The Blooming of a Flower; How Hatsue is portrayed as innocent Essay

The Blooming of a Flower; How Hatsue is portrayed as innocent Essay

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Innocence is a major theme in the Sound of Waves seen in the relationship of Shinji and Hatsue. They fight for their relationship throughout the book, while keeping their culture and religion in mind. During the course of their meetings they both want to do what is acceptable by the villagers. While Shinji is the proclaimed protagonist, Hatsue also plays a major role in contributing to the theme of innocence with her childlike qualities. In The Sound of Waves, Mishima uses figurative language and Romanticism to portray Hatsue as innocent.
Hatsue is a young woman who has certain values that characterize her as innocent because of her Japanese culture and society’s expectations of what an unmarried woman should be and how she should represent herself. Although sheltered by Uncle Teru, she falls in love with Shinji and in time she continues their relationship and they begin to see each other in secret meetings. Hatsue and Shinji have an intimate encounter around the fire after Shinji seeks shelter from the storm in an old storage room. Mishima writes that “Hatsue standing there across the fire in the storm-encircled ruins. He would have seen un-mistakably that hers was the body of a virgin,” (Mishima 73) said to enhance the virtue of Hatsue that Mishima often uses as a motif in the book. Her virtue, which she aims to keep, is one of the biggest motifs that portray Hatsue as innocent. This direct characterization by Mishima allows for the readers to see that Hatsue, although has the chance to break her innocence by having relations with Shinji, wants to wait because she wants to remain pure. She does not want to go against her traditions of Japanese culture or religion that normally want women to remain virgins until after marriage...


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...ciety who has strict Japanese culture traditions. Japanese culture and Shinto religion to Hatsue are valued because she wants to be the ideal woman. Although often compared to a flower and a child, she realizes the importance of staying true to her Japanese roots. Even today, with western influences virtue is valued in women all around the world not just in Japan. The indirect characterization by Mishima that comments on the other characters’ view of her body and her beautiful physical appearance allow for readers to see that she remains innocent. The image of staying innocent and also being innocent through self control is important to have and show the community. Throughout the book she remains pure and innocent until the end when she finally blooms and marries Shinji.








Works Cited

Mishima, Yukio. The Sound of Waves. New York: Vintage, 1994. Print.

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