Analysis Of ' From The Arc Of The Rainforest '

1935 Words8 Pages
James Jordan
English 4W
Gregory Toy

Representations of Individualism

The representation of the individual in Karen Tei Yamashita’s “Through the Arc of the Rainforest” shows interactions between the characters with varying degrees of individuality, as well as generic “crowds” representing the population at large. The individuals represented are characters with both weak and strong personalities, as well as exploitative and exploited crowd interactions. Yamashita portrays the “individual” with basic cosmetic differences, evidenced by Kazumasa’s orbiting cranial satellite and Tweep’s third appendage. However, Yamashita also uses the ideological differences, specifically Chico Paco’s religious devotion and Mane Pena’s knowledge in the field of featherology. These distinctions serve to cast these characters from the homogenous “crowd,” elevating them from the nameless characters that occupy the background of the novel. The individualism these characters demonstrate is identified by their personalities, their interactions with other individuals, and their interaction with the crowd around them. This paper will use these actions to explain Yamashita’s portrayal of flawed individuals, and how they interact with the “crowd.” Eric Mack’s essay “In Defense of Individualism” provides a basic outlook of individualistic personalities and interactions that are prevalent throughout society. Mack gives definitions of different theories in individualism, breaking the encompassing thought

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