Ambiguity In The Second Bakery Attack By Haruki Murakami

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In the short story, “The Second Bakery Attack”, Haruki Murakami shows the plights of a young married couple struggling with a peculiar hunger that can only be solved through the illegal act of attacking a bakery. Although there is immense detail about the struggles of the couple and how their “curse” develops, key ideas such as their names, year they were married, and their backgrounds are left out of the narrative completely. Ambiguity in “The Second Bakery Attack” gives the reader a sense of the unknown and possibly supernatural themes to create the image of a curse. This along with the introduction of the curse itself is a reflection of statements Murakami was making about life. Murakami uses the curse and the unsettling vagueness to symbolize supernatural ideas and create the idea that the marriage of the couple is unsatisfactory. The curse itself has magical and paranormal tones that Murakami intentionally included. The curse was first introduced to the narrator when he attacked a bakery when he was young and broke. Instead of punishing the the two young men, the narrator described to his wife the deal they had made with the bakery owner: “If we would listen to the record all the way through, we could take as much bread as we liked” (74). Specifically, the boys were forced to listen to Wagner, specifically, one of his most famous compositions, which was the opera, The Flying Dutchman. This directly symbolizes the “curse” that the young men receive. Similar to the
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