The Tale of Genji Essay

The Tale of Genji Essay

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The Tale of Genji is seen as many things, whether it is the first novel written or the world’s first psychological novel. In this book, Murasaki Shikibu tells the story of Hikaru Genji and his experiences. The Tale of Genji is considered the world’s first novel; the story takes us through the birth and death of Genji, a smart, attractive, and talented boy. Genji, is the second son of Emperor Kiritsubo and as the son of an emperor Genji’s life is extremely controlled, whether it be arranged marriages or having little to no secrecy. Through his extra-ordinary life, Genji deals with very ordinary circumstances; various love affairs, some of which bearing children, and the death of loved ones. Shikibu is able to capture her readers in this book by writing with enough emotion and detail that the story is given validity through the chapters. The validity is captured in the many of the stories conflicts whether it be; a father making the right decision, feeling close to someone who resembles one’s mother, reliving lost loves, losing a loved one, or having a son then losing your wife. Shikibu brings these stories to life in The Tale of Genji in a way that brings truth to the very story she is telling.
The Tale of Genji begins like most beginnings with the birth of our main character, Genji. His mother was Kiributsu, the emperor’s favorite consort, but she had did not have a strong family background and was such criticized by jealous on-lookers. Kiributsu shortly becomes sick and passes away, which leaves Genji without truly knowing his mother. Genji is immediately seen as a beautiful child and quickly becomes his father’s favorite son. This makes the emperor distraught in that due to Genji being the second born son, he cannot be named c...


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...ed in that I believe that this story is very valid. Through the above examples Genji is able to grow in every readers imagination as a boy who lives a rough life riddled with the deaths of loved ones and the births of children. For myself who has lost several family members, I know what it feels like to mourn their deaths and Shikibu’s descriptions of Genji greatly relates to what I have felt. I feel that hen an author is able to get one of their characters to relate to the reader than that character gains new life in that the reader can picture themselves or someone they know in that character’s shoes. For writing the world’s first novel, Shikibu is able to captures reality in so many of her characters and is able to validate those characters existence. The Tale of Genji is a valid tale and through all of Genji’s experiences, I can see myself in many of them.



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