Anthropomorphic Imagery and Characterization in Haruki Murakami’s Novel Kafka on the Shore


The research paper traces the effect of employing anthropomorphic elements in Haruki Murakami’s novel Kafka on the Shore. The delicate art of characterization when combined with anthropomorphism highlights the very nature and function of Murakami’s animals. The article traces the function and effect of imagery, as a literary technique, in highlighting the characteristics of the various animal characters, encountered by the human characters, on their quest for the unknown. Imbued with recurring themes of “search for identity” and “postmodern strains”, the novel stands as a testament to the social conventions that plagued the masses of Japan. The qualitative analysis puts forth the irony of ascribing identity to stray animals by the ones who themselves lack an identity and sense of self. The novel has been subjected to qualitative analysis from two perspectives: character portrayal and imagery, in terms of the animal characters of the novel. The specific tools adopted for scrutiny are a mix of rhetorical and narrative tools: Character Attributes, Types of Imagery (thermal, olfactory, tactile, auditory, gustatory, kinesthetic, visual), Point-of-View, Simile, Metaphor, Allusion, Hyperbole, Onomatopoeia.

Author Information
Anwesha Ray, Manipal University, India

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2017
Stream: Linguistics, Language and Cultural Studies

This paper is part of the ACCS2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon