Amongst literary works, the reader is told to contemplate numerous aspects of a particular text. Through the use of literary analysis, the reader is guided to discern information that pertains to the written work they are studying. Literary topics such as: motifs, themes, analysis and deconstruction are ways in which a reader can approach a literary text. However, in Ryūnosuke Akutagawa short story collection Rashōmon and 17 Other Stories the reader is introduced to a multitude of conflicting ideas. Akutagawa uses stylistic writing techniques in order to illustrate the confusion that exists in both the real world, and the fictitious world he creates in his short story In a Bamboo Grove. Thus, Akutagawa further guide the reader to figure out his or her own personal truth. By contemplating the aspects of truth the reader is obliged to concentrate on their own critical reading expertise in order to discern meaning. Through critical analysis of In a Bamboo Grove the reader further expands their own critical reading prowess—ultimately strengthening their critical reading abilities.
In Akutagawa’s short story collection Rashōmon and 17 Other Stories his short story In a Bamboo Grove further questions the idea of conflicting narrative. Through the use of seven conflicting testimonies, the reader is perplexed in which narration to actually believe. This confusion at first seems of trivial importance, but this very confusion is the main premise of the short story. The very