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The Effects Physical And Emotional Loss On Communication

1203 words - 5 pages

An experience of loss can last over periods of time and can lead its recipients to endure post-traumatic symptoms. A major part of physical and emotional damages is communicating and expressing the emotions one has concerning the loss. In Huang Chunming’s “The Fish,” Ah Cang experiences a loss that he cannot properly explain to his grandfather. In Kazuo Ishiguro’s A Pale View of Hills, Etsuko faces a loss that she cannot quite cope with. In both cases, the characters involved are not able to address their problems, debilitating their relationships. Ah Cang and Etsuko feel guilt and regret towards the things they have lost which causes their inability to come to terms with what they have done, crippling how they communicate.
In “The Fish,” Ah Cang is introduced as a young boy with a strong desire to bring a bonito fish to his grandfather. Ah Cang is struggling with working as an apprentice and finds relief when he visits his grandpa. Huang shows that they have a strong relationship in the beginning of the story when the boy visits for the first time and his grandfather is comforting him. They are able to communicate in a comfortable and casual way. When he is finally able to bring back the fish he promised, he is very excited and proud to show what he has accomplished. For Ah Cang, bring back a fish represented his progress as a carpenter because he was able to afford the fish and it represented physical proof of some success he could give to his grandfather. However, when Ah Cang brings the fish back, but drops it, he is devastated and genuinely horrific for Ah Cang. He feels so guilty and when he tells his grandpa, he is so bewildered by his guilt that he misunderstands his grandfather’s acceptance. This leads to their miscommunication and although Ah Cang’s grandfather understands that a truck ran over the bonito, Ah Cang can only interpret it as his grandfather thinking he is lying. Ah Cang is now throwing a tantrum and changes his argument from “you think I’m lying” to “I don’t want you to believe me” (Huang, 231). He is no longer able to express himself and begins to aggravate his grandfather, which is the opposite of his initial intentions. Ah Cang feels regretful about losing the bonito fish, and his ashamed feeling prevent him from thinking clearly and conveying his disappointment in himself.
In A Pale View of Hills, Kazuo Ishiguro writes about a Japanese widow who is trying to overcome the suicide of her first daughter, Keiko. Etsuko narrates the story and explains various series of events. The story begins with the introduction of Niki, Etsuko’s second daughter. From the very start of the story, Ishiguro continually shows that the family does not communicate frequently nor in an in-depth manner. When Niki talks about her deceased half-sister, Keiko, she only remembers her as “someone who used to make [her] miserable” (Ishiguro, 1990: 2). Even though Keiko’s death has such a huge impact on their lives, that is...

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