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Frees – Comparison of Sound of Waves and Sai

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    lor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea comparison compare contrast essaysComparison of Sound of Waves and Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea There are many similarities between Yukio Mishima’s The Sound of Waves” and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea, but there are also some important differences. The endings of the two novels seem to oppose each other, however some of the imagery and characters personalities in the novels make them very similar. In Sailor, one of the main characters is named Ryuji. He is a sailor, and later a father, and plays a central role in the novel. In Waves, Ryuji is used as the name for a character again. However, this Ryuji is not seen often in the action — he is instead a medium through which the two main characters are forced to communicate. The Ryuji in Waves is also a young boy, while in Sailor he is a weathered man. In both novels, the Westernization of Japan is used as a motif. In Sailor,Fusako is the proprietress of an import shop and her home and lifestyle are both very Western. This Westernization is something that would lead to the eventual downfall of Ryuji. In Waves, Churiko, a more western-thinking, college-educated girl, is the character that creates the problems which must be overcome. It seems that Mishima is trying to communicate to the readers that Westernization is not a good thing for Japan. In real life, we know that Mishima did think this was true. He would commit ritual suicide for his beliefs about the emperor. The sea is of course of central importance in both novels. Surprisingly though, the two novels do not share the same view of the ever-changing force. In Sailor, Ryuji describes the sea as, another kind of prison.(16) In Waves, Shinji, the main character, feels surprisingly free when he first ventures onto the sea: I’m free! he shouted in his heart. This was the first time he had realized there could be such a strange sort of freedom as this.(150) Another contrast between the two books deals with the ending. In Sailor, it is the fulfillment of love that causes the death of Ryuji, the heroic seaman. When Ryuji finds Fusako he stops his work as a man of the sea and chooses to work in her store to make her happy. In Waves, the young lovebirds are not destroyed by the sea as Ryuji was, they are united by it. Shinjis heroic actions during the typhoon at Okinawa harbor help to prove him worthy of Hatsue. Shinji never gave up on the sea, instead it was both his outlet for his pain and longing, as well as a means through which he could finally be with his love. The two novels were both very interesting to read. Waves, being much less graphically violent and sexual, seems to show a softer side of Yukio Mishima. It is surprising to seethe amount of differences between the two novels. However we must keep in consideration the knowledge that both books do focus on one main force: that of the sea. While a destructive and jealous force in Sailor, the sea is a way of life and a uniting force in Waves.

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