The Self-hatred of Kochan in Confessions of a Mask
In his semi-autobiographical novel, Confessions of a Mask, Yukio Mishima examines the struggle for acceptance by a man living outside of the socially accepted norms. A motif that strongly pervades this novel is death and the images of blood associated with it. Kochan, a Japanese adolescent living in post-war Japan, struggles with his homosexuality and his desire to be "normal." In order to survive, he must hide behind a mask of propriety.
At a young age, Kochan shows signs of being attracted to male beauty. His earliest memory is of a young night-soil man "with handsome ruddy cheeks and shining eyes" (8). Initially, his attraction to men is confused with a desire to be like them. Referring to the young night-soil man, Kochan remembers thinking, "I want to change into him. I want to be him" (9). However, as his life continues to take its course, he slowly realizes that his admiration for other men is actually love.
When he first begins to appreciate male beauty, he develops an affinity for blood and death. This association may ...
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