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On Kenzaburo Oe's A Personal Matter - Admission/Application Essay Example

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On Kenzaburo Oe's 'A Personal Matter' Table of Contents I. Introduction 3 II. Discussion 3 III. Conclusion 7 Works Cited 9 I. Introduction Although there seems to be an essential conflict between a man's personal freedom and happiness on the one hand, and a man's responsibilities towards his family and towards society, that conflict can be transformative and thus have redeeming value, because of the way the conflict forces a man to face himself and re-examine his condition in light of what freedom and happiness can really mean…
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On Kenzaburo Oe's A Personal Matter

Download file to see previous pages... It is not so much coming to a resolution of the conflict as much as going for a ride inside a man's subjective reality and trying to understand what it must be like to be in his shoes, conflicted in this manner (Oe; Perales; The Writing Center; Fay; Nobel Foundation; Kreisler). II. Discussion This is an exploration of an inner conflict in a man torn between family and a deformed child, on the one hand, and his notions of personal freedom and being free to do what he wants, unfettered by such obligations. Mostly he fantasizes about that other free life, while to his mind burdened by the terrible implications of having to raise a child with profound disabilities. There is a lot to say about Oe's 'A Personal Matter' with regard to the subject of the son and the deformity or disability that sparked the tumult in the life of the father, on which the entire novel seems to revolve. The crisis is gripping on a personal level, something that provides a perspective into the inner lives of those who have had to deal with children born into the world with severe handicaps, in societies that basically ostracize not only the children but also the parents and most everyone around whom the handicapped children grow. It is also revealing with regard to how Japanese culture, for instance, causes such great trauma and crisis in the parents of children with deformities. Going a level down, the level of the personal, the novel gives us a glimpse of the subjective reality of a man who fathered such a child. This man, in a way, stripped of his nationality and of his societal affiliation, viewed not as a Japanese living in such a time in Japanese society, but a man of subjective thoughts and realities, this man represents in essence each and every one of us. It is from this perspective that the novel is engrossing, because of the way it lays bare the thoughts and feelings of such a man, dealing with what to him seemed at first to be a crippling personal blow, fathering the child who will be disabled in a profound way from birth until death (Perales; The Writing Center; Oe; Fay; Nobel Foundation; Kreisler). It is the deeply subjective and personal nature of the perspective that the novel offers that is exciting. What is it like to be a man in such circumstances? The voice and perspective are the rich veins. It is as if the novel allows us to view the man from within himself, peering with his eyes, thinking his thoughts, and going through life through his subjectivity. That subjectivity is a promise that the hero will reveal all, and that the reader will be an intimate confidant, able to go under the hero's skin and viewing anything without editing or hiding anything. For instance, this delightful reverie is open for us to see and to analyze, a hint of how Bird, about to become a father, sees himself: “I'd talk about all kinds of things, and the queen would take pains to pick up the seeds of everything that's threatening me, one by one he'd gather them in, and certainly he would understand” (Oe 5). the man is torn, but is honest to himself. He is baring himself moment by moment, and in the things ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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