Reflective writing

Answer TWO questions, one about the story “The Accordion and the Fish Town” (Q1, 2, or 3) and one about “Tokyo” (Q4 or 5).

Qs for Hayashi Fumiko’s “The Accordion and the Fish Town” (1931) (Goossen, pp 154-171)
1. Hayashi Fumiko was recruited by members of the Proletarian literary movement, which championed the rights of the working class and critiqued the exploitive nature of capitalism. In what way does this story deal with proletarian issues? (give examples)

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2. In addition to the mother saying that her family was poor, the narrator of “The Accordion and the Fish Town” makes this apparent during the course of the story. What are some of the indications or details early on in the story that indicate her family’s poverty?

3. “The Accordion and the Fish Town” builds toward the scene of the narrator’s mother and father at the police station. Obviously upset that the policeman is slapping her father and making him sing, the narrator is also upset at the implications of the “interrogation.” What are the implications for her family and the narrator in particular? At who do you think she screams the words “Idiot! Fool!” and explain why you think so with specific examples from the text.

Qs for Hayashi Fumiko’s “Tokyo” (1948) (Keene, pp 415-428)
4. Hayashi’s post-war (WW2) works were very popular, some critics observe because they skillfully portrayed the struggles of the Japanese to recover from the devastation of the war. In what ways has the war directly affected the main characters of this story?

5. Near the end of section 3, Ryo’s son asks his mother to buy him a sketchbook, but she tells him “later.” What do you think is the significance of this scene for this story? (or, how would the story be different without this scene?)

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