The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea (The Sailor), respectively, demonstrate the recurring conflict throughout the novel between the traditional views and modernity. The first passage (lines 1-23) Is at the end of chapter five of the first section, Summer, in which Unborn performs some kind of ceremonial surgery on a stray kitten to prove his strength of manhood In the audience of the group of nihilistic boys.
In the second passage (lines 24-40) from chapter SIX of the second section, Winter, the leader of the band of boys novices Risky for betraying Unborn and disturbing the “internal order of life” (Mishap 162) and sentences the sailor to death. Mishap uses these central scenes to emphasize his criticism of westernizes of post-World War II Japan by Incorporating recurring symbolism. Imagery, and repetition. This novel was written after the World War II, at a time when Japan was conforming to omnipresent westernizes.
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Mishap, who was committed to bushier (code of the samurai), resented the modernization; this can be seen in The Sailor as he deplores his nation’s weakness to conformity. Primarily, Mammals presents the conflict between the traditional and western views with the use of characters: Unborn, the protagonist, symbolizes the former whereas Fusses, his mother, represents the latter. The nihilistic group of boys, in which Unborn is involved, practices “absolute dispassion” (Mishap 54) and trains to be cold and callous; this is an aspect of bushier, which suggests that Unborn Is a representation of the patriarchal Japan.
There is much evidence for Fusspot’s representing modernity; she takes on the family business that her husband leaves behind in death, taking the role of a man. Furthermore, the business is a western clothing store that deals with European merchandise and customers. The Internal conflict of Rye]l Tackle Is major because it is parallel to the conflict within Japan. In the novel, he wavers between “the glory’ (Mishap 16), which Unborn encourages as Risky sails off at the end of Summer and “death In love” (Mishap 77) with Fusses.
In the first passage, Mishap appeals to the readers’ senses as he validly describes the evisceration of the kitten in lines 1-12. As the boys dissect the dead kitten, he introduces the recurring motif of colors. The kitten’s dead pupils”, “purple flecked with white” (lines 4-5) signify the ceremonious yet precise aspect of the situation: purple, In Japan, can convey a sense of spirituality or ceremony, while white represents sacredness and purity, as well as clinically, which Is a notable word, for It connotes being unemotional and detached.
The color of the “fat-yellowed scissors” (line 6) cutting the torso of the animal also carries a subtle meaning: yellow can represent idealism, which will be explained later in the analysis. The color red of the “blood gush[long] onto [the leader’s] rubber gloves” (line 1 1) expresses strong motions; the leader’s squeezing the red blood out of the heart suggests removing 1 OFF recognize the symbolism of colors, the intended readers would likely understand Miasma’s choices. From physical details of the disembowelment, Mishap switches to metaphorical descriptions of the organs.
When Unborn indicates, “What is really happening here? ” (line 13), he evinces a pivotal point of narrative. Mishap emphasizes this line by writing it in italics and by using repetition: before the physical description, Unborn asks, “What is beginning here now? ” (Mishap 60). The similar structure of the questions stresses the gravity of that point. He extends the metaphors of the entrails by using imagery again: the “liver” becomes “a soft peninsula”, “the squashed heart a little sun, the reeled-out bowels a white atoll, and the blood… The tepid waters of a tropical sea” (lines 18-22).
The kitten’s organs are compared to Japan; the soft peninsula qualifies as the islands of Japan and the tropical sea indicates the Sea of Japan. The heart and the bowels together form the imagery of the Japanese flag, also known as “The Rising Sun”, which is a red circle (the sun) against a white background. The white atoll may perhaps be a reference to events like the Jaywalking Atoll, in which Japanese soldiers of bushier were in combat with American soldiers during WI. This “pure” rebellion against westernizes is dollied and Juxtaposed with the image of The Rising Sun.
Mishap describes the sacrifice as a transformation of the “kitten into a perfect, autonomous world” (line 23). He foreshadows the end of the novel when the band of boys proceed to take on a larger target, Risky, to rectify him of his “charges” (Mishap 160) and thus “insure that order is maintained” (lines 30-31). The leader concludes hat if Risky does not take his own life to repent his actions, the group must honor him by committing a ritual suicide for him. The leader portrays the killing as their calling of “freedom’s supreme command” (Mishap 167), a task necessary to fill “the emptiness of the world” (Mishap 167).
Mishap introduces a dual microcosm of the kitten: the surgery on the animal is preparation and representation of Uris’s sacrifice; on a larger scale, it is criticism of the deterioration of the Japanese Samurai tradition. The leader feels that their “duty’ (line 24) is to “force [the perpetrator] jack into position” (line 24-25) when the order is disturbed. He dictates that although “the world is empty’ (line 27), the “important thing… Is to try to maintain order” (line 27-28), a view of bushier.
Because Risky chooses Fusses over “sailing away forever” (Mishap 179), which also connotes choice of westernizes over the traditional code, the leader of the group of boys decides that “there [is] only one way to make him a hero again” (lines 35-36): the boys believe that Uris’s death will rectify him into something perfect. Consequently, Mishap implies that the immolation of westernizes will return order to Japan. The idea of “finding wholeness and perfection in the rapture” (lines 17-18) correlates the ritual involving the kitten to Uris’s sacrifice and bushier, the code of samurai.
Mishap refers to two types of rapture here: Nobody’s ecstasy as he “hurl[s] it again and again at the log” (Mishap 58) and Uris’s “dark rapture” (Mishap 77) of his love for Fusses. In both however, death plays a primary role, signifying the source of the “wholeness and perfection”. Uris’s ritual suicide is foreshadowed from the first chapter when Unborn decides that he would “do anything to stop [the destruction of ritual killing of the kitten: Unborn realizes that he "can do anything, no matter how awful” (Mishap 61).
This repetition connects Uris’s death to that of the kitten and destruction of the "internal order” (Mishap 162). Nobody’s confirmation of his abilities is a harbinger of his confidence in taking a bigger, graver target: Risky. These two key passages exemplify Miasma’s criticism of Japan’s weakness to westernizes that recurs throughout the novel. He idealizes the surgery of the kitten as an act larger than Just animal abuse; it is a foreshadowing version of that of Risky, which in hand symbolizes Japan’s conformity.
As a tool of rectification, the aforementioned "fat-yellowed scissors” (line 6) used to cut the kitten is venerated for this reason. These symbols point towards death as the means to transfigure the weak, modernized Japan into a "perfect, autonomous world” (line 23) as the western values are cut out. To recognize and understand completely Miasma’s intricate intentions would be very difficult due to cultural discord between the intended Japanese and the western readers. However, it is through studying different sets of values that one may come to comprehend and accept the variety of cultures.