Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Han Kang's The Vegetarian. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Vegetarian: Introduction
The Vegetarian: Plot Summary
The Vegetarian: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Vegetarian: Themes
The Vegetarian: Quotes
The Vegetarian: Characters
The Vegetarian: Terms
The Vegetarian: Symbols
The Vegetarian: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Han Kang
Historical Context of The Vegetarian
Other Books Related to The Vegetarian
- Full Title: The Vegetarian
- When Written: 2003-2007
- Where Written: South Korea
- When Published: October 2007 (South Korea); January 2015 (United Kingdom)
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Literary fiction
- Setting: Seoul, South Korea
- Climax: Yeong-hye refuses to allow the doctors to force-feed her; In-hye witnesses their attempts to insert a tube into her nose and bites the nurse in order to try to get the doctors to stop.
- Antagonist: Mr. Cheong
- Point of View: The point of view shifts in each of the three parts: the first section is narrated in first person by Mr. Cheong; the second is narrated in third person from the perspective of the brother-in-law; the third section is narrated in third person from the perspective of In-hye.
Extra Credit for The Vegetarian
Plant-Based Source. Han has said that she was obsessed in college with a line from Yi Sang, “I believe that humans should be plants”—a clear source of inspiration for much of her work, including The Vegetarian.
A Labor of Longhand. Han first wrote the book entirely by hand, which took her a long time due to her joint problems.