When All Your Fuel is Burned Out
When All Your Fuel is Burned Out
  • Kang Kim Hyojung ,Lee Park Jeongeun
  • 승인 2023.11.01 09:43
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People often mention the expression "I want to be a stone" in passing. This expression of not wanting to do anything by being a stone indicates that they have a lot of fatigue. Nowadays people are busy living their daily lives pursuing their own goals. However, more and more people are suffering from burnout syndrome because of working without enough rest. Let's take a look at a relevant book and movie together, and why don't you add resting to your to-do list right now?

COVER OF Beneath the Wheel



"Just do not let up or you'll get dragged beneath the wheel."
-The headmaster


<Beneath the Wheel (1906)>

The main character, Hans Giebenrath, is a German boy who is clever and meets a lot of people's expectations. He is the only student in his school who will take the examination conducted by the state for entrance into a theological school. He keeps studying hard by taking several extra classes in order to pass it. He feels nervous about failing the exam, but eventually passes in second place, overcoming the burden which was weighing him down. As he has been studying Greek, Latin, grammar, arithmetic, and so on without rest for one year, he has overtaken his peer group, which makes him feel pleasure and a sense of superiority. Even during his vacation time before going to school, he cannot stop studying. Mr. Flaig, a shoemaker, who sees his haggard face from studying hard, worries about his situation and promises to pray for him. Finally, he enters a theological school, but has a difficult time adapting. While there, he makes a friend called Heilner, who lives freely, unlike him. Hans consistently suffers due to the friendship and people's negative attitude toward Heilner as a friend. After Heilner is expelled, Hans becomes more and more frustrated and distressed. Will Hans be able to recover his motivation for life and live happily in this situation?



This book is one of the famous books of Hermann Hesse along with Demian. Hesse also entered theological school by taking an exam but suffered from mental difficulties. Therefore, he expressed himself through the main character, Hans. In this book, although Hans has a lot of passion for studying because of other people's expectations, it is not his real interest. For him, studying seems to be meaningless as a goal of just passing the test and getting high grades, which gradually ruins his mind and makes him sick. It can make readers think about what they live for and what they are truly interested in. Moreover, the writer also used many expressions to show his mind and emotion, such as tired, sad, and afraid. These obvious descriptions can allow readers to approach deep feelings of the main character in this book and reduce a sense of distance with Hans. This book encourages sympathy for Hans and the necessity of having time for adequate rest. Therefore, it seems that those who are too tired from busy life can empathize with this book.




"I thought everything I did was perfect. But lately it's been weird. I feel like I'm walking up a flight of stairs and I can't see anything under my feet and I'm falling."
-Christy Lam


<29+1 (2017)>

A day in the life of Christy Lam begins with a series of alarms. She starts with an alarm to get ready for work, followed by one to pick out her clothes. She works at a marketing company, and at the age of 29, she's good enough to be promoted. Her life seems to be perfect: she has a cushy job, and a stable relationship with her boyfriend. While she's busy at work, her landlord suddenly tells her that he sold his house and asks her to move out as soon as possible, saying that she can stay at his niece's place for a while. She agrees and ends up living in the house of a woman named Wong Tin-Lok for a month. The house is decorated in warmer colors than the neutral colors of Lam's home and is filled with photographs of the Eiffel Tower on one wall. Christy sees a bright and cheerful Tin-Lok in the video wishing Christy well while away in Paris. Meanwhile, her increasingly hectic workload takes its toll on her, and she argues with her boyfriend about marriage. What is worse, she even receives a call that her father's dementia has gotten worse, and he's been hospitalized. Eventually, he passes away while she's at work. After a night of sleeplessness and emptiness, Lam leaves her job. She suffers from burnout as her life feels empty. Can she overcome it? How will she live her life in the future?




The movie tells the story of two women, Christy Lam and Wong Tin-Lok, before they reach their thirties, and explores a topic that people have wondered about at least once: What is happiness? Christy, who has been working hard at her job and building her career, thought her life was perfect, but she starts to doubt her life and suffers from burnout. This resonates with many modern people who are busy and stressed by work. On the other hand, Wong Tin-Lok, who doesn't have a job, is cheerful and doesn't care about other people — a character who follows her own happiness. Through the contrast between these two women, the audience can see what kind of attitude they need to have to live a happy life. In addition, it is a Hong Kong film, with its colorful colors and various Hong Kong music. The last part of the movie features the two women and ends with the song "Yau Ling Kai Shi" by Leslie Cheung. This allows the audience to appreciate the vivid colors and atmospheric music of the film as well as its heartwarming message.


Kang Kim Hyojung / Woman Section Editor 

Lee Park Jeongeun / Reporter

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