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CaseyNegron

CaseyNegron
Dr.LauraBarberanReinares
ENG14
November17,2015

AFamilySupperResponsePaper

InKazuoIshigurosAFamilySupperweseethefailingsofadheringtotradition,
intentionalornot.Throughthecharacters,weareshownhowtraditionpromotesthecontinuance
ofideologiesoftenconsideredtobeoutdated.Inmanywaystraditionremovestheabilityofan
individualtomakedecisionbasedontheirwantsandneeds.Also,therearemanyexamplesof
theselfsustainabilityoftradition.

Kazuoverysubtlyshowsthenegativewaystraditioninfluencesanindividualwith
severalofhischaracters.Startingwiththemotheroftheprotagonist,wearetoldthatshehad
passedawayafterconsumingthefugufish,ahideouslypainfulandalmostalwaysfatal
decision.Yetweseehowadheringtotraditionremovesthenotionofchoicefromthemotheras
wefindoutthatApparently,mymotherhadalwaysrefusedtoeatfugu,butonthisparticular
occasionshehadmadeanexception,havingbeeninvitedbyanoldschoolfriendwhomshewas
anxiousnottooffend.Themotherisforcedtochoosethepossibilityofapainfuldeathinorder
tonotoffendherfriend.Thesecondexamplelieswiththemurder/suicideofthefathers

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coworkerWatanabe.Hereratherthanlivewiththedisgrace,Watanabedecidestoturnonthe
gaswhiletheywereallasleep.Thenhecuthisstomachwithameatknife.
Traditionisanothermeansofadherencetooutdatedideologies.Weseethisoccurrence
withthebehaviorandexpectationbetweentheprotagonistsfatherandsisterKikuko.Mysister
relaxedquitevisiblyoncehehadlefttheroom.Kikukoisunabletobehernaturalselfwithin
anyinteractionwithherfather.Thisisshownwhensheheadsoutsidewithherbrother,lightsa
cigaretteandcanonlymakeafurtivegesturebacktowardsthehousetoexplainwhydespite
wantingone,shewasunableto.Theprotagonistshowsushowhisrefusaltofollowtradition
causestheseverancefromhisfamily.

Traditionalsoactsaninsidiousagent,passingalongitsideologiestoothers,willingor
not.Theprotagonistisanunfortunatevictimofthisaswearemuchsubtlyshownhisrefusalto
facehisemotions.Hisdescriptionofhisfather,aformidablelookingmanwithalargestony
jawandfuriousblackeyebrows,depictscoldandhardman.Almostasifhewereaninanimate
object.Yetthroughoutthestorywefailtoseeanykindofemotionalcomplexityfromthe
protagonist.Indeedifcomestobeshownthathefailstorecognizehisownmotherduringdinner.
Whoisthat?Inthatphotographthere?..Yourmother.Cantyourecognizeyourown
mother?.....Mymother.Yousee,itsdark.Icantseeitverywell.

KazuoIshigurosAFamilySupperhasmanylayerstoit.Itsdepictionofthedangers
ofadherencetotraditionisconciseandcomplex.Fromtakingaboutanindividual'sabilityto
chooseforthemselves,asweseehappentotheprotagonist'smother.Tohowitpropagatesoften

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outdatedideologieswhichfurtherimpededecisionmaking,asshownwithKikukoschoices
versusherfather'sexpectationsofher.Itisselfsustaining,oftenpassingalongtootherswithout
theirknowledge,asweseehappenwiththeprotagonistbeingincapableoffacinghistrue
feelingsaboutthings.