Obasan Essay

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Megumi Naomi Nakane, an innocent Child Essay

In Joy Kogawa’s Obasan, Naomi is an innocent child who suffers a great deal throughout the novel. The adults of the Nakane family go through a lot of trouble to protect Naomi’s innocence just so Naomi could have a childhood like any other child. However much the adults tried, Naomi still sees the dark side of the world at an early age. Naomi does not understand some things that take place in her life and therefore, she finds toys and stories as a vent to express her emotions. In this novel, Naomi’s innocence is crucial seeing that throughout the novel she is baffled and unsure about the incidents that occur in her life in addition to that she has to suffer for incidents she does not comprehend.

To begin, the elders in Naomi’s family endure a lot of pain at the hands of the Canadian government to shield Naomi as best they can. Everybody in Naomi’s house is looking out for her. As Naomi narrates, “Whatever [uncle] was intending to tell me ‘someday’ has not yet been told” which clarifies that uncle has been keeping something from her to shield her from all the wrongs in the world (Kogawa 3). Later on in the novel, it is read that similar to everyone in the family uncle has been concealing the fact that Naomi’s mother had been brutally injured from the bombing at Nagasaki and also that following the injuries Naomi’s mother had died after a while. Uncle believes that if he were to tell all the details about Naomi’s mother’s death, then Naomi would be heartbroken. This is because afterwards in the novel, it is discovered that Naomi and her mother had a very close mother and daughter relationship. Another similar incident is when Obasan remains silent while Naomi asks questions “‘Please tell me about mother’ [Naomi] would say as a child to Obasan… but she gave [Naomi] no answer…” (26). This quotation demonstrates that Obasan did not give Naomi any answers about her mother because Naomi would be grief-stricken upon...
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