A Family Supper (Literary Analysis)

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  • Topic: Family, Kazuo Ishiguro, Mother
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  • Published : February 16, 2011
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Literary Analysis

There is certainly a challenging, subliminal meaning to "A Family Supper" written by Kazuo Ishiguro. The story takes place in Tokyo, Japan, a couple of decades ago, "nearing the end of a sunny autumn day." (856) The setting has a great impact on the events that occur throughout the story, heavily relying on Japanese traditions and culture like tea drinking, views of death, and preference of food. The main characters are the son (narrator), his father, and his sister Kikuko. When Kazuo returns from California, his father happens to be the bearer of bad news, informing him of his mother's recent death, as well as the death of his father's firm, and his father's business partner. It's very faint to detect, but these events have altered the father's personality and his perspective on life as well.

In the first few paragraphs, the narrator describes the physical appearance of his father as an introduction to him, and the explanation makes him seem like he's going to be dangerous in the story. "My father was a formidable-looking man with a large stony jaw and furious black eyebrows. I think now in retrospect that he much resembled Chou En-Lai, although he would not have cherished such a comparison, being particularly proud of the pure samurai blood that ran in the family. His general presence was not one which encourage relaxed conversation." (857) This is odd because you think it serves as a warning, as if before he walks in the door he dreads his father's presence, but his father turns out to be reasonably understandable with everything he says. It indicates that his father had changed due to recent events.

When his father's firm had died, he notes that Watanabe, his business partner whom he'd been working for seventeen years, had committed suicide after murdering his family. He states, "I am-in retirement. I'm too old to involve myself in new ventures now. Business these days has become so different." (857) I consider that the death of...
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