Husband Turns Wife Into Dutiful Daughter-in-Law

Husband Turns Wife Into Dutiful Daughter-in-Law

Headword

불효부를 효부로 만든 남편 ( Husband Turns Wife Into Dutiful Daughter-in-Law )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Folk tales

Writer KimDaesook(金大琡)

This narrative tells the story of a husband who uses his wit to transform his wife who is disrespectful to his parents into a dutiful daughter-in-law.

This narrative can be categorized into two types:

The first type can be summed up as “Fattening Up the Father-in-Law to Be Sold.” There was a husband and wife who lived with the husband’s widowed father. The husband noticed his wife treating his father badly, and his father would complain to him, the relationship worsening day by day and the household also falling into decline. One day, the husband said to his wife, “There was a man at the market today who sold his father, fattened up nice and plump, at such a good price, ” adding, “Let’s fatten up Father and sell him.” His wife, tempted at the idea, agreed and began pampering her father-in- law. She served him chestnuts, sweet potatoes, meat and bean porridge at every meal and kept his clothes clean and crisp. As his daughter-in-law began to treat him differently, the father-in-law’s mood changed as well, and he would offer to sweep the yard, take care of his grandson while his son and daughter-in-law were working in the field, wake up before everyone else and clean out the kitchen hearth. A year passed and on the scheduled date, the eve of Lunar New Year, the husband brought up selling his father to his wife. But his wife protested that life was much easier with him around and it would be hard to manage without her father-in-law.

The second type features a daughter-in-law who resents her mother-in-law and treats her badly. Her husband, noticing this, lies to her that elderly people die within a month if they are fed sweet chestnuts, bean porridge and rice wine everyday. Tempted by her husband’s suggestion, the wife treats her mother-in-law to fine food everyday, which makes the mother-in-law healthy and content. She praises her daughter-in-law to everyone in the village, establishing her reputation as a kind and dutiful daughter-in-law, which brings about change within the daughter-in-law.

This narrative offers a fully fleshed dramatization of family dynamics centering on the care of elderly parents, from the point-of-view of everyone involved. From ancient times, the most burdensome role for a daughter-in-law was supporting a widowed father-in-law, which is reflected in the idiomatic expressions, “Would you rather support a widowed father-in-law or crawl on the wall?” “Would you rather support a widowed father-in-law or bead three mal of marbles?” The circumstances depicted in the tale show that while filial piety is the duty of the son in relation to his father, the person responsible for practicing the virtue is the daughter-in-law, emphasizing the importance of establishing the appropriate roles among family members.

Husband Turns Wife Into Dutiful Daughter-in-Law

Husband Turns Wife Into Dutiful Daughter-in-Law
Headword

불효부를 효부로 만든 남편 ( Husband Turns Wife Into Dutiful Daughter-in-Law )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Folk tales

Writer KimDaesook(金大琡)

This narrative tells the story of a husband who uses his wit to transform his wife who is disrespectful to his parents into a dutiful daughter-in-law.

This narrative can be categorized into two types:

The first type can be summed up as “Fattening Up the Father-in-Law to Be Sold.” There was a husband and wife who lived with the husband’s widowed father. The husband noticed his wife treating his father badly, and his father would complain to him, the relationship worsening day by day and the household also falling into decline. One day, the husband said to his wife, “There was a man at the market today who sold his father, fattened up nice and plump, at such a good price, ” adding, “Let’s fatten up Father and sell him.” His wife, tempted at the idea, agreed and began pampering her father-in- law. She served him chestnuts, sweet potatoes, meat and bean porridge at every meal and kept his clothes clean and crisp. As his daughter-in-law began to treat him differently, the father-in-law’s mood changed as well, and he would offer to sweep the yard, take care of his grandson while his son and daughter-in-law were working in the field, wake up before everyone else and clean out the kitchen hearth. A year passed and on the scheduled date, the eve of Lunar New Year, the husband brought up selling his father to his wife. But his wife protested that life was much easier with him around and it would be hard to manage without her father-in-law.

The second type features a daughter-in-law who resents her mother-in-law and treats her badly. Her husband, noticing this, lies to her that elderly people die within a month if they are fed sweet chestnuts, bean porridge and rice wine everyday. Tempted by her husband’s suggestion, the wife treats her mother-in-law to fine food everyday, which makes the mother-in-law healthy and content. She praises her daughter-in-law to everyone in the village, establishing her reputation as a kind and dutiful daughter-in-law, which brings about change within the daughter-in-law.

This narrative offers a fully fleshed dramatization of family dynamics centering on the care of elderly parents, from the point-of-view of everyone involved. From ancient times, the most burdensome role for a daughter-in-law was supporting a widowed father-in-law, which is reflected in the idiomatic expressions, “Would you rather support a widowed father-in-law or crawl on the wall?” “Would you rather support a widowed father-in-law or bead three mal of marbles?” The circumstances depicted in the tale show that while filial piety is the duty of the son in relation to his father, the person responsible for practicing the virtue is the daughter-in-law, emphasizing the importance of establishing the appropriate roles among family members.