Analysis Of Haruki Murakami 's Town Of Cats Essay

Analysis Of Haruki Murakami 's Town Of Cats Essay

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In Haruki Murakami’s Town of Cats, the protagonist, Tengo, embarks upon a journey to visit his father at a sanatorium for answers about his identity. Tengo recalls the unorthodox childhood faced alongside his father with the abandonment of his mother and blames him for not giving him the life he wanted as a child. Tengo knows his mother cheated on his father and he has doubts about his father being his real father. When he sees his father, Tengo has an altercation with his father and expects him to answer his questions about his identity. His father asks him to read him a story and he then proceeds to respond to his angry son with a metaphorical statement about his childhood and future. Upon an interview with John Wray from The Paris Review, Murakami reveals one of his intentions in writing; “. . . “family” has played an overly significant role in Japanese literature. I wanted to depict my main character as an independent, absolute individual. . .He is a type of man who chooses freedom and solitude over intimacy and personal bonds” (Wray). Murakami’s writes Town of Cats from Tengo’s point of view and it is conclusive Tengo is a character who is an individual with no personal bonds; Tengo loathes his father rather than accept him, he doesn’t visit his father for two years and his only reason to visit was for his father to answer questions for his own benefit. Essentially, throughout his life Tengo has been too selfish to see the good qualities in his father.
First, Tengo repugnantly recollects the memory the Sundays working alongside his father collecting subscription fees. Tengo’s father carried his son with him for three reasons, two of them specifically being “. . . he could not leave the boy at home alone. On weekdays and S...

... middle of paper ...

... from the average parent, Tengo’s father still sent Tengo to school, daycare, and tried to protect his son from the painful truth. Referring back to The Paris Interview with Murakami, Murakami revealed his main task for his protagonist, “The main task of my protagonist is to observe the things happening around him. . . He is neutral, and in order to maintain his neutrality, he must be free from any kinship, and connection to a vertical family system. (Wray). Although this process Murakami used was for one of his older works, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, the same process is expressed Town of Cats. Murakami branches away from the Japanese tradition, in which familial relationships are essential. Regardless of what his father did for him, Tengo was too clouded in judging his father based on his own needs rather than see the effort his father put into their relationship.

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