Shizuko's Daughter Themes

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Death

Either actual death or reference to death is a recurring theme in this story. The novel begins with the suicide of Shizuko, Yuki's mother; this suicide flavors the rest of the story, hanging over all of the events of Yuki's life. Because of her mother's death, Yuki is pushed deeper and deeper into herself. Her mother, who was an artist, encouraged Yuki to think independently. This attitude, however, did not provide Yuki with the skills to deal with the Japanese culture, which disapproved of the concept of the individual. Thus, upon her mother's death, a great support for Yuki's personality also died.

Toward the end of the story, Yuki's grandfather dies. It is at her maternal grandparents' home that Yuki receives the most positive sense of family life. So the death of her grandfather represents yet one more instance where she loses love in her life.

Tradition versus Nonconformity

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This section contains 717 words
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Buy the Shizuko's Daughter Study Guide
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Shizuko's Daughter from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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