Rhetorical Analysis Of Haruki Murakami 's Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years Of Pilgrimage

1371 WordsApr 17, 20176 Pages
Readers heavily associate famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami with the genre of magical realism and consider his novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage to be a departure from that genre, but realism hardly characterizes Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and its multitude of fantastical elements. Readers encounter dreams that ambiguously blend into reality, characters who straddle multiple realities, and a narrative that unabashedly abandons a linear and chronological structure. Even Murakami’s protagonist Tsukuru struggles to maintain a clear sense of reality within his life. Ultimately, Murakami’s conception of an objective reality is a mirage--solid and unwavering from afar--but upon closer inspection, nothing is what it…show more content…
Murakami creates an intersection between these two antithetical realities through Shiro’s pregnancy. After her rape--allegedly by Tsukuru--Shiro becomes pregnant. Her pregnancy represents a junction between the two realities because it is a real and physical consequence that manifests in Tsukuru’s reality based on an act committed in Shiro’s reality. Although Murakami presents the reality in which Tsukuru is the victim first, he never fully gives one reality preeminence over the other as the plot unfolds. Instead, even Tsukuru finds himself unable to pick which of these realities represents an “objective truth.” Furthermore, Murakami prevents his audience from assuming the supremacy of either Tsukuru or Shiro’s realities by paralleling their journeys as victims. After his friends abandon him, Tsukuru loses his appetite and consequently loses a massive amount of weight. Similarly, after her assault, Shiro develops such a severe eating disorder that “at one point [...] she was down to under ninety pounds” (Murakami 252). Moreover, Tsukuru develops an unwavering obsession with his own death during his depression, and, likewise, their childhood friend Kuro equates Shiro’s death with “committing suicide” (Murakami 257) because she no longer had the will to live even before her murder. The most poignant parallel Murakami introduces between Tsukuru and Shiro’s journeys as victims is that after Shiro’s assault, “she’d lost her glow

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