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Kafka on the Shore

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In Kafka on the shore, author Haruki Murakami communicates the idea that a humans' life is a journey and they strive to identify their purpose in life. As Murakami illustrates in his book, this journey isn't easy and requires a strong heart and support to be successful. Murakami effectively structures the narrative to illustrate this idea. The narrative is structured to the traditional journey format. The main characters come across many obstacles which need to be conquered in order for them to continue their journey. Another point which will be discussed is that support from friends and family is essential because if you lose your way on your journey, they can pick you up and put you back on track. Sometimes this help can come, not only in a physical form but also can come in a mental form. Finally, rejection is an idea which Murakami has brought across to the readers by using the lives of Kafka and Nakata, the main characters.

Not long after Kafka on the Shore begins, the reader can pick that there is some sort of journey which central characters are about to embark on. Kafka Tamura, a 15 year-old boy runs away from home to escape a 'curse' bestowed upon him by his father which Kafka states is "I will kill my father and be with my mother and sister"1 . As the book progresses, readers also find that Nakata, a central character, is starting his own journey as well. Nakata is made out to be a scatterbrained man who doesn't really understand where he belongs. As the reader gets to know Nakata we find out that his journey is all about trying to work out how to return to his past self by finding his other half even though Nakata all he is trying to do is attempt to find They both are seeking out what it means to be fulfilled and to 'find their other half'. Kafka is constantly reminded by his conscience figure 'Crow' that he is "the world's toughest fifteen-year-old"2. This reminder is just the encouragement that Kafka needs to push on through the hard times he will encounter during his journey. "When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in."3. This means that for Kafka and also Nakata, when their journey is finished they will feel completely different to how they started. Kafka benefits the most from the journey because it brings him 'out of his shell'.

Support from the people around us is greatly appreciated when we fall down or are about to. Once Kafka and Nakata have set off on their life-changing journeys, neither are aware that they are influencing and supporting each other and the events which occur or will occur. Kafka, believing that he is led somewhere by fate, reaches a town called Shikoku and comes to a private library where he takes up residence. Here he is introduced to Oshima who many times gives Kafka advice about his current situation. Kafka and Oshima strike a relationship which



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