In a Grove

Topics: Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Human, In a Grove Pages: 2 (529 words) Published: November 4, 2010
R.J. Renzi
In A Grove and "Rashomon" Comparison

In Ryunosuke Akutagawa's short stories In A Grove and Rashomon, an epic conflict of appearance vs. reality is reinforced by the world-renowned movie "Rashomon". Although the stories and the movies use different symbolism and have many distinct differences, they both support this theme. In the book Rashomon and Other Stories, Akutagawa creates the stories In A Grove and "Rashomon" where they are combined to form a story within a story, which makes the story difficult to perceive for readers. When the movie begins, anyone who has read the book expects that the movie will begin at the Woodcutter's recollection, like that of In A Grove, but it actually begins at the gate of Rashomon, which throws the reader off from the start. Then the movie leads into the story of In A Grove, but after the Policeman's statement, the reader is expecting to hear the confession of the Old Woman, however this portion is left out of the movie, further confusing the viewer. In addition to the differences of character confessions, one element that was very odd and different from the short stories, was that the movie added a larger perspective to the murder. Although changes were made, the plot of In A Grove remains similar to that of the book, while "Rashomon" changes to a degree almost beyond recognition. For example, in the movie the man decides to steal the clothes from the old woman to survive, however the man in the movie decides whether or not to steal a necklace from an abandoned baby. Even though the situation is different, the eventual rise of evil to facilitate survival arises.  These changes differentiate the movie from the book, yet lead to a common theme. The book and the movie both create inconsistencies and contradictions that develop a theme of appearance vs. reality. 

This is a common reoccurring theme throughout history where war, oppression, and evil are used by a society in order to help get themselves back on their...
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