One virtue that is required of adulthood is the ability to make one’s own decisions and be responsible for their consequences. Since the decision making process entails excluding reckless attempts and the path not chosen in unfamiliar situations, this can only lead to an extremely complex behavioral stage that harbors uncertainty and hesitation. Jong-pil, a high school senior, and his hesitations in deciding which drink to get from the vending machine and to which college he should apply, are the frustrations of ‘a child’ entering adulthood. The rite of passage suggested by The Whale in the West Sea is not paved with beautiful memories of faded pictures. Rather, it suggests that the ‘yesterdays’ which we lived were filled with numb rage, and the absence of vitality and humor. The overnight outing the two kids set off on reeks of a raw melancholy that is stripped of feigned, innocent romanticism. The end of an uneventful childhood is an indication (or a recollection) of the contemptible adolescence that will surely follow.
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(54999)22, Jeonjugaeksa 3-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea