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Summary of the Story

Kawabata's story the umbrella is a love story of the 1960's. It revolves around a young man and a lady, probably teenagers who have somehow fallen in love. They are both naïve. The events narrated through the story prove naivety. For instance, the lady is unsure whether or not to stay in the umbrella covered over her by the gentleman. According to (Kirkup, J. & Fukuda, T., 1983) in the story, the writer states that despite the fact that she is being rained on, and that she needs to stay in the umbrella, she keeps pulling away, to avoid body contact with her lover. It occurs in the story that the gentleman has to leave to a far place. They are not to see each other for a long time and this occurrence sets them into a photo shooting session. There in, they find themselves on each other, side by side. After the photo session, they walk out and leave together, seeming more mature and ready confident to face the challenges of love together as recorded by (Christie, F.et al., 1991).

Theme

The theme of Kawabata's story; the umbrella is love. (Christie, F.et al., 1991) says Kawabata uses his language mastery skills to explore the theme of love. He indicates through narration that his characters in his story are naively in love. The story begins, grows and ends in narration of love. There are two main characters in this story, a lady and a gentleman. They experience the feelings of love among adolescents. They are both naïve and scared to take body contact between each other, leave alone intimate advances. As the story ends however, the couple has grown to maturity and is now at ease with each other. They do things irrationally, for instance, the lady carries her mans umbrella.

Complexities

Several complexities are eminent throughout the story as narrated. (Kirkup, J. & Fukuda, T., 1983) says that the two main characters show themselves in form of irony, conflict and ambiguity among other aspects. For instance, it is ironical that the girl in the story is afraid to walk close to the gentleman with whom they are in love, yet on the other hand, she is being rained on whenever she tries to walk away. In another instance, Kawabata seems to contradict himself when he talks about a young couple, in love and naïve and just after a mere photo shoot, he says they walked like a mature couple. In literal terms, the writer contradicts himself at that instance.  The writer further indicates complexities when he shows tension in his narration. Conflict is evident in an instant where Kawabata in the photo shoot scene. There is emotional conflict when the two lovers are torn between fear ant intimacies. They are scared to get into contact with each other yet according to the story writer; they are dying to hold each other within.

Elements

This section involves aspects such as time and place, characters, points of view and imagery created. As seen in the story, the story revolves around to locations. The first scene is along a street; that is where the lady and her man meet. They walk across the street to a photo studio and this is the second scene. The time is not really known but it is evident that it is day time as no indications of artificial light can be shown. However, according to the narration, it is a rainy period (Kirkup, J. & Fukuda, T., 1983). The story seems to have only three characters, these are the lady and gentleman in love and thirdly the photographer. Each of these characters has been used for the continuity of the narration and the development of the theme of love; especially in naivety. On reading the story, I get the impression that young love is common to all adolescents. After all, we are all somehow naïve in every new emotional experience. In this story, Kawabata has heavily used the umbrella as a symbol of the common bond between his two characters in love. The umbrella is the only tool bringing the two lovers close together. Symbolically, it represents the love between them.'

Subjective Reaction  

?el the text in this story is appropriately employed. The writer does not use vulgar language to describe love and intimacy. I further support Kawabata in his choice of theme of young and naïve love since it is a common feeling among adolescents.

Reading process

Upon reading the story, I find that young love among adolescents is a common feature. In the first section where the couple is walking under the umbrella, it is a common observation that naïve adolescents in love will want to take intimate moves on each other but are often held back by fears of what happens next within according to (Christie, F.et al., 1991). In the second section, where the couple is in a photo studio, they appear to be developing comfort with each other. This is an implication of the perspectives generated based on what peoples perspectives are towards our actions. In the last section, the couple walks away from the studio together in maturity. This shows that it only takes time to be at ease with each other's love.

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