�In the Grove�

�In the Grove� - "In the Grove" (1921) by...

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“In the Grove” (1921) by Akutagawa Rūnosuke The Story: the seven different characters testify what they know about the murder of the man, with different versions of the stories. Theme: 1) Unreliability of human perception of the phenomenal world, of memory, and of subjectivity in the process of digesting the experience. For example, a woodcutter and a traveling Buddhist priest name different locations where the body was first discovered. 2) Ultimately, there is no truth in one single event. Our world consists of multiple perspectives and desires to see things as we wish. 3) Except the first three people (the woodcutter, the traveling priest, and the policeman, the old woman who is the mother of the murdered man’s wife) who were questioned by the High Police Commissioner, the others who were directly involved in the incident give confession, rather than a testimony. (The first three people concern Akutagawa’s doubt about perception, memory, while the old woman is concerned about her daughter’s chastity and therefore somewhat sounds vindictive of her daughter and son-in-law; then, the second three characters concern the author’s question about subjectivity and/or manipulation of the direct experience). 4) Characters: Tajomaru : His name means an amorous man, the man of numerous sentiments. He claims that he killed the man, but while narrating the details of the incident, he is highly provocative and constantly challenges the interlocutor. (By the way, who is the interlocutor or to whom Tajomaru gives all the account?) He is somewhat devilish and tries to penetrate human nature: for instance, he challenges the interlocutor cynically saying that “You kill people with your power, your money. Sometimes you kill then on the pretext of working for their good. It’s true they don’t
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2008 for the course MODL 398 taught by Professor Amano during the Spring '08 term at UNL.

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�In the Grove� - "In the Grove" (1921) by...

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