The short story of “Fountains in the Rain” written by Yukio Mishima is about a young boy who is trying to break up with his girlfriend. In the story the young couple finds them selves by a fountain, a key place of setting. Fountain shows a lot of importance in the story. ‘‘Mishima Yukio is arguably still the most famous writer modern Japan has produced’’ (Enotes 1). Akio, the main character, starts off the story carrying his girlfriend through the rain in a sack. Akio is the protagonist of the story finds him self in a bit of a predicament towards the end the story but the fountain fixes every thing. “He has contrived a plan much like an engineer might plot the dimensions of a proposed building” (Hart 1). There will be several things that are going to be brought in this paper. In “Fountain in the Rain”, Yukio Mishima uses Characterization to help define and illustrates the theme of manhood throughout the short story helping with the symbolism as well. The manhood in it, is a reoccurring theme through out. The way it will be shown is through the actions of the characters, and symbolism of the surroundings.
The first element explored is the theme of manhood the most important element during the whole story. Manhood is brought up because Akio is trying for his own passage into this important phase in his life. Akio feels if he breaks up with this girl
he could enter that phase. Breaking up is the one way Akio completes his passage into manhood. “After months of faking a relationship with this woman, faking an emotional connection with her; Akio explains that this is reality” (Hart 2). This shows clearly how much he wanted to become a man. It also can be shown in the short story that he has become a man; at least he thinks he has. “And the tearful face of the woman now in front of him – this is reality! A genuine forsaken woman – forsaken by himself, Akio!”(Mishima 2). Akio is so happy that he has done but at what price. “There is a major flaw in Akios calculations, a blind spot brought on his own obsession” (Hart 1). She denied everything, and doing so his journey is crushed by the obsession. “The real story lies somewhere underneath Akio’s obsession” (Hart 1). That is very well said she is saying that Akio is obsessed with being a man, which creates the reason he wants to break up with Masako, the girlfriend, which creates Yukio Mishima’s story. “The first time he had broken it off with a woman! It was something he long dreamed of; it had last become reality” (Mishima 3). He is obsessed and the author does an amazing job of showing it. Although it can be seen that Akio is strong about what he has done, he does not feel the same way towards the end of the story. “He stammers a bit and repeats his famous line, but he says them with a weakened sentiments” (Hart 4). It is found that there are probably hidden feelings from Akio about manhood and yet it is not seen its there. It is like Akio is crying to but these tears aren’t shown like Masakos these are theoretical tears. Akio’s reaction from Masako’s reaction to the break up led him to cry in his way. “Angry, the boy gave in to a simple desire to hurt. Nothing would satisfy him now till he Alvey 3
had got Masako thoroughly soaked…” (Mishima 3). Akio shows his anger for the first showing that he is weak on the inside. Also in denial he would try to stay away from her cause he did not want to think about it. “When accidentally bumps into her under the umbrella, Masako’s raincoat has the feel of “a reptile”. These are the ways that Akio keeps his distance from Masako, turning her into some inanimate object or, at best turning her into a cold-blooded snake” (Hart 2). He feels if he thinks that is the only way to picture as.
There are more essentials in this story like the symbolism. The second element is very important and Yukio Mishima used it well. These symbols are placed very well through out. One of the major symbols is the...