ASSIGNMENT | Japanese Fiction in Comparative Contexts 19

Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, Rashōmon
Closely analyze the writing in two different sentences; make an argument about how both of them work toward a common purpose, such as the presentation of a theme or point of view on a character, that is not just “creating a haunting atmosphere” or “drawing readers into the story.”



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Japanese Fiction in Comparative Contexts 19

            One of the sentences in “Yam Gruel,” in one of the short stories in Rashomon that stand out is: “Goi had to continue his dog’s life amid the contempt of everyone around him” (Akutagawa 49). The sentence works towards a point of view on Goi regarding how other people PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW AT | ridicule from other people towards him explains how he perceived life as a “mis-triumph”. In the above sentence, leading a “dog’s life” advances a point PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW AT | are intrigued at the strange satisfaction of the character even when he further falls into more abysmal darkness. Goi’s perception of life is different from other people “amid their contempt,” and is best demonstrated by what exactly comforts him, which is not the satisfaction of his desire, but “the desire itself.”


           The second sentence in “Rashomon” that stands out is “firelight from above cast a dim glow on the man’s right cheek – a cheek inflamed with a pus-filled pimple amid the hairs of a PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW AT | advances a common purpose as above as it PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW AT | a point of view of a character who is the PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW AT |that the firelight shown on the right cheek of a man, and it presents the servant’s consciousness throughout. “A cheek inflamed” would mean the narrator best interprets the thoughts of the PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW AT | the servant should be well conversant with the samurai code of conduct and may include facing death without hesitating (Nakagawa 280). Therefore, the sentence explores the character, his thoughts, and his perception of life from a unique point of view. 

Works Cited

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

Nakagawa, Eri. “World Literature in Modern Japan: Akutagawa Ryunosuke’s Translation of a W. B. Yeats’ Short Story.” Asia Pacific Translation and Intercultural Studies. 5.3 (2018): 279-291. Print.


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