A Comparison of the Heat and Cold Imagery Used in Nawal El Saadawi's Woman at Point Zero and Yasunari Kawabata's Thousand Cranes
In the books Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi, and Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata, both authors use various forms of imagery that reoccur throughout the works. These images are used not to be taken for their literal meanings, but instead to portray a deeper sense or feeling that may occur several times in the book. One type of imagery that both Saadawi and Kawabata use in their works is heat and cold imagery. In the works, Woman at Point Zero and Thousand Cranes, Nawal El Saadawi and Yasunari Kawabata each use heat and cold imagery to portray the same feelings of love and fear and /or the lack thereof.
In both works, the authors use heat and cold imagery in order to portray the presence and/or lack of love in three different forms. These three forms of love that are illustrated through the use of heat and cold imagery are protection, comfort, and intimacy. Heat and cold imagery is used repeatedly in both works to provide a feeling of love in the form of protection and security, usually having the presence of heat or warmth representing a feeling of protection and security, and the absence of heat representing a lack of security or protection. In the following lines from Kawabata's Thousand Cranes, it is a memory of Mrs. Ota that provides Kikuji a sense of security during a conversation with Fumiko: "Mrs. Ota's warmth came over him like warm water. She had gently surrendered everything he remembered, and he had felt secure" (Kawabata 36). In Woman at Point Zero, Saadawi uses the warmth of Firdaus' uncle's arms as an image for love in the form of protection in the following lines: "During the cold winter night, I curled up in my uncle's arms like a baby in its womb. We drew warmth from our closeness" (Saadawi 21). This passage provides an even greater sense of protection through Saadawi's use of the simile, "like a...
Bibliography: Kawabata, Yasunari. Thousand Cranes. Trans. Edward G. Seidensticker. Vintage Books: New York, 1996.
Saadawi, Nawal El. Woman at Point Zero. Trans. Sherif Hetata. Zed Books: London, 1983.
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