Shadows Of A Family

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Shadows of a Family Japanese culture is one that is steeped in tradition. The Japanese only need to go back to their cultural roots to understand the importance of the family. However, with the country becoming more Westernized, its younger generation seems more independent-minded regarding traditional practices. As the children begin to follow the Western way of life, it brings tension to the older generation. The Kazuo Ishiguro's story, "A Family Supper"�, illustrates the conflict of an older generation's tradition versus a younger generation's quest for independence.

Due to the adaptation of Western ways, the main character and his sister (Kikuko) are not interested in following the tradition of living together and taking care of their parents. The story's narrator, a Japanese man who lives in California, returns to Japan two years after his mother's death. His relationship with his parents becomes strained when he moves to California because they feel their son do not care for them.

He has no intention of moving back to Japan and taking care of his parents because he has adapted the Western way of life. The daughter also has no interest in her traditional role. She appears to have two different personalities. Whenever she is around her father she seems nervous and quiet, "Seeing me again seemed to make her excessively excited, and for a while she did nothing but giggle nervously. She answered him with short, formal replies."� (199). However, when her father was away, she acted just like a normal college girl, "My sister relaxed quiet visibly once he had left the room. Within a few minutes, she was chatting freely about her friends in Osaka and about her classes at university."� (199). Furthermore she smokes and has a boyfriend. She also wants to come to...