Empire of the Sun (Opinion)

865 WordsFeb 12, 20064 Pages
What can I say about "Empire of the Sun" other than it is a brilliant book, "Empire of the Sun" is not about the end; it's all about the journey. Knowing that's going to happen is irrelevant, it's how things happen that's important and how people react to the events. The novel tells the story, in a fictional account, of the author's experiences as a young boy in Shanghai at the outbreak of the Second World War. Jim, the third person narrator of the novel, is separated from his parents when the Japanese invade Shanghai at the end of 1941. The first part of the novel tells of his adventures on the streets of Shanghai, trying first of all to find his parents, then to give himself up to the Japanese. When even that fails, Jim's life becomes a…show more content…
Jim realises this early on, with his child's uncomplicated view of the world, and does what he needs to survive. Of the adults in the book, only Dr Ransom, the idealistic camp Doctor, and Mr Maxted, an architect turned entrepreneur, actually manage to uphold the ideals of civilised society in the face of an enemy whose every action works to dehumanise. Most of the adults show selfish indifference, but the worst of the lot, in my opinion, is Basie, an American criuse-line steward who does whatever he has to to survive, including using others when it suits him and dropping them in an instant when it doesn't. Overall, this is a brilliantly written book. It tackles a very difficult subject matter head on and in an uncompromising fashion, but without ever trying to preach, which makes its message all the more powerful. Despite this, it is incredibly easy to read, with short, focused chapters which always leave you wanting more. If you haven't already, you really ought to read this

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