Symbolism In The Kitchen

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In the novel Kitchen, the main character, Mikage, is portrayed as a girl who has a deep connection with ‘the kitchen’ as she is attached to it by memories and emotions. Banana Yoshimoto reveals how love and family help to overcome the hard times in the protagonist’s life through the use of literary devices such as symbolism and diction.
The symbolism used to link the significance of kitchen to family is clearly shown in Japanese culture. Kitchen carries meanings of several things such as family, home and comfort. This symbolism is used throughout the novel as Yoshimoto wants to highlight Mikage’s love for kitchens, showing that the character loves her family and is deeply attached to it. Moreover, the emotions induced by Mikage from kitchens also emphasizes how family makes people happier. The novel starts with Mikage’s statement on page 3, “the place [she] likes the best in this world is the kitchen”, which immediately makes her character being associated with cooking as it is also her hobby and passion. Furthermore, she suggests that “any kitchen is fine with [her]” as soon as it is the place where people make food. Mikage also prefers large and ‘dirty’ kitchens, which are frequently used, therefore implementing her evident need of family (who would use the kitchen). In addition to her love for cooking, she seeks “comfort” in the kitchen, as it turns out to be “the one place [she] could sleep” like said on page 4.
The significance of ‘the kitchen’ as Mikage’s family is
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