A Pale View of Hills Summary
Kazuo Ishiguro

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A Pale View of Hills Summary

As in all of Ishiguro's work, characters must balance the pulls of obligation, duty, and the established ways of doing things — represented in the novel as typical Japanese virtues — against the desire for individual freedom and happiness. The traditional Japanese ideals are represented most strongly perhaps by Etsuko's first father-in-law, Ogata-San, who does not like the way Japan is changing under the American occupation. "We may have lost the war." he once says, "but that's no reason to ape the ways of the enemy." Other Japanese have accepted the view that the war was evil but have converted their energies to capitalism and company in the same way they once single-mindedly served empire.

Sachiko, a female neighbor of Etsuko, and her willful daughter Mariko, represent a rejection of old and new Japanese values, and present an alternative which may have ultimately prompted Etsuko to leave her...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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A Pale View of Hills Short Guide

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