Riding the White Horse

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  • Topic: Yasunari Kawabata, Japan, Japanese literature
  • Pages : 2 (871 words )
  • Download(s) : 1593
  • Published : July 1, 2014
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Robert Lucas Moore
English 1302, Ticket Essay
Alison Ely
6/24/14
Riding the White Horse
Within the universe, there are celestial bodies that join together in solar systems that make up galaxies, galaxies that create everything tangible and visible and real; however, within the heavens and all that is palpable and perceptible and concrete, there is so much more: the intangible. At times this is presented as luck or fortune, and sometimes, it shows itself as love. Yasunari Kawabata’s “The White Horse” (1963) is a ravishing run through the intangibility of love, and of loss. It is the tale of a man who sits alone, pondering and worrying about the life of his son, and about the affection he once felt for a girl when he was young.

Kawabata offers very little in character description, allowing the audience to imagine Noguchi, Taeko, and Noguchi’s family as they please. The only actual description given is buried halfway into the account, telling the reader “Noguchi had married another girl, had fathered children, had aged, had forgotten about that kind of thing.” (Kawabata p 427). The author speaks of Taeko, which can mean either the mysterious child, or the child of many blessings, both of which fit the character very well. Taeko is the lost love of Noguchi, though he has not seen or heard from her in “…forty years.” (Kawabata p 428), but when she is spoken of directly, she evokes a sense of wonder. Even as a child she captivates Noguchi, drawing herself atop a blessed animal, “ ‘That’s the horse that stamped on the mountain and made the sacred spring gush up… Taeko is riding him. She’s riding the white horse and wearing pink clothes.’ ” (Kawabata p 427). She is the long lost everything that Noguchi had wanted, and she is the cure to his insomnia and anxiety. Though little is done to physically describe any of the characters, the reader is able to tell how Noguchi feels through Kawabata’s narration. Setting plays a predominant role in this story, as Kawabata...
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