Analyzing stories - Essay Example

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As he travels, he remembers his life as a young boy and how everyone treated him. Tengo was a young boy when he lost his mother, and was brought up by his father, who hated him,…
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English 26 August Symbolism The story is about a young man who is travelling with no direction or destination in particular. As he travels, he remembers his life as a young boy and how everyone treated him. Tengo was a young boy when he lost his mother, and was brought up by his father, who hated him, especially because of his excellent grades and brightness. His father would often interrupt him to do house chores or discipline him (Murakami, Tengo never grew up like other children as his father made him work even on Sundays. His father’s reason was that he couldn’t leave young Tengo at home alone. Another reason was it was important for young Tengo to know the kind of work he did. Tengo often wondered why his father amongst all people treated him with so much cruelty and if he had the power, he could change a lot of things his life, starting with his father’s cruelty. However, this was only a wish. The story is symbolic to a town of cats, which is a strange place that everyone including Tengo wanders into and is unable to escape.
Tengo would have wished to grow up like a normal child, having to help his father only a little and using the rest of his time playing with other children. However, he found himself in a world where despite being a child, he had to work and most of the time, could only watch other children play as he worked. Murakami points out that for Tengo, “Sunday was like a misshapen moon that showed only its dark side” ( While other children had stories to give on Mondays regarding how they spent their weekends, Tengo used to have none. Just like the town of cats, this kind of life was very hard to escape. He once tried to change the situation, a moment that he remembers after reading the story about the town of cats, but he only succeeded in getting free time on Sundays. The other aspects in his life, such as having to experience a lot of cruelty from a man he knew as his father did not change.
Another instance where Tengo seems to wish things were different is when he wished his father could be different. He grew up an unhappy boy and often wondered why he was so different from his father. He did not resemble him in any way and had a high intellectual ability compared to him. While Tengo was a very curious boy, “his father showed no sign at all of what might be called intellectual curiosity” (Murakami, The reason behind this was the lack of a biological tie between the two, and if things had been different, there would be a biological tie that would bring in some similarities between Tengo and his father, and this would certainly make his life more bearable, but it was an impossibility.
From a young age, Tengo would have wished to know what happened to his mother, but he never got know the truth until he was much older. As he grew up, he got to realize that his father only raised him but did not sire him, which was the reason behind all the cruelty. He decided to ask his father about his mother, but instead of giving him a clear answer, his father told him that his mother left a vacuum and he came in to fill the vacuum. Tengo, who by then knew the truth behind the cruel treatment from his father, told him that he knew he treated him badly because he was not his son and his father’s silence confirmed it all.
In conclusion, everyone has that world he never manages to escape, which is symbolic to the town of cats. Tengo would have wished to change most of the circumstances in his life, but this was clearly impossible. He had wandered into a town of cats which he could not escape from.
Work Cited
Murakami, Haruki. Town of Cats. 20 September 2011. Web. 26 August 2014. <>Read More
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