Examples Of Suicide In A Tale For The Time Being By Ruth Ozeki

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The dictionary definition of suicide is the intentional taking of one’s life. Many people see suicide as something tragic, sad, and not to be brought up in conversations. However, Ruth Ozeki in A Tale for the Time Being uses the idea of suicide very often in the novel. She portrays the idea through the thoughts and actions of Nao, Nao’s father (Haruki II), and Haruki I. The author uses it to show the value of life when each person overcomes the battle of suicide by actually killing themselves or finding a reason/deciding to live. Each person brings their own theme/lesson in the novel that contributes to the idea and shows how suicide is not bad in the sense that it helps us as readers come to realise how precious our time in life is. Nao…show more content…
Through what is spoken about him and his personal journal entries, we see how Haruki I is different compared to Nao and her father. Haruki I commits suicide not because he is unhappy about his life, but he is forced/commanded to. Most people who did not read Haruki I’s personal documents believe that he laid down his own life for the country. However, his personal documents say, “I have always despised the capitalist greed and imperialist hubris that have motivated it. And now, knowing what I do about the depravity with which this war had been waged, I am determined to do my utmost to steer my plane away from my target and into the sea” (328). This quote shows how Haruki I killed himself doing what he believed is right. Instead of following his orders and feeding into the fire of war, he decides to do what is not commanded and steer himself into the sea. He did what he felt passionate about, which was peace, and believed that through not cooperating in the war and making things worse, he could make some difference. Ruth Ozeki’s uses Haruki I’s suicide to show the value of dying for what one believes is true. This adds to the idea of suicide showing the value of life because Haruki I lived all his life as a righteous man and decides to, even until the end, remain righteous and true. Ozeki shows through Haruki I how suicide can have some form of honor upon the person and how Japanese people would rather die a life with honor than be known as a life of
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