Obasan Literary Analysis

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“Don’t deny the past. Remember everything. If you 're bitter, be bitter. Cry it out! Scream! Denial is gangrene.” In the novel Obasan, Joy Kogawa uses the event of the pearl harbor in order to explain how it takes a toll on a Japanese-Canadian family and uses memories that began to go through the main character Naomi’s mind in order to reveal how Naomi is able to overcome her past memories and secrets that are revealed that shapes Naomi into the person she is now. First, Naomi has to face the memory that her father’s close friend named Old Man Gower molested her at four years of age. He whispers, “Don’t tell your mother.” This man was able to take Naomi whenever he wanted and sexually assault her without her parents knowledge. She is ashamed because his hands cause her to feel both pleasure and to become terrified.. This is one of the various memories that Naomi repressed before her aunt Emily gave her the advice to never deny your past. She is able to get through to Naomi to tell her that refusing to acknowledge your memories whether they are horrible or amazing can haunt you or cause you to die of guilt. In return…show more content…
She explains, “ What matters to my five-year-old mind is not the reason that she required to leave, but the stillness of waiting for her return. After a while, the stillness is so much with me that it takes the form of a shadow which grows and surrounds me like air.” Her use of a simile explains the time frame of how long she has waited for her mother to come back home. Also, she uses “light” and “morning” to express how close Naomi is to her mother. She uses those words in order to say how her mother is the only person who could make her happy, the only person who could understand Naomi. However, she does find out that her mother was gravely affected by the Nagasaki bombing in Japan and how later on she
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