Textual Analysis Of No –no Boy Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Japan, United States, Family, America, War, Parents, Life, Death

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/01/10

The theme death is used in the narrative to depict the loss the characters suffer because of their actions and consequences. The book is primarily centered on the ultimate fate that the characters encounter as a result of the choices and decisions that they make. Most of the characters those are present in this book are affected by death in one way or another. The biggest being the protagonist by losing his mother to suicide because of denial. The protagonist is struggling to come to the reality and self-discovery so that he can realize his place in the society after spending two years in an internment camp and another two years in a federal prison. His community expresses rejection towards him and the constant conflict between him and his parents doesn’t make things any better when he tries to fit into a society that ostracizes him because he refused to be enlisted in the United States Army. Therefore, also when the protagonist’s friend Kenji dies from complications that had resulted from an injury that he sustained in combat, he got so frustrated that he began to think why things happened the way they did. The narrative is predominantly based on the theme of death which serves as a severe blow mainly to the protagonist Ichiro that leads him to a journey of self-discovery.
The entirety of the narrative is based on the conflict of Ichiro and his parents, his tribulations in confinement and the moments of dealing with the rejection that he faced for refusing to join the armed forces. All these incidents haunted him for a long time, and the book depicts this by showing us the way he suffers from all the actions that took place. He cannot contend with the situation of the inner turmoil that he was experiencing, and the fact that his friend who was injured tried to help him had died. His other friend who went to prison as well doesn’t give much thought to life and just chooses to have fun, enjoy his life and not think about anything at all. Ichiro is bombarded with the notion of staying loyal to his parents, his country, the United States and the culture of the Japanese as well. He is torn between choices to forswear allegiance to Japan and its Emperor. So the idea of not swearing allegiance to Japan and refusing to fight for the United States leaves him in a state of more confusion therefore leading to his decision of self-discovery.
The defeat of Japan is also a symbol of death. It signifies an end to an era that was the World War ΙΙ. During the Second World War, the United States and Japan were at war, this led to the harsh treatment of Japanese people who were living in America. Although they had done nothing wrong, they were viewed as criminals, and this led to some Japanese men enlisting in the armed forces and proof that they were true Americans. Ichiro’s mother, on the other hand, could not believe that Japan had been defeated, and the war had come to an end. The symbolism that is portrayed in this narrative about the theme of death also cuts across to the aspect of the war and signified its end. The book's beginning which shows Ichiro coming home after the war had also ended depicts or marks the end of an era and beginning of another. All he had to do was to contend with the things that had happened and work on saving face from the discrimination that he faced from the society.
Ichiro’s mother being old-fashioned encouraged him and his brother to hold on to their Japanese culture. As a result, this led to many disagreements between them and when she realized that Japan had lost the war, she became even more rebellious and refused to accept that reality. What followed were constant conflicts between her and Ichiro’s father which in turn led him to heavy drinking. The author explains ‘there is a period in the middle of each night and day when one dies for a few hours, neither dreaming nor thinking nor tossing nor hating nor loving, but dying for a little while because life progresses in just such a way’ (Okada 1978). The theme of death and suffering, guilt, and resentment that American-Japanese encounter is brought forth in this book by showing what they went through during this period in the United States. In the advent the world war and the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were viewed as traitors and were the objects of suspicion and this led them to be sent to internment camps where some of them died. After returning from the internment camp, Ichiro felt lucky that he was free, but the resentment that he was experiencing from his family and friends was slowly eating him away. All along Ichiro blames his mother for refusing to serve in the army and the consequent cold treatment he got from everybody who knew he was a ‘No - No’ person.
The narrative is written in a straightforward language that most of the readers find easy to comprehend. Hence, the symbolisms and writing style that the writer presents becomes easy to grasp. The narrative also introduces the theme of assimilation which is very evident in the way that Ichiro’s family is trying to fit into the culture and lifestyle of the United States despite her mother’s resistance that leads to her self-denial that finally culminated in her death. The book is mostly centered on Japanese characters and their fight to seek identity in the United States. Some of them still feel loyal to Japan while some are struggling to accept the eventuality that the United States is their new home and have to contend with the fact that they have to start building their lives in America. In the process of all these self-seeking many Japanese Americans lose their lives in one way or another, the most notable one being Ichiro’s mother, Freddie, and Bob.
The frustrations that the Japanese Americans go through are very extreme which leads them not have even a spark of hope. Their forceful enlisting in the armed forces traumatizes them more because they will be sent to internment camps or federal prisons. Freddie, who is also incarcerated in the internment camp, lives a reckless, carefree and has a defiant attitude. He thinks that his life is shattered, and he cannot build his life with what he has gone through. He is finally killed as most of his fellow Japanese American has a tragic ending. They struggle to gain acceptance in America by assimilating into the lifestyle and culture of the Americans. Some of them are willing and hopeful to lead a successful and meaningful life. Ichiro’s young brother in an ambitious young man who is determined to join the armed forces in order to proof that he is a real American.
Given the tragic ending and the unfortunate events that befall some Japanese Americans, the narrative evokes much sympathy for their misery and death. The narrative is written in a way that the audience or the readers can perceive things from the character’s perspective and, therefore induce more sympathy. The book presents quite a number of views concerning the theme of death during this period. The lives of the Japanese Americans are mainly centered on whether you served in the armed forces or not. Those who served in the military despise those who did not serve in the military like Ichiro. Albeit all these shortcomings, Ichiro tries to find himself, vowing to reconstruct his life and embrace the fact that he is a real American. After the death of his mother, he regrets his actions of refusing to serve in the army and he becomes hopeful about his future and in the process he encounters a number of people who shape his perception of himself. The narrative is set in a way that the reader is eager to know what happened after each chapter with the deaths of some characters being predominant in the storyline and eventually as the protagonist seeks to forgive his mother and himself.

Works cited

Okada, John. No – No Boy. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1978. Print.

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WePapers. (2021, January, 10) Textual Analysis Of No –no Boy Essay Example. Retrieved August 09, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/textual-analysis-of-no-no-boy-essay-example/
"Textual Analysis Of No –no Boy Essay Example." WePapers, 10 Jan. 2021, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/textual-analysis-of-no-no-boy-essay-example/. Accessed 09 August 2022.
WePapers. 2021. Textual Analysis Of No –no Boy Essay Example., viewed August 09 2022, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/textual-analysis-of-no-no-boy-essay-example/>
WePapers. Textual Analysis Of No –no Boy Essay Example. [Internet]. January 2021. [Accessed August 09, 2022]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/textual-analysis-of-no-no-boy-essay-example/
"Textual Analysis Of No –no Boy Essay Example." WePapers, Jan 10, 2021. Accessed August 09, 2022. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/textual-analysis-of-no-no-boy-essay-example/
WePapers. 2021. "Textual Analysis Of No –no Boy Essay Example." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved August 09, 2022. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/textual-analysis-of-no-no-boy-essay-example/).
"Textual Analysis Of No –no Boy Essay Example," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 10-Jan-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/textual-analysis-of-no-no-boy-essay-example/. [Accessed: 09-Aug-2022].
Textual Analysis Of No –no Boy Essay Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/textual-analysis-of-no-no-boy-essay-example/. Published Jan 10, 2021. Accessed August 09, 2022.

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