Guilt In Haruki Murakami's The Seventh Man

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Survival. A natural human instinct. Sometimes, survival costs something that a person may value, such as family, friends, or someone’s own mental sanity. In Haruki Murakami’s “The Seventh Man” the 10 year-old narrator loses his friend K., to a massive wave that sucked him out to the ocean and killed him. The narrator believes he is responsible for K.’s death, but soon realizes he isn’t towards the end of the story. Should the narrator forgive himself for his failure to save K.? Yes, the narrator should forgive himself for many reasons. The narrator of “The Seventh Man” is going through something called survivor guilt. Survivor guilt is a feeling of guilt most common to soldiers who had lost someone close. It is considered irrational because…show more content…
because the narrator let K. follow him down to the beach where the events took place and the narrator was told to stay close while exploring in the eye of the storm. The narrator also physically could have gotten K.’s attention instead of shouting and giving up. “I’m getting out of here!...I was sure I had yelled loud enough, but my voice did not seemed to have reached him.” (Par. 28, “The Seventh Man”, Murakami). Well this is true, but the narrator didn’t know that a wave was coming in the first place and didn’t know the danger that lied ahead. “He said I could walk around a little if I didn’t go far.” (Par. 16, “The Seventh Man”, Murakami). Coming back to the narrator exploring farther then he should have, his father didn’t seem worried that his son was venturing off outside during the eye of the storm, which could have given the narrator the idea that if his father wasn’t worried, then he shouldn’t be. “To the adults, typhoons were an annoyance and a threat they had to face almost annually.” (Par. 11, “The Seventh Man, Murakami). From this quote, the reader now knows that typhoons are regular and don’t seem to change as the adults find them “annoying.” No one could have expected a
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