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The Jay by Yasunari Kawabata

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by

Amanda Hutson

on 25 October 2013

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Transcript of The Jay by Yasunari Kawabata

Synopsis
"The Jay" begins with a grandmother hearing a jay crying out for her lost child. The main character, Yoshiko, is soon to be married. The reader learns that her family is quite broken; her father divorced her mom and remarried 10 years later, then left them with their grandmother. Yoshiko struggles with accepting her brother's curiosity to find their mother and as well as the reunion of their family, due to Yoshiko's marriage.
Vocabulary
Setting
The location and time frame in which the action of a narrative takes place.
"Since daybreak, the jay had been singing noisily" (1048).
"She went out into the garden... the rain was so fine... there, in the tall grass under the bush clover, was the baby bird" (1050).
The author uses the setting to allow the reader to picture the events as they are happening.
Point of View
The perspective from which the story is told.
"The Jay" is told in third-person omniscient.
"Worrying about it, Yoshiko went to her room. She had to get herself ready before the morning was over" (1049).
The author uses third-person in order for the reader to get a full sense of all the character's feelings, actions, and emotions.
Conflict
The struggle between opposing forces such as characters, nations, or ideas that provides the central action in the plot.
Both Internal and External conflicts arise.
Internal: Yoshiko's fear of reuniting with her real mom (1049).
Man Vs. Self
External: Her family is broken.
Man Vs. Man
"Her father lived away from them" (1049).
"The father hadn't said anything but, with a face of terrible anger, had suddenly torn the photograph to bits" (1049).
Recommendation
Students should select "The Jay" because it is good practice for making connections in a story. The story provides excellent symbolism and vocabulary. Students could also relate to the story in many different ways, which would make it interesting to some. This story was chosen for the text because of its reading level and thought provoking literary elements.
"The Jay" by Yasunari Kawabata
Amanda Hutson
Vocabulary
Emaciated: adj. abnormal thinness caused by lack of nutrition or by disease.
"To Yoshiko, her emaciated stepmother seemed pathetically frail and small" (1049).
Tom's emaciated grandmother could barely walk up the steps due to her emphysema.
Vocabulary
Intransigence: noun. stubbornness; refusal to compromise.
"It seemed to her that her brother who'd gotten to his feet so abruptly, had inherited the frightened male intransigence of his father"(1050).
Jeff's intransigence made communicating with him extremely difficult.
Vocabulary
Winsome: adj. charming; pleasing.
"Her eyebrows and lips all became unbearably winsome" (1049).
When Jordan looked at the winsome girl, he knew he had a crush.
Mood
The atmosphere in a literary work with the intention of bringing forth a certain emotion of feeling from the reader.
The mood in "The Jay" is relieving.
"Soon, however, it flew in a straight line to the side of its child. The chick's jay was boundless" (1051).
"It had been decided that the two households would become one" (1050).
The purpose of a relieving mood is that it allows the reader to feel happy and relieved that the bird found its child, as well as the fact Yoshiko's family life is looking brighter.
Symbolism
The use of symbols to represent ideas of qualities.
"Yoshiko wished that her father and stepmother would come soon. She would like to show them this, she thought" (1051).
"'Elder sister, I've met our mother... Hearing this suddenly, Yoshiko could not say a word" (1049).
The jay's reconnection with her child symbolizes the reconnection Yoshiko wished for her broken family.
Vocabulary
Assiduously: adv. Diligently; industriously; painstakingly.
"Gathering up the skirts of her kimono, Yoshiko assiduously searched among the little trees and in the bear-grass bamboo thicket" (1050).
Mrs. Hack assiduously graded papers throughout the day.
Assiduously
Emaciated
Intransigence
Winsome
Full transcript