Analysis Of Murakami's Novel Sputnik Sweetheart

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Novels, in particular, can be particularly ambiguous in terms of genre. Murakami’s novel, Sputnik Sweetheart, is no different—it could easily be a mystery, a misshapen romance, or even science fiction. Classifying the novel in these ways, however, all result in a focus on Sumire; when focused on Sumire, the novel’s main character, the novel seems one-dimensional—it’s the story of a young woman who disappears. However, interpreting the novel with an emphasis on Miu, a supporting character, reveals the story’s true complexities and coming-of-age storyline. Miu’s transformation over the course of the novel and the resolution of her identity crisis shows that the novel is, in fact, a coming-of-age novel. As with any coming-of-age novel, Sputnik Sweetheart describes Miu recognizing…show more content…
K says “the Miu before me, though, was not the woman I had waved goodbye to at the harbor on the Greek island,” which clearly indicates that in the short time between Sumire’s disappearance and K seeing her at the end of the novel, she has changed significantly (206). K also says that Miu seems like “an empty shell” and, after seeing Miu driving a Jaguar, “that bronze statue and Miu melted into one in my mind,” which further supports Miu’s change (207). The bronze statue that K refers to is the one in Miu’s hometown in Korea, which is apart of the past that “frightened” Miu (37). Thus, because K puts the image of Miu and a part of her past together, K associates Miu with finally connecting with her past. By embracing and confronting her past, Miu further shows signs of maturity and understanding of herself. Thus, given K’s acknowledgment of change, coupled with Miu’s increased confidence and acceptance of who she is, Miu matures throughout the novel. As a result of Miu’s journey to maturity, Sputnik Sweetheart can be interpreted as a coming of age story, despite Miu only being a supporting

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