Please send me message if you have read “In a Grove” by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. You will write two paragraphs. I want request one hour written request.
If you have read the story. then read below please.
Edgar Allan Poe was not only a great short story writer and poet, he also was a literary critic, and he wrote one of the earliest theoretical critiques of the short tale in a review of a collection of short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, who is best known today for writing The Scarlet Letter. Anyway, one of the important things that Poe mentioned about the short story is that good short stories aim for a singular effect and that from the very first word on, every word the author writes is with that singular effect in mind. Thus, these literary works of art have an internal unity made up of variations of the same theme, of recurring motifs that consistently emphasize the singular idea or effect.
If we apply this idea to “In A Grove,” we find that we should not ignore the minor characters because they probably are exhibiting the same traits as the three main characters. That would match Poe’s idea of consistent unity and of variations of a theme.
So, first, what do we know about the three main characters that turn this murder mystery on its head? Well, in a typical murder story, say an Agatha Christie novel, all the suspects say, “I didn’t do it.” However, in this unusual tale by Akutagawa, all the main characters — the bandit, the wife, the samurai — confess to the murder and tell elaborate stories about their deeds. These stories conflict, so we know that at least two of them are lying and that probably all three are lying. Since they all confess more or less convincingly, we will not try to discover who did it, but, rather, we will try to discover what they gain by the (probable) lies that they tell.
We can’t know for sure, but for our analysis, we will assume that each one probably is lying. Your task is to discern what each one gains by making up an elaborate story. We can consider each of their confessions to be fiction, with themselves as the protagonist. Do not compare their confessions. Do not make up a back story that is not supported by their confessions. Look at each each confession independently. Read the text closely. Consider how they portray themselves and the other characters in their confessions and what they gain by doing so.
The first paragraph will briefly explain what each of the minor characters might be lying about and what each one might possibly gain by this lie. After all, if the three major characters are lying, the unity of the story would demand that the minor characters most likely are also lying about something in their testimonies. So look closely for what they might lie about and what they would gain by telling the lie. You need to have a fairly reasonable argument for each one. Also, you do not need to write more than one sentence for each of these minor characters’ lies and gains. Of course, the characters are the woodcutter, the Buddhist priest, the old woman, and the policeman. The first sentence and a half of this paragraph should be the following: “The story’s motif of deception also is demonstrated by the minor characters. For example, the woodcutter might be lying about …” From that point, you are on your own. And remember that one or two sentences per character is enough. The second paragraph is to explain what the bandit Tajomaru would gain by falsely confessing. From his confession, you need to use at least three quotations as evidence to demonstrate what he gains by the fiction he creates. This paragraph has to begin like this: “Tajomaru might be falsely confessing to…” You will not have an introduction paragraph because this is not an essay assignment. It is a critical thinking homework assignment and will be worth homework points. You arel required to write two supporting paragraphs with each one beginning exactly as I show you above. Each paragraph also should have a conclusion sentence.
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