Loneliness And The Nose : Loneliness

1432 Words Dec 10th, 2015 6 Pages
Loneliness in Kokoro and The Nose

Loneliness is a central theme in both Sōseki’s work Kokoro and Akutagawa’s work “The Nose”, and this theme is fully explored through the protagonists and their tragic stories. Sōseki’s detailed narrative of Sensei unveils a heart-wrenching tale of loneliness caused by the protagonists ' consecutive inner conflicts and inability to adapt to immense social change. While Akutagawa’s well-crafted depiction of Naigu presents a lonely man with an abnormal nose who is forced by society’s cruelty to fix his nose, but is still never accepted by anyone. Sensei and Naigu share similar personal traits such as egotistic and envious, which eventually causes them to suffer extreme loneliness. However, the real source of their loneliness is the society they live in—Japan during the Meiji era, a historical period of remarkably rapid modernization during which the national condition cultivated over more than two centuries of self-imposed isolation was exposed to the outside – a foreign modernity.The two characters complement each other perfectly by exposing the sickness of the Meiji period and critiquing the loneliness brought by the modern age. In this paper, I first investigate Sensei’s loneliness, which Sōseki presents as coming simultaneously from his personality and in response to the end of the Meiji Period. Then I examine Naigu’s loneliness, through which Akutagawa critiques the vanity and egoism prevalent at the time. As conclusion I analyze the…

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