Helix: An In Depth Analysis I. Introduction Helix is a short story narrated through a first person perspective in a relationship, particularly that of a man. He discusses the feelings that undertake him in his duration of being a part of a pair, his sentiments, his fears, and his attachment towards the woman that he is in relationship with…
The story goes on with the fiance informing the guy that she will be leaving for a certain seminar where people are invited to return to their clear state of mind. This brings them into discussion and some reminiscing of the past, back when they were nineteen and young, when they have made love for the first time inside the spa. Here they stand now, with the man being dragged of the idea that he has to meet up with his girlfriend where they’d usually meet. Meanwhile, the title is a projection of how the narrator felt after their conversation and looking back of the past. He realizes how their lives as a couple have transcended time, thus using the phenomena of a helix into picture. He relates how the phenomena of a helix can be compared to two lovers who is nothing in the vastness of the universe, yet they are joined together in a spiral, like a dance, intertwined and related to each other. II. Background The text was written by a Japanese writer with the pen name Banana Yoshimoto. Its time frame could have been written during the 20th century modern Japan where cafes quiet establishments along sidewalks. Another thing is that Banana is born in 1964 which makes her one of the contemporary writers in Japan at the present. She was a poet’s daughter and she had a sister, Haruno Yoike, who is also a minion of literature. This is because Banana’s sister is one of the famous cartoonists in Japan. Banana usually writes about her experiences as a writer and novels that deal with Japanese individuals caught up in frustrations of issues concerning life, love, relationships, and existence instead of writing personal issues that she face as a wife and a mother. Two of her famous novels were turned into movies by famous producers in Japan. Her novel, Kitchen, was created into TV Movie series in two different versions while also having another version in Hong Kong in 1997. Banana graduated from Nihon University with a degree in Literature which explains her fondness in writing. According to Yoshimoto’s official online site, she actually won with her first work, "Kitchen", in the 6th Kaien Newcomer Writers Prize in November, 1987 and then the 16th Izumi Kyoka Literary Prize in January, 1988. Her other awards included the 39th edition, Best Newcomer Artists by the Minister of Education in August, 1988 with "Kitchen" and "Utakata/Sankuchuari”. She also had more awards in the field of literature for other stories outside Japan, particularly in Italy, such as; Literary Prize Scanno in June, 1993 and Fendissime Literary Prize in March, 1996 and Literary Prize Maschera d' Argento in November, 1999. (Yoshimoto Banana Profile 2011) While her ever successful novel, Kitchen is published in 20 different languages all over the world. III. Contemporary Japan The Old Japan is an exclusive culture after shutting from the rest of the world on its own after the Second World War. Meanwhile, the Modern Japan has started to acquire influences from European and Western counterparts. Their culture remains to be greatly intact by the closing of Japanese trade after the war. The busy streets of Tokyo where people find their way during rush hours are seen in periodicals and movies, but this is just a part of the whole of Japan’s culture. What people do not usually understand is the individuality that Japanese people tend to exhibit in their everyday undertakings. Statistics show ...
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