The Gift of Rain Themes & Motifs

Tan Twan Eng
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Culture as Identity (or inherited identities)

The novel argues that identity is inextricably linked to a character’s culture and that their culture influences almost all of their decisions. Every character in Eng’s novel has clear loyalties and never needs to question who they are, what they believe, and what they fight for. Endo-san only comes to Penang on out of his sense of perfect Japanese duty. These cultural identities are very much rooted in long standing historical tradition, which can most clearly be seen in Endo-san. He comes from a family that was historically in the Samurai caste. This puts him in the position to follow duty endlessly and to try to retain any lost honor. His culture dictated the duty of his ancestors and it controls Endo-san as well. The concepts of reincarnation, or repeated lives, only serves to reinforce this idea.

Noel Hutton...

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This section contains 2,301 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Gift of Rain Study Guide
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