Kafka on the Shore

2 February 2017

Commentary on Kafka On The Shore Childhood is an important part in each and every one of our lives. It has a huge impact on our character, personality and even sociability as we grow up. Some of us who come from good, stable family backgrounds would have pleasant memories from our childhood while some others who faced the cruelty of life at a young age would hate to even think of their childhood. In this excerpt from Kafka on The Shore by Haruki Murakami, the author writes about a 15-year old Kafka’s childhood. It shows the kind of relationship the boy shared with his father and his personality.I will be writing about how language is used in this excerpt to tell us about the boy and his childhood.

The author uses imagery in this excerpt. For example he says ‘My sister’s looking off to one side so half her face is in shadow’. This gives a mysterious feel to the sister and tells us that she probably was a significant figure to the boy. Furthermore he writes, ‘hers a floral-print one-piece, mine a baggy old blue trunks’. The author describes the sister such that she seems better dressed and better looking than Kafka.It suggests that he looks up to his sister and thinks highly of her. It also shows the love that he has for his sister as he decides to take that picture along with him.

Kafka on the Shore Essay Example

He also mentions that he is ‘staring straight ahead, undaunted’ in the picture. He then asks himself ‘how could I have looked so happy’ referring to the same picture. By considering him to be happy in the picture; it shows the extent of unhappiness he has with his family and life at the moment. Kafka started planning for his run away from home since his junior high years.He took steps in order to prepare for it by practicing judo and training in the gym from that time itself. This shows how clear he was about his decision to run away from home. He knew exactly what he wanted to do and was very certain about it and also worked towards it.

Thus Kafka is an emotionally strong person. Despite having family problems at such a young age, he did not go into depression but rather took action to fight against it. In the ninth paragraph, Kafka says that he barely talks to anyone, ‘other than the bare minimum required to get by at school-I barely talk to anyone’.This shows his preference to be in solitude. It could be due to the fact that he grew up alone with his father and didn’t spend much time with his father either. He also says that he didn’t join any school teams. This is to avoid attention from others and to keep a low-profile.

His preference to have a low profile could be due to low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. The excerpt tells us that he takes an old gold lighter when he leaves home because ‘I like the design and feel of it’.This shows that he takes comfort and even reassurance in an object, which he can trust no matter what as it couldn’t hurt him emotionally. It reflects the insecurity in the boy. Kafka also says, ‘I’ve built a wall around me, never letting anybody inside and trying not to venture out myself’. This further is proof to show his preference to be left alone and by not letting anyone become close to him also the insecurity that he has. He is afraid that if he lets anyone through his wall, he would only get hurt and be let down by them.

Since young he grew up alone dealing with the separation of his mother and father. This could have lead to his insecurity along with all the other hardships he went through. In conclusion, from the excerpt u can tell that Kafka is a matured 15-year old that has gone through emotional hardships due to the lack of attention from his dad and separated family. He is insecure and prefers to be left alone, like how he grew up alone without a proper family. You can also conclude that he and his father do not get along well with each other.

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