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A Personal Matter Setting & Symbolism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 41 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Personal Matter.
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Africa

To Bird, visiting the mysterious, far-off Africa has long been a goal and a dream. After looking for a long time at Bird's maps of the so-called "dark continent", it becomes a dream for Himiko as well. In both situations, Africa represents escape and irresponsibility. Meanwhile, in the opening lines of the first chapter, Africa is described in narration as being shaped like a skull, "gazing at Australia", with miniature maps showing both population distribution and "transportation routes" described in terms that evoke "unnatural death, raw and violent". In other words, Africa also represents decay, destruction, and "unnatural-ness", simultaneously foreshadowing the "unnatural", grotesque birth of Bird's baby and the parallel "unnatural-ness" of his determination to not take responsibility for his son's life.

Bird's Maps

Bird's maps of Africa, purchased in the first chapter, provide constant and consistent temptation throughout the narrative, reminding him of his dreams and...

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This section contains 890 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Personal Matter Study Guide
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