Confessions of a Mask Summary Response

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Madeline Wischow
Rice
Pre-AP World Lit and Comp.
Period 2
Confessions of a Mask is a “decent, solid book,” telling the story of a young man who is gradually discovering his sexuality in a proper, postwar Japan. “[It is] not so much about blatant homosexuality… but more the psycho-emotional impacts such feelings can have,” says Jessica Schneider, the author of “Book Review of Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima.” Despite seeming to praise the book in the beginning of her review, Schneider soon dives into criticism with “yet [it] comes across as a minor work.” Schneider spends the next two paragraphs explaining the narrator’s infatuation with an upperclassman, Omi, and eventually, his fascination with the woman Sonoko. The narrator, Kochan, explains his journey to finding his sexuality, all the while wearing a “mask,” explains Schneider. She also compares Mishima’s protagonist with the one that is in Kubrick’s film, A Clockwork Orange, as well as The Catcher in the Rye, and Portnoy’s Complaint. Schneider goes on to say that, since all these works came after Confessions of a Mask that “one can only assume where [they] might have gotten their influence.” Schneider also comments on how Kochan’s “fantasies are not too far off that of “most young men, especially those who are feeling as an outcast.” All in all, Schneider thinks Mishima’s Confessions of a Mask is an average work that does little more that “show great potential for Mishima as a writer.” Schneider is right in saying that Confessions of a Mask is less about homosexuality and more about the effects of such feelings, as well as that Kochan, the narrator, is “a bit pathological,” however, she was incorrect in saying that the story was not compelling, nor was she right in saying that it was “not all that complex, either.” Jessica Schneider explained Confessions of a Mask well by saying that the book was “less about blatant homosexuality” and more about how those kinds of feelings affect a young...
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