Change and Innocence in Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Good Essays
Thesis: Through many hardships and tribulations, Chiyo Sakamoto undergoes a metamorphosis in which she ultimately is forced to lose her innocence after coming to terms with the inevitability of change.
1. Core Component 1: Explain how Chiyo suffered and what she sacrificed growing up that led to a loss of innocence.
a. Subcomponent 1: Chiyo was sold by her parents, separated from her sister, and forced into a new life she had to now call “home”.
i. Quote 1: “I was without my father, without my mother-without even the clothing I'd always worn. Yet somehow the thing that startled me most, after a week or two had passed, was that I had in fact survived”
1. S/W: Chiyo is having trouble adjusting to her new life after losing everything that ever meant something to her. ii. Quote 2: “Since the day I’d left Yorido, I’d done nothing but worry that every turn of life’s wheel would bring yet another obstacle into my path” (Golden 419).
1. S/W: Chiyo is having a hard time pleasing her new family and is fearful of ending up in places like Satsu is. iii. Quote 3: “But to learn in a single moment that both my mother and my father had died and left me, and that my sister too was lost to me forever… at once my mind felt like a broken vase that would not stand I was lost even within the room around me” (Golden 103)
1. S/W: After Chiyo’s parents died, she realized everything that reminded her of her childhood and life back in Yoroido was gone for good. She had nothing to do but move on and accept her life in Gion.
b. Subcomponent 2: Initially, Chiyo wasn’t accepting of the fact she would become a geisha and the high expectations that came with it.
i. Quote 1: “Beforehand I’d known nothing about mizuage; I was still a naïve girl with l...

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...ike a party at the end of the evening. Sometimes it's nothing more than struggling through life from day to day (301)
1. S/W: Chiyo explains how her struggles was only fate leading her to bigger and better things. iii. Quote 3: Adversity is like a strong wind. I don’t mean just that it holds us back from places we might other wise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be” (Golden 348)
1. S/W: Chiyo knew how to find the light when she’s in the complete dark.
One sentence conclusion: Similar to an ocean, Chiyo’s journey was a wave- “going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course”- but also “carried by a current” (Golden 276) which essentially led her to where she was destined to be all along.
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