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ENGR1Bnumber1 - Virginia Lieu English R1B The Long and...

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Virginia Lieu English R1B: The Long and Short of It Tiffany Tsao February 3, 2009 No Place I Was Meant to Be: Contemporary Japan in the Short Fiction of Haruki Murakami Unlike the traditional authors of Japanese literature, the works of Haruki Murakami focus not on the conflict between Japanese and Western culture, but actually opposes the two together in one story. His characters are often unaware of an inner conflict and he purposely uses a Western lifestyle in a Japanese backdrop and geography. The most notable difference between the two is the absence of Japanese “togetherness” found in social interactions. The protagonist is mostly alone or disjointed from his outside world. Even family ties are severed or fragile. Another difference is the integration of Western symbols; Murakami uses Frank Sinatra, McDonald’s hamburgers, and even Paul McCartney in his stories. He uses this to demonstrate how the loss of culture equals the loss of identity. In a sense, Murakami’s characters are cliché, lonely, purposeless, and mechanical. They merely are
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