Sound Of Waves By Yukio Mishima

597 words - 2 pages

Critic Roland Barthes has said, "Literature is the question minus the answer." In her novel, The Sound of Waves, Yukio Mishima raises one central question to the reader: are you or are you not a "get-up-and-go" person? A "get-up-and-go" person is, in her eyes, a "real" person, the kind of person "we need." Mishima, in her work, provides this question but leaves the answer in the reader's hands. The basis for this answer, however, is provided in Shinji, the protagonist, who even in the novel's most criticizing character's eyes, completely exemplifies a "get-up-and-go-man." Shinji's exemplification of this type of person, as I have come to understand, is what separates this novel from just another corny love story. It adds another level to the work, making it universal in audience, and not limiting its impact on those nose-blowing romantics. Mishima focuses on Shinji's character (and in effect the reader's as well) throughout the novel, making her answerless question clear and it's understanding simple.Shinji displayed an unbelievable restraint at times. When he had Hatsue naked, all to himself, he did not give in to his temptations and was the first to withdraw from the situation. Thus, in a quite literal way, Shinju "got-up-and-went." His counterpart Yasuo, on the other hand, whom Mishima offers as an example of a person who we certainly do not "need," made an attempt to rape Hatsue in a similar circumstance.Shinji's work ethic was unparalleled. At every opportunity, whether through the town's Young Men's Association or simply in passing a site, Shinji helped in any project or debacle in which his neighbors found themselves. When working on a large freighter, Shinji again portrayed his hard-working nature,...

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