Alienation And Identity In Kobo's The Face Of Another

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Kobo (Kimifusa) Abe is a well-known Japanese author. Abe’s book The Face of Another won the Yomiuri Literature Prize in 1960 (Zolbrod). His work first began to receive international attention during his travel to Eastern Europe (Price, Magill’s). His writing was influenced by his childhood and culture which is prevalent in his novels The Face of Another and Woman in the Dunes. Abe was born on March 7, 1924, in Tokyo, Japan, and before he turned one he moved to Manchuria, China, where he spent most of his childhood (Zolbrod). In 1931 his mother moved him to the Japanese island of Hokkaido to escape the Japanese invasion of China. “Those living in these marginal places were not completely excluded nor were they wholly accepted by the mainstream Japanese society,” (Price, Magill’s).…show more content…
The themes of alienation and lost identity are present in this novel and can be linked to the author’s background. The scientist must overcome the reality of putting on a face that is not his, and through this experiment, he learns that he and the mask have their own personalities. The scientist gains a new sense of confidence and becomes more daring. Both personalities then try to win the affection of his wife and invoke jealousy in the other; unknowing that his wife knows that “the mask” was the scientist all along. “I only asked the mask to help me recover...I never once asked it to do things its own way” (Abe, Face
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