The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

Decent Essays

The Buddha in the Attic is an emotional novel written by Julie Otsuka in 2011. The novel is unique in the sense that it is written in the first person plural in order to tell the story of many characters simultaneously. There isn’t a set plot except for the chronological stories of multiple picture brides coming to America in the early 1900’s. Each chapter serves as a major section in the women’s lives and assimilation into American culture. The first chapter is titled “Come, Japanese”, which focuses on why the women are coming to America. They describe the decision, sometimes forced, and journey to come to America to meet their new husbands. Many did not necessarily want to come, but they were promised a better life by their husbands, and most of the families of each wife received some sort of endowment money. One of the wives’ said that she was forced to go to support her family, while her older sister was working at the local geisha house just to put food on the table. They described the crowded conditions and long journey of the boat ride, as well as the cliques made and friendships formed on the voyage. All they knew of their husbands at this point was from a letter that was usually not written by the husband, as well as a picture, which was usually of a different person. Each woman’s story was different, and they all had different motives for coming to America, whether to seek a better life or better yet, forget about their previous life in Japan. They all had

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