Kazuo Ishiguro Destruction

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The dropping of the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed and challenged the very nature of human existence. The mass destruction that accompanied WW2 was characterized by emerging angst from 1948 to 1950, which fundamentally reconstructed the world through transformations in ways of thinking and universal values. These conflicting ideologies permeated the literary texts of this multifarious historical period, challenging the existing philosophical, religious, economic and scientific paradigms that underpinned evolving global tension. Throughout Kazuo Ishiguro’s complex and compelling 1986 novel, An Artist of the Floating World and the poetic 1959 French film Hiroshima Mon Amour by acclaimed director Alain Resnais, the liminal constraint…show more content…
Throughout An Artist of the Floating World, Ishiguro allows for an extensive exploration into the destruction and reconstruction of physical landscapes, a motif that permeates the novel, providing insight into the fragility and disillusionment of Japan. This inability to progress beyond past trauma is foregrounded in the line “…A rainy morning… looking from under my umbrella at those skeletal remains”. Through the evocative descriptions of demolished buildings, Ishiguro utilises deathly connotations and the motif of a graveyard to suggest a pervading and inescapable sense of destruction and deterioration. The use of pathetic fallacy, further denotes the infiltrating sense of gloom and decay, drawing on the profound connection the Japanese have with their past and memories. Through Ono’s descriptions of Mrs Kawakami’s bar, Ishiguro continues to establish a sombre atmosphere and melancholic nostalgia of what was once a thriving pleasure district, overwhelmed by a perpetual sense of loss and devastation. In reflective descriptions such as “a desert of demolished rubble… windows all blown out... shattered buildings… broken brick and timber”, the vivid imagery of post-war destruction starkly contrasts Ono’s previous memories of the pleasure district, a symbolic remnant his past. This evocative link between the past and the overwhelming sense of stagnancy within the present, suggests the inability to progress and rebuild in a climate of devastation. Through the manifestation of landscape, Ishiguro provides an intrinsic representation of the liminal constraint to progress beyond past trauma in an aftermath of destruction and
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