Post-modernist elements in - learn.stleonards.vic.edu.au
Postmodernist elements in Kitchen The Paper 2 Paragraph Paragraph Topic (comparison embedded) Context Examples Ideas & Explanations Quotes Literary Devices Tie back to topic and compare texts Modernism post WW1 to the
1950s In general, modernism is an early twentieth-century artistic marked by the following characteristics: (1) the desire to break away from established traditions, (2) a quest to find fresh ways to view man's position or function in the universe,
(3) experiments in form and style, particularly with fragmentation--as opposed to the "organic" theories of literary unity appearing in the Romantic and Victorian periods. Modernism vs. Postmodernism 1950s to now While modernism mourned the passing of unified cultural tradition, and wept for its demise in the ruined heap of civilization, so to speak, postmodernism tends to dance in the ruins and play with the fragments. Or in the case of Kitchen, does it
reconstruct them into a new civilization? 1. Postmodernism Pastiche Pasted elements from other genres. Borrows from: Shoujo manga Magical Realism Link to Maus both use pastiche in relation to the structure and style of each text. Shoujo Manga
Recognisable structure and style to the Shinjinrui generation as mass consumers of manga their story in their genre CONTEXT Androgynous characters in Shoujo transgenderism manifested in the character of Eriko in Kitchen and cross dressing in Moonlight Shadow shown through Hiiragi. Shoujo Manga Stylistic Devices Strongly influences the language style of the novella: Important information is conveyed succinctly and in a
detached manner, like it is being reported with little descriptive, emotional detail When my grandmother died the other day, I was taken by surprise. p.4 Onomatoeipia creating strong visual and aural imagery White light catching the light (ting! ting!). p.3 Dingdong. Suddenly the doorbell rang. p.5 Shoujo Manga the illustrations converted to written sensual imagery Drawing pictures with words:
I zoomed in for a closeup on his pupils. p.6 CLOSE UP PANEL My gaze landed with a thud on the enormous sofa p.8 ACTION I was inundated with the green smell of the night. p.8 COLOUR Postmodernism - Magical Realism Arguably the most significant PM technique.
Dreams Yuichi and Mikage have the same dream and It was at once a miracle and the most natural thing in the world. p.41 Dreams Satsuki dreams of Hitoshi every night and prefers her dreams to the life she must endure without him on awakening I would know it had only been a dream in reality I would never be with him again. p.112 Spirit world where deceased characters return - Through the blue haze, Satsuki sees the ghost of Hitoshi.
Motif of white - a symbol of the spirit world in Japan No matter what, I want to continue living with the awareness that I will die. p.59 THEME (Yuichi) seemed to glow with white light. p.7 - Elements of MR but conversely could foreshadow Erikos death. The white bridgedivided our part of the city almost exactly in half. Symbolic of connection, link, overcoming adversity, meeting place. It is the place where Satsuki and Hitoshi met
and departed in life, and where he meets her again in between the worlds of life and death. MR Urara, Satsukis guardian angel, wore a thin white coat and bought Satsuki a little whitethermos, symbolising her connection with the spirit world. MR Shoujo and narrative focus Shoujo focuses on the conflicts being psychological rather than physical. Provides a platform for Yoshimoto and the audience
to engage in existentialist ponderings how to make meaning from the confusion of life. Was that what in meant to be an adult, to live with ugly ambiguities? p.56 No physical intimacy between Yuichi and Mikage. Theirs is a meeting of minds. - 2. Postmodernism- Participation The author allows the reader to create their own truth/meaning
rather than insist on her/his authorial authority. The reader is allowed to have a voice in the way some elements are purposely vague/ absent to allow him/her to imagine whatever pleases him/her. Shoujo characters faces are relatively blank, reflecting the blandness of the characters so readers can project themselves onto them. Most characters in Kitchen are quite bland and one dimensional, especially the protagonists Mikage and Satsuki, inviting the reader
to project their views onto them and make meaning for themselves based on their individual context of interpretation. 2. Postmodernism- Participation Link to Maus Generic drawings of anthropomorphised animals. Art wearing the mask and addressing the audience face on and directly.
