Carlita Cartwright June 3, 2009 Final Draft
Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha depicts the issue of choice in destiny. Nitta Sayuri, formerly known as Sakamoto Chiyo, has no control over that fact that she is sold from her home into a life of slavery. Fate sets Sayuri up with an unfathomable situation, but Sayuri goes against everything her culture believes to pursue a destiny she desires. Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha shows that in life, people who are faced with oppression can make the choice to take control of their own destines and receive the life they desire. When Golden shows Sayuri’s flashbacks to the day she met Mr. Tanaka shows that initially she has no control over her fate. “As a young girl I believed my life would never have been a struggle if Mr. Tanaka hadn’t torn me away from my tipsy house” (499). Sayuri is a little girl of only nine years old when she is cruelly taken from her home. She knows nothing about way of the world. Sayuri has been unexplainably taken from her parents and left to experience the cruel world alone. “The next I knew my eyes had welled up with tears so much I could scarcely see…I lay there sobbing in my misery without anyone touching me” (41). Sayuri is crying because she is all alone is this world. There is no one left that cares what happens to her and Sayuri has no idea what is in store for her. She does
not know that fate has played a hand in her current situation, and has brought her to a crossroad that will help shape her destiny. Golden takes care to create an authentic cultural setting. For example, the reliance on prophecy is shown through the almanac. “Auntie and Mother, and even the cook and maids, scarcely made a decision as simple as buying a new pair of shoes without consulting the almanac” (146). Almanacs ran the lives of superstitious Geisha. It was custom for the Japanese culture to rely on their almanac to illustrate their destiny. “What are we to do? We must use whatever methods we can to...
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