The Tale of Genji Essay

1999 Words8 Pages
The Tale of Genji is seen as many things, whether it is the first novel written or the world’s first psychological novel. In this book, Murasaki Shikibu tells the story of Hikaru Genji and his experiences. The Tale of Genji is considered the world’s first novel; the story takes us through the birth and death of Genji, a smart, attractive, and talented boy. Genji, is the second son of Emperor Kiritsubo and as the son of an emperor Genji’s life is extremely controlled, whether it be arranged marriages or having little to no secrecy. Through his extra-ordinary life, Genji deals with very ordinary circumstances; various love affairs, some of which bearing children, and the death of loved ones. Shikibu is able to capture her readers in this…show more content…
(Ch. 1) In this scenario Shikibu is able to capture reality in such a simple event by retelling a very common occurrence. When one chooses what is right over what one wants. Genji is smart, handsome, talented, and everything and more that a father wants in a child, which makes it obvious as to why the emperor wants him as his heir. The emperor’s first born was the son of Lady Kokiden who was of royal blood, the backing his first son received became an added pressure in that if the emperor chose to make Genji his heir then this decision would not end up looking good by the royal family. The emperor made a choice that has been made by so many, that Shikibu is able to have the emperor relate to many of her readers. With this tiny part of the book she is able to put the lesson of choosing what is right over what is wanted into the collection of lessons that The Tale of Genji holds. Genji grows older and not only becomes married to Princess Aoi, but he also gains a strong friendship with his brother in law, To-no-Chujo. The two friends like many boys, discuss women and the troubles that arise from relationships. To-no-Chujo and Genji have a big discussion over this, while reliving past relationships the Chief Equerry arrives and joins in on the discussion. To-no-Chujo remarks on a woman he actually bore a child with and that they did not stay together because she was too forgiving and submissive. The

More about The Tale of Genji Essay

Get Access