In the novels The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, by Yukio Mishima, and Wonderful Fool, by Shusaku Endo, the authors write in a way which allows the characters to speak directly to the reader through thoughts. This device lets the reader know exactly what the character is experiencing. Mishima and Endo's use of direct thought communication proves to be a beneficial aspect that aids the reader in understanding these works of literature. Both authors use this literary technique to clearly express to the readers the true thoughts and feelings of the characters; in turn allowing the reader to realize and understand the changes that each character undergoes, and ultimately comprehend the rebirth that the characters experience.
In The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, Mishima chooses to have the character Ryuji express his true ideas and sentiments through a direct statement of thought. After spending his first night with Fusako, Ryuji reflects on his glory the next morning while alone. "There's just one thing I'm destined for and that's glory; that's right glory!" (Mishima 16). He goes on to think, "there must be a special destiny in store for me; a glittering, special-order kind no ordinary man would be permitted" (Mishima 17). Through his contemplation of glory, the reader is allowed a glimpse into Ryuji's true thoughts on his destiny and purpose in life. Ryuji's ideas are used to convey to the reader exactly what he is feeling; this is important because the reader can now understand Ryuji's beliefs and comprehend the enormity of change, from a life at sea to a life at land, he will soon e...
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...of admiration and respect. As a result of these changes, Tomoe and Ryuji both experience a rebirth of sorts; Tomoe discovers the truth about Gaston and Ryuji discovers what he wants out of life. Had the authors not employed the technique of direct thought narrative, the reader would not have been able to realize the character's thoughts, recognize their changes, nor understand their rebirths. The author's use of communication through the thoughts of the characters allows first for the recognition of character's ideas and thoughts, second, when these thoughts and opinions change, and third, why the characters experience a rebirth.
Endo, Shusaku. Wonderful Fool. Chester Springs: Peter Owen Publishers, 1995.
Mishima, Yukio. The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea. New York: Vintage International, 1993.
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