Sound Of Waves Essay

Yukio Mishima’s artistic accomplishment includes a wide range of genres. For example, he adapted ancient No dramas, science fiction, modern plays, and stories from Japanese history. In addition, The Sound of Waves is an idyllic romance, unlike any of the writer’s other novels. It is limited in scope and in ambition, showing none of the tedious intellectual debate, emotional strain, or sardonic tone that characterize much of his other work. Also, evil and perverted love are conspicuous by their absence.

What evil there is in the story remains basically peripheral, for the pure love of Shinji and Hatsue cannot be corrupted. It is the most normal and healthy of his works. The Sound of Waves is lyrical, simple, and satisfying, so much so that some have criticized it as being sentimental. While the setting is exotic, it is not exotic in a negative sense. Furthermore, it is the least obscure, and it reads in English as the least “foreign” of his novels, for it is intentionally unsophisticated and uses simple pastoral elements to tell a story that is concerned with human relationships that are as timeless as the sea that surrounds the island on which the events of the tale occur.

In The Sound of Waves, Mishima appears determined to demonstrate to himself that he could create in his writing a world totally different from his own, but even more than that, to show that he could have a place in that world. Several years after the novel was written, Mishima is said to have commented that at about the time of its writing, he had felt a desire to try to turn himself into his own opposite.

Mishima long entertained a hope to visit Greece, and on a voyage around the world in the early 1950’s, he found that Greece was even more wonderful than he had imagined. On this voyage, he began to realize that many of the pictures he had painted of human life in the past were highly incomplete; they dwelled only on the dark side of life. Thus was born the idea of writing an idyllic story that would be based on a classical Greek myth, that of Daphnis and Chloë. It would provide an idyll of a boy and a girl and the sea and would include a fairy-tale-like series of trials that the fisher boy would have to overcome to gain the hand of his “princess.” In terms of Mishima’s own artistic development, writing this novel based on classical literature demonstrated that, whether that...

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Essay on The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima

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In The Sound of Waves, Yukio Mishima creates an exquisite story which has strong idealistic and mythic features. Although Mishima writes of young love and tranquility in The Sound of Waves, his later works are categorized as aggressive and containing violent sexual actions. Even Mishima himself referred to The Sound of Waves as "that great joke on the public" (qtd. in Ishiguro 385). However, one cannot compare this novel to Mishima’s other literary pieces; in order to classify it as romanticized, one must evaluate the usage of imagery, an idealized setting, mythical allusions, and characterizations which establish the romantic-driven qualities in The Sound of Waves.
It is apparent that nature plays a major role throughout The Sound of…show more content…

In The Sound of Waves, Yukio Mishima creates an exquisite story which has strong idealistic and mythic features. Although Mishima writes of young love and tranquility in The Sound of Waves, his later works are categorized as aggressive and containing violent sexual actions. Even Mishima himself referred to The Sound of Waves as "that great joke on the public" (qtd. in Ishiguro 385). However, one cannot compare this novel to Mishima’s other literary pieces; in order to classify it as romanticized, one must evaluate the usage of imagery, an idealized setting, mythical allusions, and characterizations which establish the romantic-driven qualities in The Sound of Waves.
It is apparent that nature plays a major role throughout The Sound of Waves, as the reader would expect from a Japanese based novel. The reader is first introduced to Shinji at the “flight of stone steps” with “peace blossoms blooming in the shrine garden, dim and wrapped in twilight” (Mishima 6). Mishima’s usage of nature helps reinforce the purity of love between Shinji and Hatsue. On their first encounter, “the sea below them [brims] with a last afterglow” (50) and “the stars [begin] to glitter” (51). Hatsue’s kiss is even compared to seaweed and the “sharp, fresh saltiness” (67) of the sea; these symbols emphasize a parallel between romance and romance.
Mishima also creates the aspect of nature relating to emotion and frequently references weather imagery to convey the thoughts and emotions of Shinji. In

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