Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories Themes

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 Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories.
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Gloom and Decay

One section of this work is called "A World in Decay," and in fact a certain macabre sensibility can be found not only in the stories under this heading, but most of the stories in the volume. The title short story, "Rashomon," features a once-proud imperial gate, now in ruins, full of dead bodies and a shriveled old woman desecrating the dead in order to survive by selling wigs. The unnamed servant protagonist uses the old woman's moral relativism against her, robbing her of perhaps her only possession, her robe, as he bounds into the night into a life of crime. Setting has a profound relationship to character and plot here. "In a Bamboo Grove" uses the same period in Japanese history to tell a tale of shocking and sudden moral depravity; Tajomaru's own evil spreads like a sickness to the formerly virtuous Masago, rotting her...

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This section contains 918 words
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Buy the Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories Study Guide
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