Study Guide

A Wild Sheep Chase Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 48 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Wild Sheep Chase.
This section contains 421 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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A Wild Sheep Chase Summary & Study Guide Description

A Wild Sheep Chase Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami.

A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami is a wonderful combination of fantasy, mythology, mystery, comedy, and drama that leads the reader through the journey of one man's quest for his own identity, as well as for a very special sheep. Along the path, the man learns that not everyone is as they appear, that there are forces beyond one's control, and that even the weakest person can be a hero. In addition, he finds that in the end, it is his own mediocrity and selfish view of life that is responsible for much of his undoing.

The main character, who remains unnamed throughout the novel, is an advertising executive whose existence is one of self absorption and meritocracy. His meaningless life has no true emotional ties for him, and he lives each day as he did the previous, without any real passions, desires, or dreams. His wife, unable to contend with his lack of emotion, has left him for one of his friends, and even this seems to affect him only peripherally. His current girlfriend, a kind woman with a pleasant outlook on life, is a prime focus of his life. However, this is primarily due to her ears, which he describes as marvels of creation that contain special powers. Throughout the entire novel, no character is referenced by name.

The man finds himself as the recipient of a photograph from a friend, the Rat. After using it in an advertisement, the man finds himself bent to the will of the Boss, an underground right wing shadow figure who runs much of the political, financial, and social empire of Tokyo. The Boss is dying and sends a messenger to inform the man that he has one month to locate one of the sheep in the photograph, or he will be financially ruined, at best.

The man and his girlfriend travel across Japan, meeting several characters along the way who lead them to the conclusion that the sheep is a metaphysical being who uses its host to perform acts in an effort to create a united front, with the sheep at the helm. In the end, it is only through the Rat's acceptance of his weaknesses and the man's confrontation of his own meritocracy that the sheep is able to be defeated. While a fantastical tale in appearance, A Wild Sheep Chase is a novel about isolation, authority, and the duality of good and evil, as well as the story of one man's journey to find himself.

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This section contains 421 words
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