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The Korean War (1950-1953) leveled the peninsula, losing and displacing millions of its people. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans from North and South found themselves in refugee camps in Busan. This traumatizing event is carefully delineated in Yi Hochol’s “Far from Home” and Han Musook’s “The Fragment.” Through an analysis of these short stories using Kate Coddington’s theory of contagious trauma, the paper forwards that the trauma caused by the war spreads, compounds, and expands within the infrastructures—namely, freight cars and warehouse—that facilitate the movements of refugees. In “Far from Home,” during the outbreak of the Korean War, four North Koreans move southward and live in freight cars, but this movement to escape the horrors of war also exposes them to being further traumatized by their homelessness. The characters in “The Fragment,” on the other hand, are able to secure a space in a warehouse in Busan, but the atmosphere coupled with tension with residents over basic necessities is just as traumatizing. These indicate that the infrastructures and conditions within, which can be as ordinary as needing a shelter to sleep in and water to wash themselves, traumatize further the already traumatized. The war, as an extraordinary event, traumatized the refugees—but their movements to safety and refuge, in response to it, cut more traumas.

1. Introduction

2. Contagious Trauma

3. The Contagion of Relational Trauma in Busan

4. Conclusion

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Works Cited

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