LITERATURE: Kafka on the Shore – Character

There has really been no language style that Murakami uses that has had me race to the computer in admiration; his style is pretty straightforward writing without metaphor, simile or particular beauty of words.

I think where he excells perhaps is with story first, and then with drawing his characters:

I try putting into words my impressions of the novel, but I need Crow’s help–need him to show up from wherever he is, spread his wings wide, and search out the right words for me. (p. 106)

This is the boy Kafka talking with a young man who works at the library who has befriended him.  Murakami is now more clearly showing us that the boy called Crow is a part of Kafka, perhaps an alter ego that allows him to overcome his shyness in speaking with other people.  Crow is the one in the opening scene who Kafka was telling of his plans to run away.  Crow is the one who told him that he’d have to be the toughest teenager on the planet to carry them through.  With the implied isolation of Kafka’s childhood, it seems reasonable that he would form this friend, this helper to allow him to cope with the abandonment by his mother and sister, the disassociation of his father, and the reticence in forming relationships with others his age.

Each minor character is given a description of sorts that allows the reader to picture them and get a feel of how they are reacting to Kafka.

Perhaps this blunt not prosaic language is a way of helping the reader get into the story just by its very common reality.  And from there, Murakami brings us talking cats.

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