Literary Analysis Of “The Grasshopper And The Bell Cricket” By Yasunari Kawabata

1138 words - 5 pages

The story “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket”, written by Yasunari Kawabata, is a children’s fiction story that is written in a third person narrative point of view. The author, who sets himself as the narrator, is describing what he sees as he stumbles upon a group of young, neighborhood kids as they frolic along the bank of a stream near dusk time. He points out the extreme care that the children take in creating their lanterns, and he sees the passion and enthusiasm they have while apparently searching for bugs along the bank and in the bushes. As the story goes on, the author moves from a tone of describing and being literal, to a more serious tone that causes some serious thought. He seems to be attempting to convince the audience of something emotional.
The setting of this story obviously takes place on the campus of a school as the narrator is walking around the campus. The time period is unclear to the audience because there is no illustration of when this story might have taken place or been written in the writing itself. However, based on the names of the children that he states at the end of the story, we are able to conclude that this story was written and takes place in an Asian country, most likely Japan. As the narrator is walking throughout the play area of the school, he seems to be enjoying himself and enjoying the relaxation that the scenery brings. “Walking more slowly and listening to that voice, and furthermore reluctant to part with it, I turned right so as not to leave the playground behind” (341). He is surprised when he turns the corner and notices a rather large group of lights that were seemingly floating around the bank. His inquisitiveness gets the best of him as he makes his way down to the bank to where the children are playing. As he is observing the scene that is unveiling in front of him, he notices the incredible attention to detail that the kids have put into their lanterns. “Not only did the square lanterns have old-fashioned patterns and flower shapes, but the names of the children who had made them were cut out in squared letters of the syllabary” (342).
The narrator describes the prospect of the young kids running around searching for bugs to capture and keep in their lanterns, as if they were their own personal pets. Some kids are merely laughing and giggling as they run around, some children make it a competition to get as many bugs as they can, and some simply admire and enjoy the creatures as they scurry about the floor of the bank. As the story progresses, it seems as if the narrator not only gets attached to walking throughout the play area, but that he also gets emotionally attached to the children. He says that he “felt slightly jealous of the boy, and sheepish” (343) as he shows off his new catch. The young boy claims that he has found a spectacular grasshopper in a nearby bush, and he shouts out to his company that he wants to give it away. He shouts, “Doesn’t anyone want a grasshopper?”...

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