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Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

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Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto Praveen Ravi Grade 11 English essay The path of life is not easy. It is scattered with struggles and hurdles which we must overcome. A rose plant is a good metaphor of life; the flower is soft with a pleasant fragrance but the thorns are prickly and hurt us. Likewise, life has good things like laughter, happiness, hope but it also has some things that hurt us, obstruct us. In Banana Yoshimoto's novella Kitchen, Mikage Sakurai faces quandaries in her life which hinder her. However, she fights them back with hope and determination. She is aided by the Tanabe's who help her to fight her dilemmas and struggles. Each character displays a sense of optimism, a hope for survival and the determination to fight back. In a greater sense, this rendering gives the reader a moral teaching that despair does not necessarily result in annihilation. They try to tell us that we must not give up in our lives, come what may. They appear as teachers giving us a lesson how to lead our lives. This rendering makes us feel close to them and think of them as our own friends. ...read more.


Instead, we must concentrate on the present, the reality. In Mikage's case, this is very optimistic because she had not had a very happy past and she is trying to forget it and think about her present situation. She is giving the reader, an indirect, useful quote. Eriko Tanabe too has faced struggles in her life. After her sex change, she earned through her nightclub which she bought from the spare money left after her plastic surgery. However, life was a constant struggle for her. It can be understood because the money earned from a nightclub is not sufficient to lead a very comfortable life and to raise a son. Eriko her self says "Being a woman is not easy" on pg 41. Eriko reveals her struggles to Mikage "Because I have.......I'm grateful for it". Eriko tells Mikage her philosophy of life. She tells that true joy can be understood and felt only if a person has experienced great despair and sorrow. In her philosophy, Eriko is showing optimism because according to her, despite the greatest sorrows that can surround us, if we have someone or something to care for, we understand our limitations. ...read more.


be fine because he had lost the only person who had been everything to him, mother, father, brother, sister and a good friend. Here, Yuichi is being a perfect example of a person who is determined to go on despite his barriers. He is also giving the reader a message that to be humorous can cheer us up in the darkest of moments and in our moments of despair, we must try to laugh and cheer ourselves. It is a way to become optimistic. In conclusion, this story is of great value to any reader because it portrays a real life story. The characters appear very real to us because of their simplicity and unusualness. This makes us endearing to these characters, we feel attached to them, sympathy towards them. Each character contributes to a greater understanding of the definition of life and the way to live. Each character is determined that they would not fail, they would not give up; they would continue to fight on despite any barrier, any resistance. They teach us that death is not the end of despair, there are several others way to live on despite being clouded by darkness and uncertainty. This makes the reader respect the characters and feel close to them. ...read more.

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