In a Bamboo Grove

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Kerrie Brock Dr Howard ENG 1110 12 April 2011 Interpretive Analysis of In a Bamboo Grove by Ryunosuke Akutagawa Why does Akutagawa give the bandit and the samurai an inverted sense of good and evil? In Akutagawa’s in a bamboo grove, he gives the seemly characters a sense of moral ambiguity while bestowing the bandit with attributes of integrity. In Tajomaru’s confession he gives the appearance of justice while stating that the other characters give off the appearance of corruption. He says “When I kill a man, I do it with my sword, but people like you don’t use swords. You gentleman kill with your power, with your money, and sometimes just with your words: you tell people that you’re doing them a favor. True no blood flows, the man is still alive, but you’ve killed them all the same. I don’t know whose sin is greater- yours or mine. (A sarcastic smile.)” (Akutagawa 31). This statement supports Tojomaru’s view of himself as a trouble making bandit that has a sense of right and wrong, and is nothing like the truth seeking magistrate, who is a representation of the corrupt justice system. With a haughty demeanor he states “so that’s my confession. I always knew my head would end up hanging in the tree outside the prison some day, so let me have the ultimate punishment. (Defiant attitude.)” (Akutagawa 31). In the end Tajomaru believes that although his fate is in the hands of the law he will prevail even in death by challenging the system. Like the bandit Robin Hood who became an English folk hero thru the belief that even men whom have done wrong can become clean through the resistance of corrupt men. Tajomaru also believes that Takehiro was a greedily corrupt man whom deserved death. Tajomaru testes Takehiro’s rapacity with a plan to overtake Masago. He says “I told them I had found an old burial mound in the hills, and when I opened it it was full of

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