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An Awl to Our Society웹툰 <송곳> 리뷰
김선우 객원기자  |  tribune1968@cnumedia.com
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승인 2015.03.13  10:30:11
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

       Recently, due to a popular TV drama named "Meesaeng" based on a webtoon by the same title, Korean people are now more interested in the society of office workers and laborers than ever before. A newly-coined word 'webtoon' which is a mixture of the words 'web' and 'cartoon' often shows issues in a society. A similar interest can also be found with the popular webtoon "Songgot", meaning an awl in Korean. This webtoon tells us about morality and justice in our society, with a particular attention given to the disadvantaged people. Let us look into the webtoon in detail.

▲ The title of the webtoon "Songgot"

     Mr. Lee is the main character in the story. After finishing his military service as a Captain, he started to work as a manager for a supermarket run by a French company. While working in the supermarket, Mr. Lee finds out that non-regular workers are receiving unfair treatment. For instance, most workers often exceeded their contracted hours of work: 6 hours a day. Mr. Lee tries to get rid of the inequality between regular workers and non-regular workers by joining into the labor union. He is trying to make a better society by establishing equality in the workplace.

Change of Awareness
     Interestingly, we do not see any political issues in the webtoon. The writer is just trying to criticize our society that would not give labor its value and what they deserve. In addition, he brings our attention to the minors in our society. We have taken it for granted for so long that the strong have always won over the weak, and has their superior role in our society. In the episode of "Songgot", however, it makes the reader realize that this is not always true.
     Before reading it, I was not interested in issues related to labor unions. One of the reasons for this disinterest was a prejudice I have had on the labor union. Most of the news about labor unions shows violent demonstrations to seek their interests such as wage increases and anti-layoff. I have even thought that they were an evil in our society. However, after reading this webtoon, I have realized that I have been brainwashed by the mass media. Labor unions are essential organizations for the benefits and human rights of all the laborers, including temporary employees.

▲ A cut from the webtoon "Songgot"

Further Meaning of an Awl
     The title of this webtoon is remarkable. 'Songgot' can be interpreted in many different ways. The main character Mr. Lee, can be an awl that pierces into the injustice of the workplace, and the Chairman of the company is a possible awl that can hurt the working people. After reading each and every strip of this webtoon, I have realized that the entire webtoon itself is a awl because it made me feel uncomfortable. Every line of "Songgot" was stabbing my heart and soul like an awl. This webtoon is our precious awl in our society. All people have the right to be treated equally. However, there are too many people who are receiving unfair treatment. It is telling that we all should have caution and consider the morality of every situation.

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