Lecture 5 - Lecture 5 Lady Nijos Discussion Questions 1...

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Lecture 5 1/19/10 Lady Nijo’s Discussion Questions: 1) What kind of persona comes out of Lady Nijo’s narrative? Is she “weak-willed” (as she describes herself), or are the machinations of all the males around her too much for her? In other words, is she unable or unwilling to control her behavior? She was both unwilling and unable, but more unwilling in a sense. Despite her position as an imperial consort, and when she was pregnant and such other positions she has placed herself in, many of her affairs have resulted from her “weak-will,” an excuse she places to justify her lack of judgment and unwillingness to sacrifice her desires for a more moral conduct. 2) To what extent can you identify with her? Does she have admirable qualities? Do you feel sorry for her? Although Lady Nijo is hard to identify with, her circumstances and history are pitiable, especially if her story on her upbringing was true. Although she felt close to her father and mourned for him well after his death, she seems well aware that her father viewed her mostly as a tool to harness power. I feel that her courage is her most redeeming quality, for being able to expose herself despite knowing the implications of her own personal life and those of others. She is also less self-pitying as other parallel figures in ancient Japan, perhaps since she is writing this in retrospect. 3) Are there points in Confessions where Lady Nijo is she revealing more about herself than she realizes? Is she as fickle as she appears? What kind of agency does the act of writing give her? Does she seem fully in control of her narrative, or does she accidentally show things she probably didn’t mean to? I think Lady Nijo rationale for her character gives her a cohesive persona. Also, because she has complete
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2010 for the course JPN JPN 102 taught by Professor Josephsorensen during the Winter '10 term at UC Davis.

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Lecture 5 - Lecture 5 Lady Nijos Discussion Questions 1...

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