Title

The Loss of Self in Abe Kobo's The Wall

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Presentation

Abstract

The loss of oneself, who one is, is a common occurrence before during and after war. The loss of oneself is seen in Abe Kobo's Akutagawa Prize winning short novel Kabe, or The Wall. The short novel was written after World War Two, during the US occupation of Japan and the Korean War, in 1951. The theme of losing oneself and being trapped due to this loss is a representation of Abe's life and how he lost who he was, as well as his feeling of being trapped by such a loss. This theme is also seen in Abe Kobo's Woman in the Dunes. To English-speaking audiences, he is best known for this novel, which was published in 1962 and adapted to film in 1964. As exemplified in both Woman in the Dunes as well as The Wall, Abe's work contains a note of surrealism, and functions as a commentary on contemporary Japanese society.

The Loss of Self in Abe Kobo's The Wall shows the theme being manifested in the main character losing his name and being given number in place of his individual identity. The theme of being trapped due to this lack of self is also prominent. The prominence of these themes has much to do with the turbulence of the Korean war and US occupation; many Japanese people were trying to pick up what was left of their identity as individuals and as a nation.

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Apr 12th, 10:40 AM Apr 12th, 11:00 AM

The Loss of Self in Abe Kobo's The Wall

UC 332

The loss of oneself, who one is, is a common occurrence before during and after war. The loss of oneself is seen in Abe Kobo's Akutagawa Prize winning short novel Kabe, or The Wall. The short novel was written after World War Two, during the US occupation of Japan and the Korean War, in 1951. The theme of losing oneself and being trapped due to this loss is a representation of Abe's life and how he lost who he was, as well as his feeling of being trapped by such a loss. This theme is also seen in Abe Kobo's Woman in the Dunes. To English-speaking audiences, he is best known for this novel, which was published in 1962 and adapted to film in 1964. As exemplified in both Woman in the Dunes as well as The Wall, Abe's work contains a note of surrealism, and functions as a commentary on contemporary Japanese society.

The Loss of Self in Abe Kobo's The Wall shows the theme being manifested in the main character losing his name and being given number in place of his individual identity. The theme of being trapped due to this lack of self is also prominent. The prominence of these themes has much to do with the turbulence of the Korean war and US occupation; many Japanese people were trying to pick up what was left of their identity as individuals and as a nation.