A Pastiche Revealing Uraras Loss and Her Recovery from Her Grief
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A Pastiche Revealing Urara's Loss and Her Recovery from Her Grief Word Count: 1, 462 Statement of Intent In the Japanese novel Kitchen, Banana Yoshimoto suggests through the accounts of Mikage and Satsuki that companionship and maintaining hope are essential to helping one recover from a loss and that one must eventually move on from one's grief. I will focus on this theme in my passage written from Urara's point of view when she is at the bridge with Satsuki for the Weaver Festival Phenomenon. I chose to write from Urara's point of view because it is illuminating to reveal Urara's own grieving process to explain her empathy with Satsuki's emotional state and how she arrives at the insights she shares with Satsuki. In the passage, I also chose to focus on the motifs of cold, warmth, light, and darkness. Additionally, I emulated Yoshimoto's style of using poetic metaphors to explain emotions. Finally, Yoshimoto does not heavily emphasize traditional Japanese culture, apart from the Japanese foods and names. Interestingly, she often makes references to Western culture. I therefore referenced the Great Houdini to emulate her style. Yoshimoto uses the motifs of cold and warmth to illustrate the contrast between loneliness and companionship. For example, Mikage explains that the kitchen is "cold [when] I'm all alone, [and when] somebody's there...it's warm" (4). Since warmth is a more comfortable sensation than cold, Yoshimoto's motif suggests that companionship is essential to recovering from grief and to live a content life.
A harsh, cold wind bit mercilessly at my face. The forest was dark and deathly still. Overhead, gloomy clouds covered the pale moon, preventing its light from shining through. I couldn't see the stars, only the black expanse of the cosmos. It was times like this when I felt the most lonely, when the void in my heart became most apparent. It was times like this when my thoughts desperately wandered, and landed with a thud on Kazuki. *** Kazuki, my boyfriend of three years since my senior year of high school. I was first drawn to his beautiful, twinkling eyes that were always smiling. Wherever he went, Kazuki shone a radiant light on whoever he was with. His warm, inviting smile filled me with a feeling of security and joy. Every Friday after school, we would go sit in a nearby tea shop and talk about our week. The shop was so warm and toasty, and filled with curling, white steam from the boiling water. The sweet aroma of the tea and Kazuki's comforting voice always made me feel as if I was in a dream. When Kazuki died last spring, I was utterly lost. I felt so lonely. Like a ship lost at sea, with no lighthouse to guide its path, I wandered aimlessly. My life seemed purposeless; it was so dark. Eventually, I occupied myself with studying magic.
The white mist at the far bank began to swirl. I forced myself to remain calm and wait patiently. Finally, Kazuki stepped out and our eyes found each other. Tears of joy filled my eyes. I had finally succeeded in finding Kazuki. My long search had not been for nothing. We gazed at each other without moving. I wanted our final good-bye to remain imprinted in my memory forever. His twinkling eyes, his warm smile, his calming presence were just as I had remembered. I wished this moment would last for eternity and that time would stand still. But then I noticed Kazuki's sad expression. His eyes were for once no longer smiling, and were gazing at the swift, roaring current of the river separating us. He slowly shook his head and waved good-bye. As he slowly receded into the white, I felt as if a chapter in my life had finally come to a close, though it pained me to see him go. Our lives are like an ever flowing river-we can never slip our feet into the same river twice. No matter how much we want to stay in one place, life pushes us on relentlessly. Though Kazuki will always remain imprinted in my memory, I can't remain fixed on bringing him back or on having life the way it used to be. Fate has decided on dividing us forever. I will never be with him again. As I waved good-bye to Kazuki, I thought, "Thank you for bringing light to my world, but now I must go on.
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