A Pale View of Hills Essay Example
A Pale View of Hills Essay Example

A Pale View of Hills Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1275 words)
  • Published: September 23, 2017
  • Type: Analysis
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In the Pale View of the Hills, there are lots of characters that have to deal with the discrepancies between their expectations of the past and the reality. I will discuss how Ogata-San, Etsuko, Sachiko, Keiko, and Mrs Fujiwara deal with their discrepancies. These characters either evade or learn to accept them in different ways.

Ogata has to deal with discrepancies that concerned education, democracy and freedom, woman's role and the relationship between him and Jiro. Ogata is a very traditional Japanese who contributed much to the Japanese education system before the Second World War.He was loyal, dutiful and hardworking to education. He taught Japanese to be obedient and introduced ultra-nationalistic ideas to them, which he thought was important and essential to keep Japan a strong nation. For instance, Japan was a divine and supre


me nation, Japan was created by God and questioning was not required.

He thought that his contribution would earn respect from society. In reality, some Japanese disagree with his thoughts and claimed them to be 'plunging (Japan) into the most evil disaster in the entire history'.Shiego, one of Jiro's close classmates wrote an article at the Education Digest to attack the old, traditional way of education and Ogata was insulted in his article. Ogata tried to evade this reality by 'pestering' Jiro to write a complaint letter to Shiego to demand for an apology. He assumed that Shiego forgot 'old allegiances' too quickly and he might have written the article out of nothing.

Before he met Shiego, he tried to assure himself during conversations with Jiro. He analyzed the matter in his own logic by saying the Americans 'do not understand

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the ways things were in Japan'.He ignored the possibility that American ways of teaching may be good in Japan and he was determined that things in Japan are far different. After the truth of the matter was exposed by Shiego, Ogata still clings on to his position for dignity. He comforted himself by saying Shiego was just too 'confident' which results in taking such actions.

Readers know that he had understood his criticism for he decided to leave for his home in Fukuoka. As an intellect, deep in his heart he knew that the old teachings were wrong but he would admit the truth. He dealt the issue by evasion and self-deception.As a conservative Japanese, Ogata criticized democracy.

His thoughts are parallel to the reality and there was no intersection. He strongly held his positions claiming that democracy is not 'always good'. Ogata tend to keep himself in his own world and tried not to understand the outside world. He invaded democracy without proper basis. For instance, he stereotyped that whenever people wanted to forget obligations and wanted to be selfish, they used democracy to defend it.

He also attacked that people abandoned obligations when they have democracy. Ogata regarded that women should be subservient and loyal to their household.However, after wartime, women were liberated and were given voting rights. Ogata seemed unready to deal with the new situation. He tried to grapple it by claiming that women were headstrong and were becoming more American.

There was a discrepancy between the filial relationship of Ogata and Jiro. Ogata still treated Jiro as a little boy and thought he knew Jiro a lot. When Jiro was

tired and did not want to play the chess game, Ogata taught him that defeatism was unwanted. He also gave solutions to the problem that Jiro was facing while playing the chess.

Not until Jiro loudly argued with Ogata, he did not realize that Jiro had grown up. He dealt with this situation by laughing over it. For instance, 'just like when he was a child'. He accepted the discrepancy and came to adjust it.

He came to understand that he might be bothering Jiro and decided to meet Shiego himself and leave for Fukuoka. Etsuko's discrepancies mainly concern her role as a wife and a mother. Before discussing this issue, I would like to point out that there are displacements between Etsuko and Sachiko as Etsuko claimed that her memory becomes hazy.To a great extent, in Etsuko's memory, she puts her expectations and hope into Sachiko. As an unconventional woman, since Etsuko could play the violin, although she is a loyal and subservient wife, she wants to lead an unordinary life. She accepted the reality at the beginning and served her husband whole-heartedly.

The book did not state the reasons for Etsuko to live in Britain, but as readers, we can speculate that she had taken action to achieve her desired life. From Etsuko's memory of Sachiko, we can say that Etsuko perhaps struggle for such an unordinary life strongly even neglecting Keiko's interests.As a mother, she expected to bring Keiko happiness but not death. Etsuko felt guilty of it and tried to grapple with the reality by displacing herself with her memory of Sachiko. She pretended that Mariko was Keiko to ease her guilt.

For instance, she told Mariko that she could always come back to Japan if she did not like America. Perhaps, Etsuko fabricated this in her memory. She intended to tell Keiko and wanting her to forgive so to make her feel better. In her memory of Sachiko, Sachiko always emphasize that she puts Mariko's interest first but in reality she did not.

This perhaps again echoes Etsuko's guilt feeling towards Keiko since she wanted to lead a new life elsewhere without considering the impact on Keiko. She expected to have a better and closer relationship with Niki as she has a complete family. In reality, they always have miscommunications. At the beginning of Niki's visit to her mother's house, they were constantly having arguments whenever they talked about marriage. When Niki was about to leave, Etsuko got a better grasp of how to deal with the conversations with Niki.

She tries accept this discrepancy and tries not to push their discussion to far so that she would not irritate Niki. Sachiko is married into a good family but the war took her husband's life. She handled this traumatic discrepancy by adapting herself into the new situation. For example, she worked in a noodle stall to earn a living without thinking it as an undignified job. She expects that she would put her daughter's interests first but in reality she did not. She was too self-centred that she might not admit to it and evade the situation.

She had high hopes to go to America, in reality, she knew that the chance was very low. She grappled this discrepancy by thinking positively, claiming that failures were only setbacks. As

I have mentioned, Etsuko may have displaced Keiko as Mariko. Keiko therefore expects to stay in Japan but in reality she ended up in Britain.

She couldn't grapple with the changes of culture in Britain and therefore choose to suicide, which is a very pessimistic way of dealing with discrepancies. Mrs Fujiwara came from a distinguished family and expects that her life would be stable and comfortable.However, WWII took away her husband and leaving her son, Kazuo. She dealt with this discrepancy positively. She started her own noodle shop to earn a living and work conscientiously. She encourages other people to think optimistically about future and not to think back.

To conclude, the characters dealt with the discrepancies both positively and pessimistically. Some learn to adapt and were willing to take actions to change their present situations. Some ignored the discrepancies and did not bother to investigate into the matter.

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