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Show How The Author Of "Memoirs Of A Geisha", Arthur Golden, Portrays The Effects Of Japanese Society On The Individual, Sayuri Nitta, Through His Use Of Effective Language Techniques

2259 words - 10 pages

"Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden, is a beautifully written epic tale which envelopes the reader instantly; revealing Golden's ability to include a realism inside an engrossing, yet fictional narrative, resulting in the novel becoming a bestseller enjoyed the world over. Through his use of delicately descriptive and poetic language, Arthur Golden superbly portrays the effects of the harshness of Japanese society on the individual, Sayuri Nitta.Golden hands the narrative point of view to that of Chiyo Sakamoto - later, Sayuri Nitta - explaining her tragic life in a hostile world through her nine-year-old eyes; a child sold by her family to a geisha okiya, where, forced by society at that ...view middle of the document...

Condemned to a life of misery and loneliness, Chiyo feels her life will never be the same again.This incident in Chiyo's life also introduces the initial thoughtfulness of her as a character: "Was life nothing more than a storm that constantly washed away what had been there a moment before, and left something barren and unrecognizable?" By placing the key words "storm", "constantly", "barren" and unrecognizable" in this effective metaphor, this helps convey to the reader what Chiyo is feeling at this point in her life: The word "storm" is used to present the reader with something to relate to. Everyone has experienced a storm, thus helps the reader comprehend Chiyo's emotions. A storm is a powerful force, which we as humans have no control over, sweeping everything away and leaving a path of destruction in its wake. "Constantly" tells us that she feels that the pain she is undergoing after this "storm" will never cease, everything has been destroyed in her life, her family and home, is irreplaceable. "Barren and Unrecognizable" clarifies how Chiyo feels bewildered and lost in a place she doesn't know or like. Golden's use of metaphor in Chiyo's thoughts is effective because, as Chiyo tries to make sense of what has happened to her, it conveys to the reader through the character directly the effects that society has on her.Chiyo doesn't come to terms with what has happened until later when, she is crying on a public bench, despairing over her life since she ruined her chance to become a geisha through disobedience. This is when the Chairman first speaks to her. She realizes not everything in the world is cruel - he gives her hope through his kindness. This is the beginning of her love for him. Seeing that the divide between her old life and her new one cannot be broken, she looks towards the future:"Everything looked just as it always did I'm sure; but my feelings were strangely different - I felt as though I was looking at a world that was somehow changed from the one I'd seen the night before - peering out, almost, through the very window that had opened in my dream."Chiyo is finally coming out of her "mourning" for her past and now understands that she can't go back. Golden uses metaphor here to show how Chiyo sees the future in a new light - hope. By saying that Chiyo's feelings were "strangely different", Golden tells me that Chiyo feels new and unlike herself, suggesting a change, a development in her character that she has only just come to notice herself. The writer also uses symbolism through a dream Chiyo has when " he (the man in her dream) slid open the paper screen with a loud clack". The "loud clack" can be interpreted to represent Chiyo awakening from her fantasy of returning to Yoroido one day. She realizes Yoroido is not her home now, the Nitta okiya is. Now " the stale air had washed away. The past was gone." Golden's use of metaphor and symbolism are extremely effective here in the sense the reader is given help to experience...

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