A FAMILY SUPPER
A Family Supper is a story that revolves around a Japanese family. The main characters are the Father (patriarch of the family), the son who serves as the narrator, and his sister all gather for a visit to their childhood home. Our story is about generational communication and the difficulties that arise from it. This problem is displayed in one Japanese family when the son returns to his home in Japan for a visit. The narrator's father appears to value family honor, integrity, is strict, and controlling. Upon the sons (who is unnamed) arrival to Japan two years after his mother’s death, a death he doesn’t seem to be aware of. He is told that his mother died by eating the poisonous fish called “fugu.” Although she never had the fish, the author hints that she might have eaten the fish out of respect for a friend. This could also be an allusion to politeness constraints of Japanese culture and/or tradition. Death seems to be one of the main issues in this story. It is a constant subject along with the conflict of the father wanting his son to return and live in Japan. This conflict is never resolved for the reader. The long description of the fish, (fugu) the preparations necessary for it’s safe consumption, and the fact that it is placed at the beginning of the story, does not seem to be have any significance to me. This information could have been be told at any point in the story without changing the overall theme.
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