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Cynthia Otieno. Kokoro!
Transcript of Cynthia Otieno. Kokoro!
The novel is timeless and more relatable tp everyone because of the different themes going on: like loniless and even friendship.
"The Meiji era(1868-1912) brought about the restoration period in which the government was restructured. This time was known as the enlightened rule because most people had high hopes in the new government.Older generations however, had a difficult time during this period because they were torn in between modernization and tradition."
-Meiji era= restoration period for Japan, and the death of the emperor brought about new possibilities for a better and more improved governing system in Jaoan.
-Sensei gets caught up in between the new and the old and he keeps off from people.
-His friend, K, commits suicide because of his engagement and he also feels like he committed a sin by loving the same gilr as Sensei for he vowed not to have any sexual relations with a female.
-Soseki finds comfort in Sensei and sees him as a learned role model. His father suffers from a kidney problem that Sensei is familiar with.
"-In Kokoro we are introduced to the vulnerability of humans.
-This is seen through the essence of friendship and loneliness, truth and betrayal, and life and death."
Sensei is the type of person who seems to not do so well with change, drastic changes. This is seen through out the entire novel. He has a hard time wwarming up to Soseki at first and even says,"I do not want your admiration now, because I do not want your insults in the future. I bear with my loneliness now, in order to avoid greater loneliness in the years ahead. You see, loneliness is the price we have to pay for being born in this modern age, so full of freedom, independence, and our own egotistical selves." He is using this line as a sort of warning to Soseki and like a wall to keep him from possibly being hurt in the long run by Soseki when he realizes he does not want Sensei's friendhip any longer.
This line is relatable to us in that we tend to try and keep people away from us because we are scared of being hurt and disappointed and betrayed by those we care about. It is like a wall of protection for our emotions.
In Kokoro, we see Sensei having this difficult time as well.“I am an inconsistent creature. Perhaps it is the pressure of my past, and not my own perverse mind, that has made me into this contradictory being. I am all too well aware of this fault in myself. You must forgive me” pg 122.
He does not classify himself as either modern nor traditional but in the middle. He's like a mixed race individual, they can not really identify themself as either one of their races but rather choose to be in the middle, like a midddle ground to what they know best and taking just slight risks at figuring out the new in them.
This can be applied to us too. For example,when someone moves somewhere else, they end up having a hard time changing their lifestyle and learning new things at first. Like when i moved to Canada, i hard a hard time adjusting to the rules, weather conditions, food, culture and even learning system.
I still held on tightly to what i knew best but after a while, managed to make room for change and accept both cultures in me, Kenyan and Canadian, and now i have both. But this can't always be the case for everyone because most people end up giving up and not accepting what is going on aroud them, much like Sensei.
-this is a youtube video showing what Sensei goes through.
-kokoro symbolizes how difficult it can be for older generations to adapt to the new ways, especially if they have been holding on to what they know best for basically their entire lives. "Just like how the narrator's father symbolizes traditional Japan, Sensei symbolizes the Meiji era(the in-between era), and the narrator symbolizes modern Japan."
one could say Sensei does not want to be close to Soseki because he is still holding on tightly to the traditional ways which revolved about not really having the closest of friends and keeping our feelings to ourselves and not talking about them in public. If he accepts the friendship, he will have to become emotional with Soseki.
Senesei goes through a number of emotions through out the book: humiliation, after taking away K's love and betraying his bestfriend, and also guilt, on his friends suicide. He does not really know what to do with himself but as the story progresses, he himself commits suicide too. His death could symbolize the death of the meiji era since his generation was the only one left that actually understood it better and him dying, means it's dying with him too.