Books and Movies Reviews

The Tale of Genji

One main theme in The Tale of Genji is the idea of how relationships worked in the emperor’s court in Japan one thousand years ago. I don’t think that the story so much explains how all people acted towards one another, but rather gives insight to the culture and guidelines for courting and marriage.Underlying the story itself, there is a fine outline for what is considered right or wrong for men and women to do in regards to relationships.
This theme of interaction between the opposite sex as well as love and lust is definitely one of the main themes in the story.This is seen in Chapter 2 when Genji and his friends speak at length about their past relationships with women.This particular scene seems to set a stage for what is to happen in the story between Genji and the women he has relationships with.
Also discussed at length in this story is the idea of hierarchy in this society.Hierarchy is not something in the story as an aside, but is crucial for the themes of The Tale of Genji. Rank, power and position all have a huge impact on with whom one marries, visits and has relationships with.These roles help define the themes of love and interaction within the story which not only give a piece of history, but a good story as well.

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