A Tale For The Time Being: Curiosity

In class we talk a lot about the ways in which a reading or understanding of a novel can be changed. For me, reading the Stanford Psych Professor’s website and the letter that “Harry” had sent to him, changed how I perceived the following pages. I found it particularly interesting how he painted the concept of suicide in Japan as being historically appreciated and a way to gain honor and to actually feel alive. Knowing this and that idea that this “Harry” character is most likely Nao’s father, Nao’s next narration about herself and her funeral seemed deeper than just bullying. Nao said at the end of her fake funeral after the video goes viral that she, “was almost proud. It felt kind of good to be popular.” I interpreted this further, questioning the cultural relevance of death and the concept that one has not fully lived until they have died. While witnessing her own funeral Nao actually felt important in a way that she had never felt before. The concept of death to me no longer seems so sad, but rather a curiosity. This is exactly how I now interpret the letters and Nao’s potential suicide and also Ruth’s actions. Overall, the book itself seems bring up curiosity. For Nao it is extending her knowledge on the idea of death for herself and her grandmother. Ruth also displays large amounts of curiosity as she investigates Nao and the people that she brings up in her diary entries trying to piece everything together. For me, the larger message here is that there is always more than one to look at something and all angles and curiosities should be explored before coming to a conclusive decision.

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