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Comparing Violence as a Motif in Stranger and Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea

Violence as a Motif in The Stranger and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea

In The Stranger by Albert Camus, and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea by Yukio Mishima, violence is an important motif.

This paper will attempt to show how comparisons exists in these books which aids the violence motif.

Violence is concluded with murder or multiple murders in the above books. In The Stranger, Meursault, an absurd hero, shoots the Arab five times on the beach. He accounts for the scenario by telling the reader:

My whole being tensed and I squeezed my hand around the revolver. The trigger gave; I felt the smooth underside of the butt; and there, in that noise, sharp and deafening at the same time, is where it all started. I shook off the sweat and sun. I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I’d been happy. Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace” (Camus 59).

In The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea, the victim of the first violent murder which occurs is a kitten. Noboru, a thirteen year old boy, is assigned the task , by the Chief of the Gang (which consists of teenage boys), to kill the kitten by throwing it against a log. Mishima presents Noboru’s nervousness before the murder by describing to the reader his physical condition and states:

Just a minute before, he had taken a cold bath, but he was sweating heavily again. He felt it blow up through his breast like the morning sea breeze: intent to kill. His chest felt like a clothes rack made of hollow metal poles and hung with shirts drying in the sun” (Mishima 57).

The author paints the picture of the murder scene b…

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…Ryuji returns from a voyage to settle down with Fukaso and to begin his life as a family man. The dinner Ryuji had at Fukaso’s place and the night he spends there in the first part of the book foreshadows their relationship in the second part. The killing of the kitten in the first part foreshadows the Ryuji’s murder in the second part.

Comparison is made between The Stranger and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea to show how the authors of the books have used the literary topic of violence and employed literary tools such as place setting, genre, characterization and the structure of the book to conclude their violent motifs in murder.

Works Cited:

Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Matthew Ward. New York: Vintage, 1988.

Mishima, Yukio. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea. Trans. John Nathan. New York: Vintage, 1994.

Comparing Sexuality in All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, and Troilus and Cressida

Female Sexuality in All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, and Troilus and Cressida

Although strict chronology is a problematic proposition, most scholars believe that the problem plays – All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, and Troilus and Cressida – were composed in the period between Hamlet and Othello (Mabillard), a period in which Shakespeare was focusing his energies on his great tragedies. This fact, some believe, may help to account for the darker mood of these ostensible comedies. In fact, Boas, the critic who coined the term “problem play,” originally included Hamlet in this grouping, since he found a similarity of theme and irresolution between that play and Troilus and Cressida (Thomas 2-3). Thankfully for modern students, critics have escaped that preconception and recognized Hamlet as a tragedy, plain and simple.

Any generalization of these three plays – even a necessarily broad category like “problem plays” – is inherently . . . well, problematic. The three plays are very dissimilar in tone, plot, and characterization. It is possible, however, to identify a few key commonalities between the three plays, and, more generally, in the cycle of work that includes Hamlet and Othello. The sheer carnality of each of these plays is difficult to ignore. Taken as a whole, whether or not one accepts the canonical chronology, these plays represent the evolution of a coherent view of female sexuality that contributes not only to the dramatic action of each play, but to a larger underlying thematic concern. Thus book-ended by two great tragedies, with which they share some common ideology, the problem plays offer an unparalleled opportunity to explore the concept of female sexualit…

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…speare Online. 1999-2001. .

Neely, Carol Thomas. “Shakespeare’s Women: Historical Facts and Dramatic Representations.” In Holland, Norman N., Sidney Homan, and Bernard J. Paris, eds. Shakespeare’s Personality. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.

Shakespeare, William. All’s Well That Ends Well. Bevington 362-403.

—. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Bevington 1060-1116.

—. Measure for Measure. Bevington 404-443.

—. Othello, the Moor of Venice. Bevington 1117-1166.

—. Troilus and Cressida. Bevington 444-493.

Thomas, Vivian. The Moral Universe of Shakespeare’s Problem Plays. London: Croom Helm, 1987.

Wilders, John. “The Problem Comedies.” In Wells, Stanley, ed. Shakespeare: Select Bibliographical Guides. London: Oxford UP, 1973.

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