COMMENTARY ON OPENING OF SAILOR
In the Opening of The sailor who fell from grace with the sea, Yukio Mishima describes the setting of the house in part one, introduces us to two of the main characters and shows us parts of their personality through the use of 3rd person narrative view.
Mishima describes the setting of the room that the protagonist’s mother, Fusako, lives in. In the room is a “shiny brass bed” ordered from “New Orleans”, a “blue electric fan” and a dressing table with several bottles of “eau de cologne, perfume sprays and lavender toilet water”. This description of the room shows that Fusako is very westernized and implies that there may be a conflict of cultures. There is also an “embroidery frame” which is a symbol of traditional Japan that is “propped on a couch”. Even though “the vogue for such things had passed long ago”, Noboru’s mother still loved these kinds of “handicraft”, thus further emphasizing the indication of a conflict in cultures.
Mishima uses 3rd person narrative view to introduce us to “Noboru’s mother”. In the opening paragraph, Noboru’s mother is contemplating on what she should do to save Noboru if a fire were to happen, she comes up with several problems ranging from the door ‘warping’ in the heat to jumping down from a “hopelessly high” “second floor”, this shows that she tends to be over-anxious and over-thinks problems. Also, the fact that she gave up finding the solution shows that she lacks some affection towards her son Noboru. This is further emphasized by Noboru’s memory of what his mother does in her room, “check the ledgers she brought home from the shop”, showing that her work takes a higher priority in her life than Noboru does. The use of 3rd person allows the reader to see a broader view of the character’s thoughts, and offers us a non-biased account of multiple characters opinions.
Mishima introduces us to the protagonist of the story, the thirteen-year-old boy, Noboru. In the opening chapter,...
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