The Second Bakery Attack Murakami Analysis

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Analysis of Haruk Murakami's 'The Second Bakery Attack' The second Murakami story I read is similar to the first, but in this one the facts relating people to their premature natures are even more up front. It begins with a recently married couple waking up in the dead of night with violent hunger cravings, and after confirming several times that they have no food in the house, the husband lets it slip that in his youth he and a friend once 'robbed' a bakery (they meant to, but the food was nearly given to them). The wife becomes incredibly intrigued, and eventually the two of them leave the house with masks and a shotgun to rob a bakery of their own, though they eventually settle for an empty McDonalds, from which they take 30 hamburgers.…show more content…
Though few facts are given about the wife in the beginning of the story, she seems simple, and nice enough, though this changes rapidly as the story continues. It is she who convinces the husband that they should go rob a bakery, and then she provides a shotgun, hockey masks, and her uncanny expertise in the field. She asserts herself as the dominant character in the relationship, though at the beginning the husband had seemed to be a typical male, accompanied in his adventures by his timid wife. She does all the talking in the restaurant, and surprisingly enough the husband simply stands there, the shotgun awkwardly held in his tired arms. To understand the husband's actions here, it is necessary to examine the first robbery (the one he performed as an adolescent) more closely. On that fateful day, he and his friend had ran into the bakery with knives and demanded bread, only to be taken aback by the shopkeepers cool demeanor and strange request- instead of simply giving them whatever they wanted, he strikes a deal with them. If they can sit with him and listen to an entire Wagner album, he would give them the food for free, without ever speaking of the incident to a soul. They awkwardly sit down and listen with him, then take everything they can fit into their bags and leave. The event left the boy…show more content…
He relates the horror of the event to standing on top of a very high steeple and looking down into unnervingly clear waters, though he can't imagine what part of that would instill a sense of fear in him. When he and his wife finish their improvised robbery, the volcano disappears, and he finally feels absolutely calm, allowing the ocean to carry him anywhere it wishes to. The volcano comes across as a symbol for the masculinity he felt he should posses to compensate in his marriage, that he looks down on from a distance. He has known that it's existed there for just as long as he has, but he's never been able to reach it, and is too afraid to even try. When his wife claims the masculine responsibility for her own by 'manning up' and gives him the least amount of responsibilities she could, all the stress he'd maintained since his youth is finally released all at once, and he feels completely at ease in his marriage, ready to follow it along it's natural course until the end. While the lingering immaturity of the protagonist in 'The Wind-Up Bird and Tuesday's Women' is harmful and detracts from his relationships, the couple in this story gains from what they thought hindered him, and comes out of it happier and more asserted in their proper roles. While most people people assume that to hang on to the feelings we should
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