Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories - Study Guide Spinning Gears Summary & Analysis

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"Spinning Gears" is an autobiographical work covering what would be among the last few days of Akutagawa's life. He heads toward Tokyo for a wedding reception. While on the train, a man in a raincoat sits next to him, and he is met with a sense of unease. He sees or hears mention of a raincoat several more times, and believes a higher power or fate is trying to tell him something. These "omens" crescendo in a moment when Akutagawa learns his brother-in-law suicidally throws himself in front of a train, wearing a raincoat.

Akutagawa's "last days" are similarly filled with these sort of frightful omens, seemingly innocuous events that Akutagawa's paranoid mind puts together to mean death and doom. He bestows great significance in the fact that one slipper is missing when he wakes in the morning, for example. He learns from his sister...

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This section contains 607 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories Study Guide
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