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Book analysis of The Tale of Genji

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His mother, Lady Kiritsubo, concubine to Emperor Kiritsubo dies when he is at the age of three. The tale goes to note that the concubine was important in the life of emperor as he continued remembering her. However, Emperor Kiritsubo goes on to marry a woman (Lady Fujitsubo) on the account that she had characters similar to the already deceased Lady Kiritsubo. This bondage, between the emperor and Lady Fujitsubo, indicates the beginning of the intertwining love for women exhibited by Genji. He comes to fall in love with his stepmother, followed by other unfulfilling love affairs. Genji meets a niece of the Lady Fujitsubo, Murasaki, who fascinates her and he tries to orient her to be an ideal woman, just like Lady Fujitsubo, for marrying. The tale also notes that Genji reconciled by his wife, Lady Aoi, who subsequently gives birth to a son. Genji becomes sorrowful when the son dies allowing Murasaki to find another point for proving her love by acting as the main consolation. Even after marrying Murasaki, another yet love affair between Genji and concubine of Suzaku. Suzaku became the Emperor after the death of Emperor Kiritsubo. Genji’s love life continues when he goes on to fall in love with a daughter to a prosperous man in Settsu province. Genji finishes his imperial carreer when his secret son with Lady Fujitsubo, Reizei , is lifted to be the emperor. The love and emotional life of the energetic Genji starts to depreciate after he turns 40 years. Albeit the declining love life, Genji goes on to marry another wife, known as the Third Princess. However, Genji’s nephew Kashiwagi has a secret affair with the Third Princess and they bear a son. The tale ends when Murasaki dies. Analysis The main theme in the story is evanescence, which controls most of the characters’ actions in the tale. The impermanence of all things, in the tale, serves in manipulating the plot of the story. There is need to classify the act of evanescence in categories to help in understanding the tale. In this tale, evanescence of love, life, and family values. The dissipation of these three aspects forms the major framework of the book. Evanescence of love The tale is complete story of the impermanence of love. Many characters in the tale involve themselves in love, which later becomes like an illusion to them. The following quote is just an illustration of the extent of love evanescence occurring in this tale: Did not we vow that we would neither of us be either before or after the other even in travelling the last journey of life? And can you find it in your heart to leave me now… (Murasaki, 2006, p. 19). The beginning of the tale implicates the love existing between Emperor Kiritsubo and Genji’s mother, Lady Kiritsubo. When she dies Emperor Kiritsubo finds it difficult to forget her because of the attachment he had with her. His need to marry a woman resembling his deceased wife, also symbolizes the extent to which he was missing the love he had for his wife. Further, the writer also indicates the dissipation of love that Genji had for his mother through his relationship with Murasaki. Considering that his father had searched for a stepmother having the traits similar to her mother’s, he takes the opportunity of grooving Murasaki to take after her stepmother. The extent to which Genji missed her mother is evident in the consolation statement offered by Murasaki: Life is full of uncertainties, perhaps one day some unforeseen circumstance would bring her into his life once more…(Murasaki, 2006 p. 47) This means that Genji was still yearning for the love of his mother, which at the time had already vanished during her death. Genji also gets detached from the love of his life when Murasaki die