Childhood in Yasunari Kawabata´s The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket and Alice Walker´s The Flowers

Decent Essays

One may ask how is it that two stories that are written by different authors from different cultures at different times can similarly resemble each other’s features? “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket” written by Yasunari Kawabata and “The Flowers” written by Alice Walker are two stories written about childhood. Although both short stories include similarities in their themes of innocence and use of detail and symbolism when describing the emotions that correlate with growth, the stories contrast in their perspectives and settings. When compared, both Walker’s and Kawabata’s short stories reflect related themes about childhood and innocence. In “The Flowers” the theme surrounds the subject of childhood by telling a story about a …show more content…

Alike Walker, Kawabata uses symbolism in order to express his attitudes toward the transition between innocence and maturation. In Kawabata’s story, the child named Fujio conveys Kawabata’s attitude of innocence at first when he is chasing after crickets, but as the plot further develops Fujio’s intent transitions from capturing insects to capturing a girl’s, Kiyoko’s, attention. Shortly after capturing an insect, as Fujio was handing the bug to Kiyoko, Kawabata writes, “The boy’s lantern which he held up alongside the girl’s insect cage, inscribed his name, cut out in the green papered aperture onto her white cotton kimono.”(1). The light reflecting across Kiyoko’s chest is a symbolic representation of the girl’s affection towards the Fujio. Fujio’s character changes from a playful child that chases insects to a romantic individual that chases females in order to symbolize the end of innocence. Despite both Kawabata and Walker including similar themes about childhood, their stories’ settings and perspectives are significantly different from each other. While in Kawabata’s story the setting includes multiple joyous children alongside a modern Japanese university, in Walker’s story the setting specified includes a lone black child who is exploring a nature in a rural environment sometime in the 20th century. Also, unalike Walker who writes in third person objective narrative perspective, Kawabata narrates his story from a third person subjective or third

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