The Woman in the Dunes Essay

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Hart is a freelance writer and author of several books. In the following essay, Hart examines the portrayal of the woman in Abe's novel, comparing it to the essence of the geisha as presented in Japanese novels written before World War II.

The character referred to only as "woman" in Abe's The Woman in the Dunes is a far cry from the portrayal of "woman as geisha" that was often presented in Japanese novels written before the devastation of World War II. And the author seems to almost go out of his way to make a statement contrary to the qualities for which geisha were known. For example, geisha were trained in the arts, were known for their grace and beauty, and were engaging in conversation. Whereas the woman in Abe's novel has a very limited scope of knowledge, and the narrator of the story mentions only her...

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This section contains 2,008 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Woman in the Dunes Study Guide
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