Character Analysis: The Seventh Man

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As Mila Bron said, “In order to heal we must first forgive…and sometimes the person we must forgive is ourselves.” In “The Seventh Man” by Haruki Murakami the narrator should forgive himself for his failure to save K. because he could have died himself and he was not wholly in control of his actions during the life-or-death situation. The narrator was not responsible for the wave that killed K. and he should not punish himself for something that was out of his control. The narrator blamed himself for K.’s death, but in reality, he was not able to do anything without endangering his own life. In the story, the narrator subscribes to the idea that “Blameworthiness…depends on the idea that a person could have done something other than he did. And so he is held responsible, by himself or others” (Sherman 154). He holds himself responsible for K.’s death because he feels he could have done more to save him. But, his own instinct for survival that warned him that something was amiss before the wave came…show more content…
because he put his own life before K.’s. However, this is not the case. The narrator would have had little to no chance to save K; it would not have made sense to risk both of their lives. The narrator may be “casually responsible for harm—[he brought] about the harm through [his] agency, but…not morally responsible for what happened” (Sherman 155). It was not the narrator’s fault that K. was caught unawares by the wave; in fact, he had attempted to warn K. The narrator, however, cannot be held responsible for what he did not do. In addition, K.’s own parents “never chided [him] for having taken their son down to the shore in the midst of a typhoon” (Murakami 140). If K.’s own parents could forgive the narrator, then he should not have to torture himself over this unlucky incident. Everyone has forgiven the narrator but himself; therefore, he should be able to forgive himself
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