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Analysis of Gail Tsukiyama's novel The Samurai's Garden - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Instructor: Date: Title: ANALYSIS OF GAIL TSUKIYAMA'S NOVEL " THE SAMURAI'S GARDEN Plot summary When Stephen is allowed to leave his father’s apartment to go to the family’s vacation home in Tarumi, Japan, on his own, he counts it a victory…
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Analysis of Gail Tsukiyamas novel The Samurais Garden
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Download file to see previous pages As highlighted by Stephen, apart from the fact that his parents were searching for a recuperating place for him, they were also protecting his younger sister from being infected by his disease. In Tarumi; Stephen is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. During his continual stay with Matsu, Stephen learns Matsu’s secret and gains not only physical strength, but also profound spiritual insight. Analysis Throughout the novel there is an underlying sense of society being out of place, characterized with crazy ideas of honor and the fact that there was a war going on. This is reflected in the quote below; "When I first arrived at Tarumi, I wondered how Matsu could spend so much time in the garden. But the more time I spend here, the easier it is to see there's something very seductive about what Matsu has created." Stephen, Autumn, p. 31. The undoing stories of his new friends, war, and family eventually brings him to the beginnings of wisdom, love, honor and loss. The basic argument of the novel is loyalty and honor found in Japanese culture. The significance of the novel’s title is attained through the complex relationship that exists between the characters and the physical adversities and conflicts they face. Gail Tsukiyama also alludes to one’s ability to build upon life as opposed to mere acceptance. Themes Coming of age By the time Stephen prepares to spend time at Tarumi, he was a mature man. However, his maturity is more revealed from the interaction with others and their impact they had on him. "When you're well again, this period of your life will simply be a quiet memory." Stephen's father, Autumn, p. 20. In this quote, Stephen father encourages Stephen of his illness and this gives him a lot of hope and hence mental maturity. The novel starts with Stephen feeling as if he has been exiled. Regardless of these feelings, he is anxious to be kind to the old caretaker of his family beach house and he and Matsu soon find a common ground. The time spend between the two makes Stephen realize that he actually has less knowledge about Matsu as a young man when his family visited the beach house on vacation. As Matsu introduces him to the surrounding environment, Stephen also becomes acquainted with Matsu’s friends who include Sachi and Kenzo. The closer he becomes with these two the more he learns about their lives and entanglements. "When some of those who had the disease were no longer wanted by others in town, they took what few belongings they had and went up into the mountains." Matsu, Autumn, p. 23. In the end, we learn as Stephen does about life, loyalty to family and friends, attachments, betrayal but most importantly is the unconditional love. The authors’ writing is crystalline and delicate as shown in her evocation of time and place. This quite tale of affection between people whose countries are at war speaks of humanity that transcends geopolitics. As witnessed in the novel, Stephen becomes more and more ingrained in the daily lives surrounding the beach house while Japan begins to invade China. While the main characters of the novel have transverse their own difficulties and hardships; bringing every character to experience their own individual loneliness and sorrow is a true revelation that people are characterized by necessary tools to survive despite of the world. This ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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