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awomanscorned's avatar

Has anyone read "A Pale View of Hills"?

Asked by awomanscorned (11261 points ) September 29th, 2010

I’m writing a paper and need an opinion/help!

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15 Answers

BoBo1946's avatar

I’ve not, but came here to tell you welcome to Fluther!

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BoBo1946's avatar

Welcome.

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve never read it, but if you explain the situation you need help with, I’ll be glad to render an opinion, or—better yet—help you figure out your opinion.

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wundayatta's avatar

I think you are definitely on the right track. Do you have more? Think about why the woman would drown her baby? Think about what it would have been like to be in Nagasaki when the bomb exploded. Think about the devastation all around. Could you imagine a future at such a time? Could you imagine a future for your child? Would you want your child to suffer for the rest of its life?

Maybe the mother thought she was doing the best she could for her child. Maybe the mother had lost all sense of self. Maybe she had post-partum depression magnified a million times. Other women kill their babies for reasons usually related to depression and hopelessness—justified or not.

Do some quick online research about post-partum depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome and the psychology of war victims. I think you’ll get some useful perspective.

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wundayatta's avatar

She smiled?

Hmmm. That puts something a little more ominous into it. Like maybe she has seen the end of the world and that also means the end of morality for her. The end of responsibility. Or—worse case scenario—a form of pathology—psychopath.

I’m sure the book is meant to be haunting. That was a terrible thing. I’ve been to Nagasaki and I’ve seen the memorials and the paper cranes, but that really gave me little feel for what it was like. Just the few words you’ve provided have helped create a different context for all the other stuff I know.

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Kayak8's avatar

I read the book (I also went to high school in Japan) and would encourage that some knowledge of Japanese culture would be helpful in interpretation. For example, traditionally (circa WWII) when a Japanese woman smiles it is discretely behind her hand. If this woman smiled openly, so that someone else could see it, I would think it would be more as a result of being nervous than happy or pleased.

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Kayak8's avatar

@noelleptc Well then, sorry I offered . . .

BarnacleBill's avatar

Self edited

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