The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea: True Order Exists in the Exposed Core

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The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea: True Order Exists in the Exposed Core

The seas refuse to obey any of man's laws. Winds, storms and currents shift and distort the massive waters, shaping the land that lies within them. Unexplored in regions, the black depths mimic dormancy prior to rising up at unpredictable moments of torrential strength. The ocean's murder, rape and disregard of life is not punishable by any law or code of morality, and in Yukio Mishima's The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, it exemplifies the perfect order of existence. Surviving according to nature's impulse, the ocean is the model of a raw, reactionary being. To the youths in the story, this emotionless lifestyle is the only means by which one
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Once the heart is adequately exposed, the owner becomes reactionary, and he merely acts to fulfill life's assigned role. In order to illustrate his example to the other scholars, the Chief supervises the dissection of a live cat to expose its beating heart. Reacting as if the cat had exhibited feeling (pain, emotion), the Chief tears the beating heart from the body and squeezes it flat between his thumb and forefinger (61). He explains that "death had transfigured the kitten into a perfect, autonomous world" (61).

Noboru's devotion to the "cause" is tested by the arrival of a handsome Japanese sailor to port. The sailor enjoys a few passionate nights during the stay-over, and he steals Noboru's mother's heart. Here again, the notion of exposed hearts is explored. During the initial encounters with Noboru's mother, Ryuji, the sailor, is emotionally detached and merely satiates his physical desires. Spying on the sexual rendezvous through a hole in his mother's bedroom wall, Noboru reports his studies to the group via a written journal. The Chief, pleased with the supposed hardness of the sailor's detached, exposed heart, is thrilled to learn that Ryuji will soon be sailing out of port. To the scholars, Ryuji is correctly filling his role at sea, ensuring the perfect order of existence. At this point in the story, the sailor does not question his obligations
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