Theme Of Love In Empire Of The Sun

Decent Essays

As a prisoner in a Japanese prison camp a choice is given between death and life, but very few chose life. A young boy faces this exact decision in the Japanese prison camp called Lunghua Camp in the novel, Empire of the Sun. This boy’s name is Jim and at the beginning of the novel he is separated from his parents because of a world war. Later, he gets placed in Japanese prison camps where he becomes friends with Basie and Dr. Ransome who provide knowledge and guidance to him throughout his imprisonment struggles. Some of Jim's difficulties in the novel include war, internment camps, death marches and starvation. The theme, perseverance and love leads to growth in overcoming obstacles, is illustrated through a child's love, weaknesses of prisoners, and unexpected help. Throughout Empire of the Sun, Ballard uses the topic of a child's love to show how a child can love in the darkest of places where nobody is willing to be the light and be different. An example that supports the theme of love leads to growth is illustrated through the symbolism of Jim helping Mr. Blackburn when they are imprisoned in the Cinema. Basie tells Jim that he should “help with her fire” and later Ballard also wrote that “He [Jim] fanned the embers until the briquettes caught light again” (88). Jim decided to listen to Basie’s advice and do what nobody else would do “fan the embers” (88). So Jim symbolizes the fan, the other prisoners represent the embers, and the light represents the joy in the

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