Tale of Genji-Evanescence of Life

Topics: The Tale of Genji, Love, Marriage Pages: 3 (1126 words) Published: February 13, 2013
Pinhwa Su
JPN101 Final Essay
Professor Gundry
December 7, 2012
Evanescence of Life
Man has always been the one that chases the woman, and the harder the woman is for them to get the more the man wants her. People tend to not appreciate what they have in front of them until they don’t have them anymore. The evanescence of a man’s relationship with a woman of importance is a recurring theme throughout the book. This is demonstrated frequently through Genji’s relationships with the women and people he cared about throughout his life. In Genji’s life he encounters a variety of women through which the same routine occurs; he falls in love, he loses her then he suffers. An important aspect of this evanescence of women is the consolation phase which follows where male characters seek comfort for lost from women of similar physical traits. In The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu convey the idea of evanescence of important relationships through Genji’s life. Genji’s mother Kiritsubo, who is the Emperor's true love, died when Genji was only three years old. Genji had very little time with his birth mother; this foreshadows Genji’s whole life as he matures of how he continuously suffers from losing the women he cares about. When Kiritsubo passed away the Emperor was filled with unending sorrow, he “had clung all too foundly to his old love, despite universal disapproval, and he did not forget her now, but in a touching way his affection turned to [Fujitsubo], who was a great consolation to him” (Murasaki14). The Emperor seeks a substitute for his wife while Genji seeks a mother. The Emperor's grief over Kiritsubo is eased when he meets Fujitsubo because she almost exactly resembles Kiritsubo. Although Genji does not remember his mother much, when the Dame of Staff told him that Fujitsubo resembled his mother, Genji “wanted always to be with her so as to contemplate her to his heart’s content” (Murasaki14). In order to find comfort, both Genji and his father seek...

Bibliography: Murasaki, Shikibu, and Royall Tyler. The Tale of Genji. New York: Viking, 2001. Print.
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