This analytical essay discusses and lightens “Obasan” by Joy Kogawa (the Japanese-Canadian author). It was first published in 1981. This book depicts internment of Canada and its citizens’ persecution and descent of Japan in the period of World War II from the seeing of a little child. Kogawa’s strong images of silence and stones, streams and spiders during the story evoke various feelings and emotions, this goes without saying. There are a great amount of themes, which Kogawa illustrated throughout the novel: prejudice and identity, justice and tolerance, injustice, memory and even forgetting of some things.
Detailed overview can allow getting the main ideas, advantages and disadvantages of a big amount of thoughts and arguments. The core focus of this paper is to describe the story’s context and meaning. The story is immediate in tone and makes me feel as if I am in the center of a conversation with the narrator himself. This story impressed me because throughout the narration Naomi Nakane (the protagonist) faces with some events, makes various observations that eventually lead her up to remembering the experience and even recollection. The main conflict of the novel is Naomi Nakane’s struggle for coming to grips with the cruel, scaring and painful past. Several topics of the novel are: silence benefits, the indubitable remembering necessity, the difference and difficulties between balancing cultures.buy an essay
The one important event that evoked thoughts and regrets in mind of 36 year old teacher in school, Naomi, is her uncle’s death, and then she discovered new facts about her mother and eventually returned to the coulee. Her family impressed her mind and made her live her life once more time (mostly painful moments (see Figure 1)). The death of uncle made her to remember painful memories during and after the World War II, using correspondence about Canadian government and citizens of Japan and its struggle and effects (sent by her aunt). She found that her mother was injured by Nagasaki and Hiroshima atomic bomb before the Pearl Harbor bombing. Naomi tells two stories – about the past and about the present. Kogawa (1981) wrote: “Obasan… does not dance to the multicultural piper’s tune or respond to the racist’s slur. She remains in a silent territory, defined by her serving hands. She serves us now, pouring tea into Mr. Barker’s cup. She is unable to see and stops halfway before the cup is full”. The characters of the novel are important part of the whole family.
The one of the most impressive scenes in the novel is when Naomi describes one story from her past. Near the school two Japanese boys slit a throat of chicken and watch how the blood slowly dripped. They wanted make the animal suffer from the pain. It is possibly the cruelest scene where the human cruelty is shown. In conclusion, Naomi’s self – discovery awakes her to the cruel climate, which surrounds people’s daily routine lives and makes remember all difficulties of her childhood. The story is about how Naomi grows from the ignorance (innocence) to knowledge (experience), remembering and forgetting painful moments of the life. The personal freedom occurs when a human makes amends and accepts conflicts within themselves. Moreover, the novel is full of scaring scenes from the past of a girl, showing the pain and fear of children during wars and cruel events.
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