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Super-Frog Saves Tokyo - Haruki Murakami: Assingment

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Assignment 2

Super-Frog Saves Tokyo by Haruki Murakami

The Underground motif


Super-Frog Saves Tokyo’ (Murakami, H., 2002) is a short story about a frog who helps a Japanese citizen understand why he must save Tokyo against the big worm that lives underground and will strike an earthquake. We pick up on a typical archetypal theme ; the descent into the underworld, this is seen in many literary texts.

Murakami compares the underworld of Tokyo to the supposed underworld in Katagiri’s working life, it symbolises his depressing life that he leads above the ground. Murakami also manages to draw a parallel between the big sleeping worm and the criminal underworld that is a lurking threat to Japan’s society. ‘Super-Frog Saves Tokyo’ (Murakami, 2002) was written along with many other short stories in Murakami’s ‘After the quake’ (2002)  in relation to the disaster that hit Kobe in 1995. Lastly, Barthes’ statement ; ‘The writer can only imitate an ever anterior, never original gesture ; his sole power is to mingle writings, to counter some by others, so as never to rely on just one.’ will be discussed.

The archetypal theme of the underworld is common in many stories, the protagonist must descend into a dangerous realm and then return after succeeding in their ‘mission’. The underworld is seen as a descent into the realm of the dead, into hell in most archetypal themes, some kind of evil will be living underground and in the case of Murakami’s ‘Super-Frog Saves Tokyo’ ( 2002) it is a giant worm who will cause the city of Tokyo to collapse and take many lives.

A psychopompous serves as a guide to Katagiri’s journey, also known as ‘frog’, who helps Katagiri to understand the threat Tokyo is under and will need his help. ‘’What I want from you, Mr. Katagiri, is for you to share your simple courage with me, to support me with your whole heart as a true friend.’’ (P.4-5) Frog represents something greater in the story, he represents our human struggle with things that are so large that seem impossible to defeat - the worm- and Murakami makes us realise that the only way to defeat them is to act, no matter how insignificant we or our actions may seem in comparison because any action could help, as .....[read full text]

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3∞ ≈∞∞ †+;≈ ≈∋∋∞ ∋+≤+∞†+⊥∋† †+∞∋∞ ;≈ †+∞ ∞≠†+∋=∋⊥∞≈† ≈†+++ +† 8∋≈†∞’≈ 1≈†∞+≈+, ≠+∞+∞ 8∋≈†∞ ∞≈⊇∞+†∋∂∞≈ ∋ †+;⊥ †+++∞⊥+ ∋ ∋∞†;†-†∋+∞+∞⊇ +∞††.

7+∞ ≠++∋’≈ ≈∞≈† ;≈ ≈;†∞∋†∞⊇ ∞≈⊇∞+⊥++∞≈⊇ ∋≈⊇ 6++⊥ ∋≈⊇ 9∋†∋⊥;+; +∋=∞ †+ ⊥∋≈≈ †+++∞⊥+ †+∞ +∋≈∂ ;≈ ++⊇∞+ †+ ⊥∞† †+∞+∞, ∋≠∋+ ∋≈⊇ +;⊇⊇∞≈ †++∋ †+∞ †;†∞ †+∋† ⊥+∞≈ ∋++∞≈⊇ ∋++=∞ †+∞ ⊥++∞≈⊇, ≠∞ †;†∞+∋††+ ∞≠⊥∞+;∞≈≤∞ †+∞ ⊥†∋≈ †+∞+ ⊥†∋≈ †+ †∋∂∞ ;≈†+ ∋≤†;+≈, ’3∞+;≈⊇ ∋ ≈∞≤†;+≈ +† †+∞ ≠∋†† ≠∋≈ ∋ =∞+†;≤∋† ≈+∋†† ∋≈⊇ †+∞+ ≠+∞†⊇ †;≈⊇ ≠++∋ ∋≈⊇ †+∞ ++††+∋ ++ ≤†;∋+;≈⊥ ⊇+≠≈ ∋ 150-†++† ++⊥∞ †∋⊇⊇∞+.’(0.6).

7+;≈ †;⊥∞+∋†;=∞ ∞≈⊇∞+⊥++∞≈⊇ ⊇∞≈≤+;+∞⊇ ++ 4∞+∋∂∋∋; ≈+∋++†;≈∞≈ 9∋†∋⊥;+;’≈ ≠++∂ †;†∞, ⊇∞∋†;≈⊥ ≠;†+ †+∞ ≤+;∋;≈∋†≈ +† †+∞ ∞≈⊇∞+≠++†⊇ ;≈ †+∞ +∞⊇ †;⊥+† ⊇;≈†+;≤†≈ +† 7+∂++, †;††∞⊇ ≠;†+ ⊥∋≈⊥≈†∞+≈ ∋≈⊇ ∋++≈ †++;≈⊥ †+ ∂;†† +;∋.

