Deep River- Mitsuko Essay

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Deep River In the novel, Deep River by Shusako Endo, the author weaves the story of a journeytowards discovery and enlightenment for a group of Japanese tourists.The individuals in Endo’sstory are all intricate and interesting characters who embark on a soul-searching trip to theGanges River in India. In this mix of diverse individuals, one particularly intriguing characterstands out - Mitsuko Naruse.Hers is a story of a spiritual and emotional journey where she notonly seeks answers to her own perplexing questions of faith and spirituality but also where shetakes huge steps to counter the inner turmoil that rages in her life.Mitsuko’s story isrepresentative of what many of the other characters are looking for – a sense of deeper purposeand meaning for their lives and for Mitsuko, in particular, it denotes her search for the capacity to love. Mitsuko Naruse is as an independent, educated, sophisticated and successful Japanesewoman.She is a woman with opinions, who is self-determined and oozes confidence.She isalso manipulative and self-indulgent. To many who know her, she comes across as a woman whobows to no man.Outwardly, Mitsuko appears to be the antithesis of the subservient Japanesewoman.Yet as we read her narrative in this novel, we begin to see that Mitsuko is also inwardlywaging a war with her emotions – she seems to be a person incapable of love. Mitsuko’s quest for answers begins in college when she meets Ōtsu, a fellow student. Ōtsu is a total contrast to what Mitsuko is all about. Ōtsu is a deeply religious and pious man who desires to serve his God by becoming a Catholic priest. Ōtsu represents everything Mitsuko disdains and reviles. To Mitsuko, Ōtsu is a weak-minded individual and therefore not worthy of her respect or appreciation. She loathes everything he stands for and so she plots with her fellow students to use her feminine wiles on him to

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