Non-Western Literature

Reading Journals for Barefoot Gen


click on the journal question that intrigues you the most.
This will pull up a form for you to fill out responding to that journal.
  1. Compare and contrast how the Japanese sense of honor is shown in this novel and Mishima’s story “Patriotism.” click to answer

  2. The introduction by noted cartoonist Art Spiegelman references how Nakazawa uses the image of the sun as a visual symbol in this work. Explore and explain exactly how he does use the sun or any other visual symbolism in this graphic novel/manga combination of visual and textual information.  click to answer

  3. Also in the introduction, Spiegelman claims “Ultimately, Gen is a very optimistic work.” Explain how a story set in Hiroshima during the atomic bombing, that shows the effects of that bombing, could be seen as an optimistic book. click to answer

  4. Another theme that seems to run throughout the work is sacrifice – in many different ways. The Japanese people sacrifice – they are sacrificed – they offer sacrifices – etc. Explore and explain how this theme is used and what it tells us about Nakazawa’s view of Japanese culture at this point in their history.  click to answer

  5. Compare and contrast the patriotism of Barefoot Gen and the short story “Patriotism.” Which one strikes you as being the most patriotic? Is it a positive trait? Mishima prided himself on being a great nationalist and patriot – so did Gen/Nakazawa’s father. Which one was right? Could both be right?   click to answer