Japanese Lit

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Yubing Shi
Reaction Paper 2
The original story of Akugawa’s “In the Grove” uses third person point of view. While in Akugawa’s adaption work, he examined the darker side of humanity by using multiple narrators to narrate their own agenda. Hence, each person gives a different account of the story which leaves reader to analyze what is truth and who is the murder in the story. Each character’s testimony seems to clarify this murder from own viewpoint, however they contradicted each other and eventually created a complex vision of events that brings into question humanity’s ability to perceive the truth. First of all, Akugawa develops several other characters other than the three main characters in the original story, including woodcutter, Buddhist Priest, the girl’s mother, and a police. These all provide reader with a complete picture of the incident. The most interesting is the testimony of the three main characters. A simple story is elaborated through the description of different people. The sexual desire for Tajomaru and the greedy of the husband are presented in both stories, whereas, in Akugawa’s adaption, we experience how the desires exactly cause the murder. In Tajomaru’s testimony, he doesn’t mention about the rape, instead he describes how he is attracted by the woman and how the woman encourages two men to start a fight to get her as wife. The single desire has filled Tajomaru up and drives him to kill the man eventually. The story used a treasure in the grove instead of exchanging a valuable sword to attract the greedy man into Tajomaru’s trap, which develops more conversations and emotion exchange among three people. In Akugawa’s adaption work, he also identifies Tajomaru, as a citizen’s rebel toward greedy and cruel governor killing people using power and money, which is no better...
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