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Town Of Cats Essay

1524 words - 7 pages

Town of Cats written by Haruki Murakami, is an exquisite short story about a young man named Tengo. The story describes one particular day in Tengo’s life while also reflecting on his unimaginable childhood. The story provides an immense amount of information on Tengo’s relationship with his father, especially at a younger age. The suffering relationship between father and son is very evident in the story.
The setting takes place in many different locations in the short. The author mastered creating a story within a story and magnificently mastered shift tenses. The story starts off with Tengo at a train station in Koenji. “He had nothing planned that day.”The story then stated that, “Wherever he went and whatever he did (or didn’t do) was entirely up to him.” (Town,1) It is important to the story because it shows a sense of power that was absent in Tengo’s childhood. After pondering on what he should do for the day, he decides to visit his father, who resided in a sanatorium in Chikura. The sanatorium is for people who suffer from cognitive disorders. After deciding to visit his father, the narrator describes Tengo’s relationship with his father. He stated that, “He had never much liked the man, and his father had no special love for him either.” (Town, 2) The reader then finds out that Tengo has only visited his father twice since he was put in the sanatorium, four years ago. The story then discusses why Tengo doesn’t like Sundays. We discover that as a child Tengo worked every Sunday for his father, who worked as a bill collector for the NHK, Japan’s quasi-governmental radio and television network. Tengo dreaded Sundays because he went door-to-door with his father and never had much time to be a kid on the weekends. Tengo was affected long term by his father’s actions towards him at such a young, vulnerable age. The reader then discovers four reasons to why his father always made him go on the routes with him. The most important reason “..Left the deepest scars on his son’s heart.” (Town, 3) His father used him to get people to pay their bills. Tengo suffered socially from his dad taking away his weekends because all of his friends would be doing fun things on the weekend, while Tengo worked. We then learn the history of the father and why he is the way he is. “His foremost strength was his perseverance in the face of adversity.” (Town, 4) Next the narrator describes the Tengo’s mother, who had fallen ill and died a few months after he was born. The death of his mother at such a young age called for his father to step up and be his motherly figure in his life, but Tengo’s father did not rise to the occasion. Tengo could tell that his father was hiding something from him regarding his mother because his father never talked about her and tried to avoid the topic at all costs. The mystery of who his mother was rose several questions about his mother. We then find out that there is only one memory Tengo has of his mother. “In his only memory...

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