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This study purposed to examine the character of narrative subjects in Kim Seung‐ok’s novels, focused on how the body is configured in the novels. Because the body, which is the primary space of existence, has to interact with the world ceaselessly, it is an arena of competition of signs connoting the traces of suppression, domination, desire, and resistance. Modernization led by the power of the state in the 1960s achieved condensed economic growth through imitating the capitalism of the Western world and Japan, and restructured social composition and cultural patterns in the new social order of capitalism. Kim Seung‐ok’s novels in the 1960s depict individuals who are incorporated into modernism through the motifs of going to Seoul and returning home. In particular, men’s pathological bodies reveal their sense of alienation and conflicts. Male characters in his novels show two characteristics, which are ‘weak body’ and ‘sick body.’ They yearn for ‘a city’ that represents capitalistic modernism but, at the same time, abhor its secularity. Such an ambivalence emotion is exposed through the body. The feminized ‘weak body’ and ‘sick body’ have the image of alienation or breakaway from modern order. However, while the weak body is a sign of a subject conflicting in the ambivalence emotion, the body suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis works as a sign forecasting the birth of a more dysphemistic subject. After all, the male figures manifest their desire to be incorporated into modernism by defiling ‘sister,’ the world of hometown.