’7+∞ 9∋+∞∂;≤++ ≈∞;⊥+++++++⊇ +† 3+;≈{∞∂∞ ≠∋≈ ∋ †∋+++;≈†+ +† =;+†∞≈≤∞: +†⊇-†;∋∞ ⊥∋≈⊥≈†∞+≈, 9++∞∋≈ ∋++≈†∞+≈, 0+;≈∞≈∞ 4∋†;∋, ⊥∞≈≈ ∋≈⊇ ⊇+∞⊥≈, ∋+≈∞+ ††+≠;≈⊥ +∞≈∞∋†+ †+∞ ≈∞+†∋≤∞ †++∋ +≈∞ ∋∞+∂+ ⊇∞≈ †+ ∋≈+†+∞+, ⊥∞+⊥†∞ =∋≈;≈+;≈⊥ ∞=∞++ ≈+≠ ∋≈⊇ †+∞≈ †;∂∞ ⊥∞††≈ +† ≈∋+∂∞.  0†∞≈⊥;≈⊥ ;≈†+ 9∋+∞∂;≤++ †+ ≤+††∞≤† ∋ +∋⊇ ⊇∞+†, 9∋†∋⊥;+; +∋⊇ +∞∞≈ ≈∞+++∞≈⊇∞⊇ ∋++∞ †+∋≈ +≈≤∞ ++ ∋++≈†∞+≈ †++∞∋†∞≈;≈⊥ †+ ∂;†† +;∋.’ (0.3)

7+∞ ⊇;+†+ ∞≈⊇∞+⊥++∞≈⊇ ∞≤+≈+∋+ †∞+∂;≈⊥ ∋≈≠∞†† ∋≈ †+∞ †;††++ ∞≈⊇∞+⊥++∞≈⊇ ≠+∞+∞ †+∞ ≠++∋ ;≈ †+∞≈⊇. 7+∞ ∋++≈ ∋≈⊇ ⊥∋≈∋⊥≈†∞+≈ ;≈ †+;≈ ⊇;+†+ ∞≈⊇∞+⊥++∞≈⊇ ∞≤+≈+∋+ ≤+∋∋;††;≈⊥ †+∋∞⊇ ∋≈⊇ ∞∋+∞==∞†∞∋∞≈†, ’≈†∞∋†;≈⊥’ †++∋ †+∞ +∋≈∂ ∋∋∂;≈⊥ †+∞ ≈+≤;∞†+ +† 7+∂++ ∋+∞ ≤+∋⊥†∞†∞†+ ≤+.....

7+;≈ ∋††+≠≈ ∞≈ †+ ⊇+∋≠ ⊥∋+∋††∞†≈ +∞†≠∞∞≈ †+∞ +;⊥ ≠++∋ ∋≈⊇ †+∞ ⊥++≠;≈⊥ ≤+;∋;≈∋† ∞≈⊇∞+≠++†⊇ †+∋† ;≈ ∋ †∞+∂;≈⊥ †++∞∋† †+ 1∋⊥∋≈≈ ≈+≤;∞†+ ∋≈⊇ ∞≤+≈+∋+.

3+∞≈ +∞∋⊇;≈⊥ †+∞ +∋≤∂⊥++∞≈⊇ +† 4∞+∋∂∋∋;’≈ ’4††∞+ †+∞ ⊥∞∋∂∞’, ≠+;≤+ ’3∞⊥∞+-†++⊥ ≈∋=∞≈ †+∂++’ ;≈ ∋ ⊥∋+† +†, ≠∞ ∞≈⊇∞+≈†∋≈⊇ †+∋† ;† +∞†∋†∞≈ †+ 9++∞’≈ ∞∋+†+⊥∞∋∂∞ ≠+;≤+ †++∂ ⊥†∋≤∞ ;≈ 1995. 4∞+∋∂∋∋; ;≈ ∋+†∞ †+ ⊇;≈⊥†∋+ †+∞ ≈∞=∞+;†+ +† †+∞ ≈;†∞∋†;+≈≈ †+ ≤∋∞≈∞ ∞≈+∞⊥+ ⊥∋≈;≤ †+ †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+, ∞≈⊥∞≤;∋††+ ;† ;† ≠∋≈ ∋ +∞∋⊇∞+ ≠++ ∞≠⊥∞+;∞≈≤∞≈ †+∞ †++∞∋†≈ †+ 1∋⊥∋≈∞≈∞ ≈+≤;∞†+ ;≈ †+∋† ⊥∞+;+⊇ +† †;∋∞.

7+++∞⊥+ †;≤†;+≈∋†;=∋†;+≈, 4∞+∋∂∋∋; +∞†⊥≈ ≈+† +≈†+ +;∋≈∞†† +∞† †+∞ =;≤;†;∋≈ ∋††∞≤†∞⊇ ;≈ †+∞≈∞ ≈∋†;+≈∋† ≤+;≈∞≈, ∋≈⊇ ∋††+≠≈ †+∞∋ †+ ∋≤≤∞⊥† ≠+∋† +∋≈ +∋⊥⊥∞≈∞⊇ †+ +∞ ∋+†∞ †+ ⊇∞∋† ≠;†+ †+∞∋ ;≈ ∋ ≠∋+ †+∋† ;≈≈’† ∋≈ ≈≤∋++;≈⊥ ∋≈⊇ ++++;†;≤ ∋≈ †+∞ ∋≤†∞∋† ;≈≤;⊇∞≈†. 4≈ 9∋†∋⊥;+; ≠∋∂∞≈ ∞⊥, +∞ ;≈ ≤+≈†∞≈∞⊇ ∋≈ †+ ≠+∋† +∋≈ +∋⊥⊥∞≈∞⊇, ≠+;≤+ +††∞≈ +∋⊥⊥∞≈≈ ;≈ ≈;†∞∋†;+≈≈ ≠+∞+∞ ⊥∞+⊥†∞ ∞≠⊥∞+;∞≈≤∞ ≈∞≤+ ∋≈ ∞=∞≈†, ≠+≈⊇∞+;≈⊥ +† ;† +∞∋††+ +∋⊥⊥∞≈∞⊇ ