ASSIGNMENT HELP | Akutagawa, Yam Gruel

Closely analyze anything in this story that you want to discuss. Be sure to quote two specific passages from different sections of the story in support of your interpretations.



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Japanese Fiction in Comparative Contexts 21

            In “Yam Gruel,” rumination is primarily on the themes of ugliness, poverty, and desire, but what stands out is the strangely satisfying Goi’s failure to triumph in every aspect of life. Instead of striving to succeed and falling into the wealth lap, Goi, happy as a clam, falls further into abysmal darkness. As a Samurai, Goi should be able to defend himself from ridicule, while fighting for PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW AT | a great sport to make him the butt of their jokes” (Akutagawa 47). However, it is desire itself, and not the satiation of it that PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW AT | examined as not necessarily the inability to win, but the acceptance of one’s situation, which is evident by how Goi has developed a strong personality and stability as shown by “stupid smile” at the festival when he preferred the filling up of Yam Gruel (Akutagawa 48).

           Accordingly, the inability to triumph in all life’s PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW AT | best demonstrates Goi’s different and unique perception of life, and what matters, which is different from all the other PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW AT | depicted in the short story is characterized by Goi’s physical abnormality that is of unshapely mustache and a red nose (Akutagawa 71). Interestingly, Goi considers his physical appearance as an avenue where he achieves the balance of life despite the awkward PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW AT | he experienced before. His treatment as royalty in Tsuruga brings about the imbalance of his life he had not anticipated, a demonstration of his acceptance of his PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW AT | back with fond longing on his past life before the time he had come to Tsuruga. What he remembered was that he had been made a fool of by many PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW AT | his physical appearance as a strong point, and that it is where he bases his strong personality.

Work Cited

Akutagawa, Ryunosuke. Rashomon and Other Stories. Liveright, New York. Print.


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