Obasan | Joy Kogawa | A Review


Obasan | Joy Kogawa | A Review

Obasan  Joy Kogawa  A Review

Obasan by Joy Kogawa-A Review

“Obasan” by Joy Kogawa is a profoundly moving and beautifully written novel that explores the impact of the internment of Japanese-Canadians during World War II. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Naomi Nakane, Kogawa offers a poignant and deeply personal account of a dark chapter in Canadian history, shedding light on the injustices faced by Japanese-Canadians and the lasting effects of trauma and discrimination.

At the heart of the novel is the theme of identity and belonging. Naomi’s struggle to reconcile her Japanese heritage with her Canadian upbringing is poignantly portrayed as she reflects, “We are the silence. We are the observers. We are the listeners. We have never been allowed to speak.”

Kogawa’s prose is both lyrical and evocative, immersing readers in the emotional landscapes of the characters. Her descriptions of the internment experience are vivid and haunting, capturing the sense of loss and displacement felt by the Japanese-Canadian community. “The heavy pain inside is not the pain I feel now. It is the pain I felt back then,” Naomi recalls.

The novel delves into the intergenerational trauma experienced by the Japanese-Canadian community, as the effects of the internment reverberate through the years. Kogawa’s exploration of this theme is deeply introspective, reflecting on the burden of history carried by Naomi and her family. “No one can lay the ghosts of the past to rest,” she writes.

Obasan” also examines the power of memory and the process of coming to terms with the past. Naomi’s journey of self-discovery and healing is beautifully depicted as she comes to understand, “I am my history. If I pretend otherwise, I will deceive myself.”

Through the character of Aunt Emily, Kogawa presents a voice of resilience and resistance. Aunt Emily’s determination to fight for justice and recognition serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of speaking out against injustice. “We have to open our mouths and speak,” she urges.

The novel’s exploration of silence as a coping mechanism and a form of resistance is poignant and thought-provoking. Naomi’s reflections on silence are deeply introspective, “The worst of it lies like a silence between us. A blackness that says nothing.”

In conclusion, “Obasan” by Joy Kogawa is a powerful and deeply affecting novel that confronts the dark history of Japanese-Canadians’ internment during World War II. Through beautifully crafted prose and a deeply empathetic narrative, Kogawa sheds light on the lasting effects of trauma and the importance of confronting the injustices of the past. This novel is a compelling and necessary read, offering a deeply human and compassionate perspective on a painful chapter in Canadian history. 0 0 0.

Obasan | Joy Kogawa | A Review

N.B. The article ‘Obasan | Joy Kogawa | A Review’ originally belongs to the book ‘Reviews of Selected Motivational Books‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD)
  15. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Early Islamic Period (622 AD-661 AD)
  16. Reviews on William Shakespeare’s Works
  17. Reviews of Charles Dickens’ Works
  18. Reviews of John Milton’s Literary Works
  19. Reviews of Some Iconic Travelogues
  20. Shakespeare’s Sonnets-Critical Studies
  21. Analytical Studies of Selected Poems of Sarojini Naidu
  22. Analytical Studies of Selected Poems of Rabindranath Tagore
  23. Analytical Studies of Selected Indian English Poems
  24. Reviews of Selected Motivational Books

Additional Searches:

  1. The Best Motivational Books
  2. Motivational Books
  3. The Rich Dad Poor Dad
  4. You Can Win
  5. Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
  6. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  7. Motivational Quotes
  8. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  9. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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