Memoires Of A Geisha By Arthur Golden

2298 words - 9 pages

Each living being experiences the world in a proprietary way that, though capable of resembling another’s, can never be fully duplicated. These differing perspectives, in their inherent complexity, are a principal patron to the chaos and beauty that perpetually plague and gift mankind. With over seven billion individuals (Population Clock), it is intelligible to claim that with so vast a sea of differing vistas; the power of perspective is the most influential contributor to modern civilization and the human spirit. Arthur Golden’s Memoires of a Geisha and Salvador Dali’s “Swans Reflecting Elephants” demonstrate the power and influence that differing perspective can have in a positive, artistic manner; while simultaneously bringing notice to the less-than-savory offspring that diverging views can birth. Both works demonstrate (though, in the case of Dali’s work indirectly) the positive and negative effects of perspective in a way that pertains to Japan and America’s in World War II, the most destructive conflict of all time (Ambrose); and a prime example (though arguably drastic) of the far reaching effects that different outlooks can have on mankind; and thus the need for them to be understood.
In America, we are commonly taught that our involvement with World War II started after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 (World War II). Until the attack on Pearl, it is preached that America was both neutral and removed from the war (World War II). The contradictory reality is that America was never an idle bystander in the war- something its moral obligations and foreign associations would not allow. Under the false guise of neutrality (commonly referred to as The Lend Lease Act), America transferred war material to Britain and other anti-axis powers- free of cost (World War II). Had America adhered to its doctrine of neutrality, America would not have placed an Oil Embargo on Japan while helping her enemies- an act of passive-aggressive aggression that is credited with being the direct origin of the decision to attack Pearl Harbor (Maechling). America knew that Japan was highly dependent on the US for oil, and enacted the embargo as an economic assault on Japan (Maechling). Through this all, Americans are taught to believe that their nation was attacked without warrant; and by and large, they believe this statement to be true. Many Americans believe that their nation was an innocent bystander during the majority of World War II, until the attack on Pearly Harbor, orchestrated by Japan. America may not have been a direct aggressor; but it was not completely neutral. America is epitomized in Dali’s “Swans Reflecting Elephants” in that, like the swans America portrayal of itself as a peaceful swan was two-faced. Reminiscent of the peaceful swan’s hidden reflection, America actual reflection was different from the image it professed to have. America reflected an image of power and destruction, “reflecting” the image of an elephant below the...

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