Suicide, Alienation, and Sexuality as Radical Actions in Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood: A Study of Slavoj Zizek’s Subjectivity


As one of the most outstanding Japanese authors, Haruki Murakami always comes up with unique ideas of surrealistic story. Yet, his only realistic novel, Norwegian Wood (2000), is also a masterpiece. Translated from the original version entitled Noruwei no Mori (1987), this novel tells about a complicated story rooted from the death of the beloved one. This research aims to investigate the subjectivity of the main characters: Kizuki, Naoko, and Toru as they do certain radical actions to be out from their symbolic mechanism. Set in Tokyo during the late 1960s, the background shows the student movement which grew wider after the World War II to protest the government. Nevertheless, their ambition to be free from the structures that chained them do not always come true. Some of them left their symbolic mechanism to enter another one. In the end, the characters cannot be the Other; as long as they are still structured by a particular symbolic mechanism they would only be able to be the other.

Author Information
Sulistyaningtyas, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2018
Stream: Humanities - Literature/Literary Studies*

This paper is part of the ACAH2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon