Essay about The Housekeeper and the Professor, by Yoko Ogawa

Essay about The Housekeeper and the Professor, by Yoko Ogawa

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The Housekeeper and the Professor is a novel written by Yoko Ogawa, and published in 2003. The story is a bout a mathematician who is the professor in the story. The professor suffered from a brain damage after a tragic traffic road accident, and he can only produce 80 minutes worth of memories. The professor forgot everything about his former life, but could only remember numbers, since he had a passion for mathematics. The story is told from the narrator’s point of view (the housekeeper). The narrator was to take care of the professor who asked her to let her son come direct to his house after learning that she had a 10 year old son who used to wait for her at home till late night after school. Later on, the professor grew fond of Root, the housekeeper’s son, despite the fact that he had lost his memory. The novel progresses with the professor, the housekeeper and her son having a great relationship, and living as a happy family.
The Housekeeper and the Professor is a story about the relationship between the characters. The story has three character, the professor, the housekeeper, Root, the housekeeper’s son, and the professor’s sister in-law (the wife to his late brother). The professor is a 64 year old former university professor who specialized in number theory (Ogawa 46). He is depicted as a mathematician who loves children, and the Hanshin Tigers. After his accident, he could not remember much, but only new memories for 80 minutes only. The author’s portrayal of the professor is very moving; he has lost his memory, but can never forget about numbers. After he was injured in a car accident, he has to live his entire life communicating through mathematics. Apart from communicating using mathematics, and despite the fact ...


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...rough the eyes of the narrator, and the professor. The professor only found solace in mathematics, but after getting a new housekeeper, he was able to change his shift and became fond of the housekeeper and her son, together with mathematics. The author shows the reader how numbers can be magical, and how they can build a bond between people. The professor’s love for numbers was infectious because, the housekeeper’s son was able to grow fond of mathematics, and ended up becoming a high school mathematics teacher. The professor and the housekeeper were introduced to each other anew, and afterwards, here was a beautiful relationship that blossomed between them. In essence, The Housekeeper and the Professor is a lovely, intriguing story that no one should miss out reading.



Works Cited

Ogawa, Yoko. The Housekeeper and the Professor. Deckle Edge: Picador, 2009. Print.

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