The Sound of Waves
In the novel The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima there is a strong connection to the environment of the island Uta-Jima. The wind and the sea are very influential elements within the novel. The novel’s main character Shinji Kubo is closely connected to the sea which surrounds his home island. Shinji Kubo is an eighteen year old boy that is fatherless, and lives with his mother and brother. He is a fisherman that is constantly in the sea, and is the provider for the family, as well as his mother, who is a diver. In the novel he falls in love with a girl named Hatsue. Nature is also seen to take part of the story by being there when a change occurs in Shinji’s and Hatsue’s life, such as the sea and the wind appearing when the change occurs. The wind is an influential force in Shinji’s life, whenever the wind is expressed in the novel, either a small breeze or a thrusting power, something in Shinji’s life is altered. In one instance, when Shinji first sees Hatsue at the beach, the wind is present when he first sees her and afterwards he feels emotionally sick. It says “A cold west wind was blowing briskly, but the girl seemed to enjoy it, turning her work- flushed face into the wind and letting her hair stream out behind her”(7). The presence of the wind in this occasion can be seen as a turning point in Shinji’s life. He begins to falls in love with Hatsue. Although it can be argued that it is not love yet, Shinji’s life is changing because he begins to feel something he has never felt before, he is experiencing something new. The wind in the novel is used by the author as an unknown force steering Shinji in a different direction, whether the change is dire or good.
The sea is also a very influential force in Shinji’s life. The sea provides for him emotionally and economically. Shinji has always had aspirations of becoming a great fisherman and his love for the sea makes the connection he has with it even...
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