A Family Supper
The Japanese fighter pilots in WWII committed suicide attacks on allied forces aka kamikaze; it was considered an honorable service to the Empire of Japan. Death instead of defeat and shame is the primary tradition in the Japanese samurai culture. They lived with the bushido code: “Loyalty and Honor before death”. The short story in discussion is “A Family Supper” written by Kazuo Ishigoru. This story tells us about an evening when the son-the protagonist and the narrator of this story, returns to Japan to meet his family after spending two years in United States, and the unsaid tension between him and his father. This story is about loss; Loss of family, friends, love and hope. The author shows the father as lost, hopeless and desperate. The loss of his wife, firm and children and the hopelessness leads him to consider suicide. The setting of the story symbolises the father’s worries and disappointments. The dusk, dimly lit rooms, the garden and the ghost story is a major part of the setting that the author wants the reader to imagine in order to predict how the story will unfold. The narrator’s state of mind is never really told directly, but the readers can judge it by the way he behaves with his family. The repetition of death and loss; the mother’s death, the fathers loss of firm, his friend’s mass family suicide, the loss of his son and his daughter which he probably foresees, results in father’s depressed and disappointed state of mind. The author starts the story with death of the mother by fish poisoning, usually if death is mentioned in the beginning, the reader braces himself for a story involving death, and the way the story unfolds there had to be at least a death if not a mass suicide.
The setting of the story symbolises the father’s worries and disappointments. The narrator describes his father as a “formidable-looking man with a large stony jaw and furious black eyebrows” (338) tells the reader about the generation gap...
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