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A Personal Matter - Essay Example

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Bird as the main character of A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe is a reflection of the existential hero of the modernity. This fact can be explained by interrelatedness of the main concepts of existentialists and those of Bird…
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A Personal Matter
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Download file to see previous pages In spite of the fact that Bird is considered further on as an existential hero, his life wanderings and life searching for his self-identity can be referred to realists. The issue of existentialism in the Eastern culture is not properly studied. More often researchers and philosophers were focused on the issues of spirituality and religion in Japanese literature, but not on the existential issues. Oe confesses that he was greatly influenced by the works of French philosopher Sartre. Therefore, it is interesting to find out existential basis of the main character of the novel by Oe. At first Bird is represented as an escaper, the man who wants to escape from his family, his problems and his country and rush into African jungles. His existential wanderings in his inner world should be separated from his adventurous spirit. Still, it is interesting to trace existential and realistic aspects of Bird’s life. ...
These “falls” into the past for Sartre coincide with “descend into the darkness” for Bird. Thus, one of the basic concepts for existentialists, such as death is interpreted by Bird in the best traditions of existentialism. Another concept “freedom” mean "openness, readiness to grow, flexibility, and changing in pursuit of greater human values" for existentialists (Yoshida, 1995). The ability to choose is the crucial issue of this concept. Freedom is accompanied by responsibility. This principle is reflected by Bird. At first he is tortured by his inability to make a right choice. Firstly, he prefers life of his child, then he escapes from this monstrous child-vegetable and finally he changes his mind claiming that a child has a right to live. Thus, in terms of existentialism, Bird goes through a thorny path from freedom of choice to his responsibility (Havel, 2002). The fundamental principle for existentialists is the absence of God. Bird does not believe in God himself as well. The existence in the absurd world is the largest existentialist problem. Bird is not referred by his name throughout the novel; he has only a nickname. It looks as if this man is thrown into an absurd world and is subjected to eternal sufferings. Throughout the novel Bird wants to escape from reality (Schneider and Gabriel, 1999). Moreover, it looks as if Bird goes around in circles: at first he wants to escape from his family and nation, but lastly he finally returns to these two basic pillars of his life (Schneider and Gabriel, 1999). Still, it may be argued that existential nature of Bird can be questioned. The readers are fascinated while observing a life struggle of Bird. Moreover, opponents ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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I never thought 1000 words essay could be written in such a free manner. I loved the background of this essay. Will definitely use it for my own work!
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