Our Twisted Hero

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Our Twisted Hero
Hangul우리들의 일그러진 영웅
Hanja우리들의 일그러진
Revised RomanizationUrideurui ilgeureojin yeong-ung
McCune–ReischauerUridŭl ŭi ilkŭrŏjin yŏng'ung
Our Twisted Hero
AuthorYi Munyol
Original title우리들의 일그러진 영웅
CountrySouth Korea
  • World Literature (세계의 문학)
  • Mineumsa (민음사)
Publication date
June 1987
Media typeQuarterly magazine

Our Twisted Hero (Hangul우리들의 일그러진 영웅) is a South Korean novel written by Yi Munyol. It was first published by World Literature (세계의 문학) in June 1987. Yi Munyol was awarded the 1987 Yi Sang Literary Award for the novel.[1] This book was a big hit in South Korea and was later made into the 1992 film adaptation, Our Twisted Hero, directed by Park Jong-won.

It was translated into English by Kevin O'Rourke, and published by Hyperion East in 2001.


  • Han Pyongtae - protagonist
  • Om Sokdae - class monitor of the 5th grade
  • 5th grade
  • 6th grade
  • 8th grade teacher
  • Han's Wife


This story is told by a man named Han Byeong-tae (or Pyŏngt'ae), recalling his memories when he was in 5th grade and part of 6th grade.

Due to Byeong-tae's father failing in business, they move to a low town and go to Y Elementary School. There, he meets Eom Seokdae (or Ŏm Sŏkdae), a president of the 5th grade and one who holds everything in his grade, more than his teacher. However, Eom Seokdae forces students with threats and violence to follow him. Byeong-tae fights Soekdae's reign and tries everything in his power to overthrow the bully. However, every single student in their class supports Soekdae. Therefore, everything goes wrong for him; his parents misunderstand him, his grades go down and his power ranking also goes down. Hence he loses, gives up, and gives up under Seokdae's power.

After, Seokdae treats him specially, granting him more power and allowing him to gain popularity. First, he restores Byeong-tae's fighting rank to even higher than before. Second, he makes everyone hang out with Byeong-tae so he is not alone. Byeong-tae also gets his grades back up. At this point, the narrator begins to have mixed feelings for Seokdae, ranging from gratitude to fear. "I was thankful to Seokdae. But when I think it back, those things were the things I had lost to Seokdae. He had just given it back."

But when Byeong-tae goes to 6th grade, Seokdae's power breaks, because the new teacher has sensed the strange distribution of power among the classmates. After Seokdae's cheating and bullying have been outed by the teacher, he leaves school and is never heard from again.

The story turns back to the present. Byeong-tae, now grown up, ends up seeing a familiar man getting dragged down by the police in a station. As the man turns his face, Byeong-tae recognizes the distinctive features as Seokdae.


Han Byeong-tae and Eom Seokdae are the characters' names, and Han fights against om until he is left with nothing. Only then does he fight to get Eom's respect, which takes a very long time. Finally, when om does recognize him even as his right-hand man, a new teacher comes in and sees that Eom Seokdae is oppressing the boys. Only Han doesn't admit to om's wrongdoings, seemingly because he cannot understand giving up the power now that he has compromised all of his original beliefs of freedom.

Han sees Eom arrested for a petty crime by accident. He was not going to see, only musing over what had happened to him. Eom seems unchanged (still controlling people, or at least trying to)

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