What Sounds Do the Waves Make?: Analysis of Technique and Setting in the Sound of Waves

1078 WordsDec 19, 20135 Pages
Joshua Ramos IB English HL Mr. Michael 13 April 2013 What Sounds Do the Waves Make?: Analysis of Technique and Setting in The Sound of Waves Yukio Mishima’s The Sound of Waves is a work of literature in which the writer thrusts the reader into an ethereal love story that takes place on Song Island, Japan. The isolated nature of the island reflects life within it; the people lead simple lives, away from the grasp of Westernization and industry. This simplicity translates to, and in turn, emanates from, the love of the two main characters, Shinji and Hatsue. In order to emphasize this simplicity, Mishima focuses the reader’s attention on the setting of the novel by comparing Shinji and Hatsue’s relationship to different physical aspects of the island. Mishima establishes the setting in such a way, that it allows him to fully express the love between Shinji and Hatsue. In order to accentuate the purity and innocence of Shinji and Hatsue’s love, Mishima creates a near-utopia for them to live in: Uta-Jima (Song Island). He begins the novel with an overarching description of Uta-Jima by giving the reader breathtaking images of two locations on the island “with surpassingly beautiful views” (Mishima 3): one is a shrine dedicated to the god of the sea, and the other a “lighthouse near the summit of Mt. Migashi” (4). In order to further emphasize the aesthetic beauty of Uta-Jima, Mishima includes various references to light in conjunction with nature imagery. For example, Shinji and Hatsue begin an evening walk “in the dusk,” and “calm shafts of radiance [were] pouring down between the clouds” (50). Finally, the island reflects the innocence of Shinji and Hatsue’s love when Mishima writes, “there was no such thing as theft on the whole island” (34). The combination of the aesthetic beauty of the island and it’s inherent purity (stressed by the lack of

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