Analysis Of The Story ' Norwegian Wood ' By Haruki Murakami
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In the Story Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami, Toru Watanabe is a lonely middle aged Japanese man who finds himself engulfed in nostalgia upon hearing a cover of the popular Beatles song “Norwegian Wood”. The powerful memories of his experiences seem to be connected to the song as he relates to the song in many aspects as a youth but triggers dark memories in him as an adult. The novel is autobiographical and the narrator, Toru, gives an account of his past life and experiences in college with nostalgic emotions especially for his young loves. He remembers himself as a peaceful, independent Japanese undergraduate student in the 1960s, who begins to fall in love with Naoko after Kizuki (Naoko 's sweetheart and Toru 's closest companion) commits suicide. Unfortunately, Naoko is overpowered with her life 's weights and her grief for Kizuki and hence rejects Toru 's friendship for the isolation she finds inside of her own contracting and separated world inside a sanatorium. The rejected Toru reluctantly contacts Midori, a candid and sexually confident young lady who is everything that Naoko can 't be. Throughout the story, Toru recalls each of the other significant people in his life at the time, each of them grappling with loneliness in their own ways. The novel is a deep treatise on the potency of memories from past experiences of the narrator, the people he met, and the tragic loss of those he loved most. The clearest autobiographical memories are those characterized by emotional events, as we tend to remember them more vividly and with incredible detail than neutral occurrences.
Thus the narrator connects to the reader through the emotions which he triggers by giving an account of past memories which he holds dear and is ...
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...“I remember the sights and sounds and smells clearly enough, but the names of the towns are gone, as well as any sense of the order in which I traveled from place to place” (324).
The essay has proved that the memories characterized by emotional events are more memorable than neutral ones. Toru, the narrator remembers every small detail of the most emotional moments of his life but fails to remember other obvious aspects about the world then. The thematic memories captured by the narrator gives readers a very detailed reflection of the world in 1960’s as he describes the prevailing events, challenges, and other attributes of the world in that instance in history. The narrator’s description of the past from his memories relates to the lyrics of the song title as the emotions captured by the novel are that of nostalgia and grief for the loss of something special.