The Sound of Waves Reflective Statement Essay

345 WordsJun 10, 20152 Pages
The Sound of Waves Reflective Statement Throughout our group investigation of the novel The Sound of Waves and its author Yukio Mishima, I learned a lot about the cultural and contextual aspects of the novel. This helped me gain a deeper understanding of the text. One important aspect of the novel that I learned during the seminar was the huge religious influence on The Sound of Waves, which is something I did not consider before reading the novel. I learned about how the tenets of Shintoism shaped the characteristics of the characters. I learned that the characters who displayed traditional Shinto characteristics, such as Shinji and Hatsue, where the protagonists while characters who were more western, such as Yasuo and Chiyoko, were antagonists. One example we discussed during our presentations outdoors was that one of the biggest tenets in Shintoism is that spiritual power exists in nature. In the novel, when Yasuo attempts to rape Hatsue, nature is what saves Hatsue because she represents a pure heart, which is another characteristic of Shintoism. While reading the novel I did not understand why it was a hive of wasps that saved Hatsue rather than another character like Shinji. I learned through our activity that this passage reflects Mishima’s Shinto beliefs, that nature is a force of good. Another important aspect of the novel that I learned during our presentations was gender roles. When we discussed the gender roles of Shintoism, I realized that Hatsue and Shinji’s relationship clearly did not go by the rules and that is why it created so much conflict. This is not something that I immediately grasped during my reading of the novel so learning about Mishima’s strict beliefs and traditional Japanese values made it clear why the characters of Uta-jima gossiped about Shinji and Hatsue so much. Overall, this experience greatly deepened

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