3. Postmodernism - Pop culture In PM, every day experience is integrated and, thus, valued: Linus from Peanuts in Kitchen Like watching Bewitched KFC in Moonlight Shadow Consumerism couch, juicer, word processor Link to Maus the comic form-the entire novel is based on a pop culture genre. 4. PM - Alternate Families
as a non-conformist construct Mikages first impression of the Tanabes apartment is that it was truly strange, foreshadowing the revelation about the family that lives there. Yuichi tells Mikage that Eriko is a man, which was too much for Mikage initially. Transgenderism. 4. PM - Alternate Families as a non-conformist construct
She then moves in as part of a modern, unconventional family, a family predicated on acceptance and unconditional love as the primary values a strong indicator of the shift by the Shinjinrui away from traditional values, cheerfully normal in the midst of such extreme abnormality. Eriko was taken in by another family, whose daughter he eloped with. Arguably, foreshadows Mikage and Yuichis relationship. P.14 Link to Maus opposite -traditional but highly dysfunctional family of Vladek, Mala, Art and the ever present ghosts of Richieu and Anja.
Kitchen & Food motifs First line of the novella -The place I like best in this world is the kitchen. p.1 I want to breathe my last in a kitchen. p.4 Offers Mikage emotional and physical nourishment. Both orphans in the world, Mikage and Yuichi reach out to each other in a subtle courting ritual that sees food as a motif for their growing attraction and commitment to each other,
satisfying hunger and lust at the same time. Kitchen & Food motifs Mikage can say sincerely that she would make carrot cakes that included a bit of my soul and in the supermarket Stare at a bright red tomato, loving it for dear life. Her relationship with food defines her and her relationships in many ways. Link to Maus As abundant as food is in Kitchen, the absence of food, or constant management of food for survival or bargaining, permeates the experiences of Anja and Vladek in Auschwitz. Food becomes a commodity rather than the sensual, emotional
experience it is in Kitchen, as evidenced by Vladek returning the half eaten cornflakes for a refund at the supermarket. Seemingly, his Holocaust experiences have forever corrupted his enjoyment of food. 1. WHY? Art reflects life mimesis (imitation, representation) Using post modernist elements enables Yoshimoto to redefine traditional Japanese storytelling to reflect the real world of the Shinjinrui generation, who were similarly redefining traditional Japan in the1980s. In this sense, the unique, distinctive style of the novella reflects the changing world it explores.
Link to Maus Maus uses mimesis to represent a version of the Holocaust in a highly unique and controversial form the graphic novel based on the comic genre. 2. WHY? Capturing the Zeitgeist The Zeitgeist (spirit of the age or spirit of the time) is the intellectual fashion or dominant school of thought that typifies and influences the culture of a particular period in time (Wikipedia)- Historic lens In capturing the zeitgeist of 1980s Japan, Yoshimoto gives legitimate voice to the concerns and changing values of the Shinjinrui which were significantly different to those of previous generations. In this sense, like The Great Gatsby,
it is now a historical artefact of its time. 3. WHY? The Happiness Paradox Yoshimoto acknowledges through many instances of death that Life can be so hard. This is demonstrated through the significant, life altering loss so many of the young characters in Kitchen experience. Even so, Eriko notes that if a person hasnt experienced true despair, she grows old never knowingwhat joy really is. p.41This suggests that humans must experience the paradox of knowing deep pain if they are to enjoy real happiness. I was puzzled, smiling about how I had just gone from
the darkest despair to feeling wonderful. p.35 3. WHY? Link to Maus BUTthe opposite of the Happiness Paradox The characters in Maus are deeply damaged by the horrors of the Holocaust, with Anja suiciding, Vladek struggling with paranoia and Art suffering significant depression as a by-product of his parents trauma. Joy seems to elude them, suggesting that though humans have the capacity to bear some loss, as Mikage and Satsuki attest, loss on the scale of the Holocaust is beyond the limits of human emotional endurance, leaving little but pain and despair in its wake.
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