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The Umbrella by Yasunari Kawabata

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Sometimes love can be expressed by merely being silent. It is as though lovers speak rather telepathically. Love is so strong, it leaves one imagining things as though they were real even when they are not. The story revolves around the object umbrella. In the first instance, the boy is holding the umbrella, apparently shielding himself from the strokes of the rain. The author, from this instance, paints a picture of two young people, who are strongly attracted towards each other but have no ingenious ways of expressing these mutual feeling of attraction.

Thus the umbrella is symbolic of the protection the boy is supposed to over. However, it is ironical since instead of using the umbrella as a symbol of outward protection for the girl in this case it is symbolic of inward protection as the boy uses it to hide his shyness. This is understandable since the teenagers are still afraid of what the society comments in relation to their union. For example, in the opening graph, when the girl comes out of the house and sees the boy with the umbrella, she shouts, "is it raining? ” as though she cannot see that it is raining.

The point being given is that she was keen on igniting a conversation, by first getting under the umbrella besides the boy. The boy on the other hand, though evidently attracted to the girl, remains silent and covers himself more with the umbrella, not to cover himself from the downpour but from betraying his shame. This is how kids express their love, through such simple and plain acts of shame and hesitation. When the girl gets under the umbrella, the boy was too ashamed to stick the whole of his body in the umbrella.

The boy was afraid of getting too close, and for that, he let himself to be beaten up by the rain. The same feelings run through the girl’s body and mind. She really wants to get close to the boy by getting hold of the handle of the umbrella, but she could not bring herself to that point. Instead she looked as though she was about to run away. It is as though the boy does not really ache for the girl.

Nevertheless, far from it, the boy is burning with a strong sensational feeling. However, the feeling is always there and so deep. As the story goes by, so does the author reveal this suppressed magnetic feeling between the boy and the girl. At the photographer, the boy chose not to sit with the girl and take the photograph together. Nevertheless, he stood behind her touching her cloak, and imagining themselves together. He imagined their bodies touching.

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preview essay on The Umbrella by Yasunari Kawabata
  • Pages: 6 (1500 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Literature
  • Level: Undergraduate
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