Short stories are always much more difficult to review compared to novels, simply because the author uses so many metaphors and symbols within. Usually the audience reads it, and then analyzes it as a whole. In “The Little Green Monster” Haruki Murakami tells a story about a strange green monster that digs it way out from under the soil to ask the heroine to marry him. She responds in a very repulsed way stating that “It is rude and presumptuous” along with “What a rude little creature you are to come seeking my love! (153), even though the little monster meant her no harm. The heroine then starts to kill the monster (who can read her mind) with her evil thoughts, until there is nothing left. Murakami uses symbolism, imagery, metaphors and little figurative language to prove that society as a whole tends to reject and dislike anything that is different or unfamiliar. Murakami’s stories are always stocked up in symbols, leaving it up to the audience to decide for themselves what the story may mean. Many short stories use similar techniques because it leaves a lot of possibilities for the actual mean, and is very ‘abstract’.
Murakami doesn’t hesitate to throw in symbols in his very first paragraph when he writes “of all the things in my garden, the one I looked at most was the Oak Tree. It was my special favorite, I had planted it when I was a little girl and watched it grow. ” (152) Oak trees are viewed upon as ‘big’ and ‘strong’, they usually symbolize stability, strength, tolerance, etc. This Oak tree could very well be used to represent society. Society is steady, unchanging and sometimes very resistant towards change. The tree suggests that society, as it has always been, will resist and hold up anything that could possibly change it.
Since Oak tresses have stability, it represents society as stubborn. The color green may also have something to do with society or maybe just separate individuals. Green is often known as the color of envy. The monster is unquestionably different from the heroine, and the heroine in the story kills the little monster. This scene might represent the jealously the woman feels because the monster is not afraid of being different or itself. It is known that the ideal person in our society is perfect, whether it be someone who has long hair, a great smile, tall, skinny, etc. r something else. The woman in the story sees that the monster is not only confident in its appearance but is also very kind, not knowing what to do or how to handle this due to her isolation in her house, she put its down (literally to death) with her thoughts. In addition to this, it is also said (by society) that words hurt the most, especially if it is from the ones that you love the most. The monster says “for a creature like me to propose to you. ” (155) therefore the creature must have died from a broken heart because of the heroine’s cruel thoughts about him.
Not only is there lots of symbolism, but there is also lots of imagery. Physically, the heroine describes the monster as “covered with shining green scales” “had a long funny nose” and “the beast’s eyes were exactly like a human’s” (153). The heroine uses dark words to describe all the characteristics of the monster, even going as far as saying the sight of the monsters eyes “sent a shiver through her. ” (153) this imagery obviously suggests that she clearly is repulsed by the absurdity of the monster.
It presents to the audience that even though the monster is sweet, she judges it by its appearance. It is also mentioned that the monsters eyes are just like human eyes. This suggests that inside it is just like we are. To expand my point, we are all alike. Eyes are often called ‘the windows to our souls’ if the monsters eyes are just like ours, then maybe it is exactly how we are (maybe even better). Metaphors are in almost every story or piece of writing there is, so it isn’t a huge surprise that short stories are more than loaded with them.
In almost every surrealist story that Murakami writes, things are symbols and metaphors for something else, and in that case, the creature is just that. Murakami uses the little green monster and compares it to the heroine. There is a clear difference: the heroine is average, normal looking (by society’s definition) and the monster is described to be absurd and abnormal looking. The author uses the characters to compare society and people who society does not yet accept or is pushing away. Murakami’s use of hyperboles brings back the drama that is involved in the story and created by the heroine.
It emphasizes the heroine getting less and less afraid of the monster ( because it is so kind) and eventually beats the monster to death (because she is not used to it). In this scene, the heroine is not only killing the monster but is killing it in a very violent way. “I tied it down to a heavy chair with thick wires and the, and with needle nose pliers I began ripping out its scales, one by one. ” This is an example of a hyperbole in the story, its clear that the heroine is very extreme in torturing the little monster. The hyperbole brings us back to the main point, the woman highly dislikes this creature.
Murakami’s work is very unique in that it is a rebellion against the ordinary. By making his characters unique and odd, he rebels against society. “The Little Green Monster” was defiantly a change in stories we’ve been reading. It uses symbolism, metaphors, imagery and even figurative language to portray the consistent darkness our society as a whole goes through when they experience something unfamiliar. Haruki Murakami’s work is unlike any others, and also very difficult to analyze, but for the most part, his stories are phenomenal.