Once You Get Lost In These Woods Character Analysis

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The woods not only have a metaphorical significance in the text as a setting of mystery and anonymity but also is symbolic of solitude and isolation, “Once you get lost in these woods, believe me, you stay lost” – Oshima in chapter 13. Haruki Murakami also imbibes the core themes of withdrawal, loneliness and bildungsroman (change) through the nature of the woods. The segregation and structure of the text (alternate chapters between protagonists) helps portray that the woods have magical elements and is also a representative of the trials and tribulations that the protagonists overcome to find solace. In the text, woods is a very important setting because it is part of one of the few settings which is linked between our two main protagonists Kafka and Nakata, although they are not present there simultaneously, it plays a major role in their character development and demonstrates their quest for identity. The woods itself in the novel is perceived in two dimensions, one literally and the other one metaphorically. Literally, it is one of the many settings which Murakami uses to help expose the tenacious and vigorous lives of Kafka and Oshima; Kafka because of the distress and dilemma he faces with human relationships and Oshima simply because of his sexual orientation. Nakata’s lifestyle plays a contrast with Kafka’s because his life became arduous and challenging after the incident in the woods. Whenever Oshima and Kafka face difficulties, they head to the cabin in the
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