Fear And Trembling Analysis

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Knowing how to interact with people of other cultures has become an increasingly important issue as international communication and travel becomes more common. With more interactions between cultures, cultural misunderstandings become more common. The satirical book Fear and Trembling by Amélie Nothomb attempts to address this issue, pointing out what people often do wrong. Fear and Trembling is a story which follows Amélie, a young Belgian woman who goes to work for a Japanese company and struggles to fit in, committing many cultural faux pas along the way. Nothomb uses contrasting sentence structure between Amélie 's thoughts and her dialogue and actions to demonstrate the way that Westerners often ignore other cultures despite knowing better because they view themselves as more important. Amélie displays this exact behavior when she jokes about Fubuki 's struggles despite understanding how serious they are and again later when she follows Fubuki into the bathroom even knowing the consequences of her actions.
In her writing style, Nothomb often breaks from the story to teach the readers about Japanese culture. During these breaks, Nothomb explains Japanese culture in great detail, spending especially long on a women’s role in Japanese society. She rants on about the “physical and mental corsets,...constraints, crushing denials, absurd restrictions, dogmas, heartbreaks,” and “conspiracies of silence and humiliation” that plague women in Japanese culture (65). The sentences

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