Pop Master

Outside looking in
Author in Focus
Garbage Dissect Our Modern Age

Break on through
The elusive Murakami

The Postmodern in Murakamis Novels
Terrorism before WTC
Japanese writer probes souls dark kingdom
Big in Japan
The healer
Murakami shares his thougts with students
A Japanese Novelist in Search of Lost Ideals
Inner space
Haruki Murakami does Seattle
Overview of the hard-boiled fiction of hm
The other Speech
dancing as fast as he can
Tokyo Prose
A Voice from Postmodern Japan
The American Scene
Hi Mr Haruki Murakami
The Return from the Lost world
Presents from the dead

Graham Chave
Overview of the Hard-Boiled fiction of MH

In this essay, I will be examining the principal symbols and themes in two of Murakami's "Hard Boiled" novels, A Wild Sheep Chase and Dance Dance Dance. First, I will give a definition of alienation, which is a recurring theme throughout much of his corpus.
I will then give a brief overview of some of Murakami's works, examining his style, and describing the protagonist. The main part of the essay will examine in detail the novels chosen from four different angles; firstly that of important symbols in the works, secondly, the role of death, thirdly, the impact and influence of foreign culture on his protagonist's value systems, actions, and way of life, and fourthly, Murakami's unique use of the Japanese language.

As much of Murakami's work is based around the themes of alienation, in particular those of rootlessness, powerlessness and estrangement, I will now examine a few of their definitions.
One source considers alienation to be "Estrangement from other people, society, or work... a blocking or dissociation of a person's feelings, causing the individual to become less effective. The focus here is on the person's problems in adjusting to society. However, some philosophers believe that alienation is inevitably produced by a shallow and depersonalised society."

1 Also, from a sociological viewpoint: "Émile Durkheim's anomie, or rootlessness, stemmed from loss of societal and religious tradition..." "...according to Heidegger, mankind has fallen into crisis by taking a narrow, technological approach to the world and by ignoring the larger question of existence."
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