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Kazuo Ishiguro's "A Family Supper" Title: Fugu Runs In The Family

829 words - 3 pages

Fugu Runs in The FamilyFugu is a traditional Japanese fish that's been a part of Japan's culture formany years. Kazuo Ishiguro's "A Family Supper" is the story of a family that isrecovering from the loss of their mother due to fugu poisoning a few years ago.The boy in the family has lived in California for some time and decides to moveback to Japan to stay with his father. Upon his arrival, a series of clues lead us tobelieve that the dinner his father has prepared will be their last.The first spoken line of the story comes from the boy's father asking him,"Did you eat on the plane?" He implies that he only had a snack and the fatherinsists by saying, "You must be hungry. We'll eat as soon as Kikuko arrives." Hisfather's overbearing concern with the food is unusual; he didn't bother to ask howthe flight was or anything of that nature. We learn that his father's firm has justcollapsed and how pure samurai blood actually runs in their family. In shame oftheir company's failure, his father's partner Watanabe took his own life. The boy,curious to know what his father will do now, asks if he will go into business again.An awkward pause takes place; his father replies, "I am-in retirement" (568).Does this mean he's done working or does it mean he will retire forever after theyeat dinner?Kukiko, the boy's sister arrives at the house and immediately the fatherheads to the kitchen to check on dinner. The boy and Kukiko step outside to talkand catch up on a few things. During their conversation Kukiko says, "Mothernever really blamed you, you know. She always used to say to me how it was theirfault, hers and father's, for not bringing you up correctly" (569). Apparently he didsomething in the past that didn't receive his parent's approval; we are under theimpression that it was for a girl of a different ethnic background. "What happenedto-to her? To Vicki? That's all finished with, there's nothing left for me now inCalifornia" (569). In the beginning of the story we learn that their mother alwaysrefused to eat fugu. In shame of her failure to raise a good son, it's possible that sheate the fish knowing it would poison her. Meanwhile in the garden Kikuko informshim that Watanabe didn't just kill himself, he took his whole family along withhim.When they return to the house father is preparing to serve dinner and Kikukosays,...

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