• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Usage of Characterization In Ryonosuke Akutagawa's Rashomon

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Usage of Characterization In Ryonosuke Akutagawa's Rashomon and The Martyr Winniarti Donyada 10th February 2005 (Extension Granted) English 401--> H 1000 words Winniarti Donyada English 401--> H 10th Feb 2005 Despite coming from a different background than most other authors that have so far been studied, Ryonosuke Akutagawa still wrote stories that included similar ideas like internal and external conflict, sacrifice of oneself for a higher cause, murder, human flaws and many others. In addition to that, Akutagawa also used common literary elements like motifs, symbols, point of view and irony. However, one element that is prevalent in almost all of his works is characterization. In two of his short stories, Rashomon and The Martyr, characterization is used to develop their respective themes; in Rashomon, characterization is equally important in building up the theme as in The Martyr. In Rashomon, characterization is used to show the theme that the desperate situations that a person faces can result in the resorting to means that compromise morals, and can even lead to hypocrisy. Akutagawa does this through narration and behavior of the character. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore, the fact that the protagonist was incredibly desperate made him compromise his morals. In addition to that, Akutagawa also used behavior to prove the theme of this short story. By definition, humans are animals with morals, so by comparing the protagonist to animals, Akutagawa is showing the readers how he slowly loses his morals. He portrays the protagonist as animal like in several instances when he compares him to a cat and a lizard. Also, the author shows the hypocrisy of the main character during the confrontation that he had with the old woman who was stealing hair from corpses, because even though he knew from the very beginning that stealing was absolutely wrong, he still stole from the old lady out of desperation. Thus, through the protagonist's desperate and animal-like traits, Akutagawa shows that when people are faced with a dire situation, they will be willing to overlook their morals for the sake of their survival, which could also lead to hypocrisy. ...read more.

Conclusion

into the fire to save his own child." (Akutagawa 74). Therefore, the fact that the brothers were accusatory helps Akutagawa to show that in this short story, people were quick to assume the worst in a person, even though they may have shown approval initially. In the two different stories, characterization is used to prove the themes, and in both cases, they are equally important. However, there are similarities and differences as to how characterization is used. One similarity that they share is the fact that in both stories, characterization is mainly shown through narration. Indeed in both cases character traits can be extracted through speech, but they are more apparent in the narration. On the other hand, one difference is that in Rashomon, there was only a single person that was being characterized to prove the theme, and this character was less of a one-dimensional figure than the characters in The Martyr, whereas in that story, a whole community was being characterized through their actions, as well as through the introspection of one member of the community. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Fyodor Dostoevsky section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Fyodor Dostoevsky essays

  1. Shukhov's Survival Strategies.

    For him this appears to be his number one law for survival, which he follows and abides by. For Ivan Denisovich, hunger is a major survival concern for himself. One of his major priorities throughout his day in the camp is to make sure that he has eaten a reasonable

  2. Discuss the themes of Virtu and Fortuna in The Prince

    skill in order to exploit circumstances showing that an action which proves to be a success on one day may not be a success on the next because the circumstances have changed. This is why throughout Machiavelli's book he is unwilling to give strict rules on how a prince should

  1. Using Sartre's philosophy of existentialism, how similar are the themes of No Exit and ...

    Inez's accusation of him being a coward provokes him to prove otherwise, bringing more torture upon himself. As they ask each other about their pasts, time for the living moves on faster than in hell. This portrays that when suffering, time passes slowly and this emphasizes the role of suffering in existentialism.

  2. Diary Entry: 10th May 2002- 2nd Expedition

    the situation I understand that they had every right to do so. However the fact of the matter is kids are kids and when they are in a new environment with friends (of the same and opposite sex) they will get over excited.

  1. The importance of hair straighteners

    Ray and I followed carefully behind looking everywhere to find her. Eventually we heard her scream; I was taken aback and clung to Ray for safety. Susan had fallen into a ditch with no obvious way out. How could we save her?

  2. Write a comparison of "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" and "The Drowned ...

    Even though he is a dead man, to them he becomes a mythical figure that inspires them to embrace change in their village. Although both stories share the same theme, the plots take opposite directions in portraying them. The crowds from The Drowned Giant are blind of the giant's extraordinary

  1. A Study of the literary techniques used by Fyodor Dostoyevsky in

    The city of St Petersburg is also used as a symbol to show Raskolnikov's agitation, as well as demonstrating the poverty from which all suffer. The city's streets are lined with bars; beggars and alcoholics are commonplace: "The unbearable stench from the drinking dens...[and the drunks] completed the sad and

  2. The 3 common misconceptions - signs of the manipulative consciousness.

    What do I mean by emotional reasoning? That's coming up next. Part 2 - Mind vs. Consciousness; are they not the same? There are those in this world [a large portion of the population], which believe that their conscious thoughts are the unrefined product of their mind's deductive/assessment processes.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work