do not submit papers
in .pages or .pdf (or any other) format. Papers written using Pages can be saved
as .docx documents.
*4-5 typed pages with one-inch margins, double-spaced, 12-point Times New
*Single-spaced heading including your name, course section, assignment and date
in upper left-hand corner (4 lines).
*Page numbers at top right corner.
*Your original title in regular type and centered.
*Please include a separate “Works Cited” page, which does not count toward the
4-5 pages required.
*Cite in MLA format, available at: