Disrespect in The Sailor who Fell From Grace with the Sea and Wonderful Fool

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Disrespect in The Sailor who Fell From Grace with the Sea and Wonderful Fool

Throughout various works of world literature, respect is a major concern amongst the characters. This manifests itself in how the relationships between characters in the work are characterized. Sometimes lack of proper respect can be an auxiliary cause for conflict, while in other cases it can be the root of it. In Japanese culture, respect is considered very important in the relationships between different people; for example, it is customary to bow to one's elders and respect those of superior knowledge and ability. Failure to show such respect is taken offensively and considered extremely disrespectful. This important concept of disrespect
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Contradicting these philosophies is the character of Gaston Bonaparte in Shusaku Endo's Wonderful Fool. Gaston realizes that "I'm a fool ... a weakling!" and that his mental capacities are somewhat limited (Endo 179). He is not offended when he is patronized; rather he is quite accustomed to it. He is described as ". . . a coward, a simpleton, who had gone from one failure to the next. . . . From the time he was a child Gaston too had always been laughed at and made fun of by his brothers and friends" (Endo 73). His friends also nicknamed him 'poplar', because "In Gaston's native region of Savoy, large men who are thought to be somewhat simple are called poplars. . . . the wood of the poplar tree is not good for anything but matchsticks." (Endo 73). Gaston, since his friends and loved ones mocked his stupidity and ridiculed him throughout his childhood and adolescence because of this, accepts that he is intellectually inept and has limits on his mental capacities. Gaston is used to being patronized and viewed as a simpleton; this allows him to better tolerate the disrespect that the character Endo will give him throughout the novel.

Second Mate Ryuji Tsukazaki does not intentionally disrespect Noboru's genius, but
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