"Waxen Wings" by Ha Seong-nan

(translated by Janet Hong)

for senior division, 2023 essay competition

PROMPT for “Waxen Wings”

Ha Seong-nan is famous for what Korean critics call her “microscopic” (and often dispassionate) descriptions that transform everyday reality into a heightened awareness.  Her story “Waxen Wings” seems to be a story about the repeated failures in the life of the character named “Birdie.” By American standards the story is probably a tragedy, but it does not follow the typical structure for that form. Is the story a tragedy? What is the underlying structure of “Waxen Wings,” and how does the use of the second person as the point of view change your reading of the story? Discuss some of the literary devices Ha uses to weave the story together and the effect they produce in the story as a whole 


Waxen Wings







Powered by Issuu