¶ … Characterization of Shimamura in Kawabata's Snow Country
Shimamura reads a great deal about the Occidental ballet without ever having attended a performance; his passion for things beyond his ken is a strong characterization for the safe distance and detachment in his life and soul. Wealthy, bored, dissatisfied, and detached from life and love, he travels to Japan's snow country and meets the aging geisha, Komako. Distracted from his writing about a subject he has never personally experienced, he states:
"After all, these fingers keep a vivid memory of the woman I am going to see."
As Shimamura travels to his clandestine liaison with the geisha, his view of life and the temporary...
The figures and the background were unrelated, and yet the figures, transparent and intangible, and the background, dim in the gathering darkness, melted into a sort of symbolic world not of this world. Particularly when a light out in the mountains shone in the center of the girl's face, Shimamura felt his chest rise at the inexpressible beauty of it."
Shimamura attempts to force Komako into the mold of an ideal image -- just as in the mirrored reflection, yet…
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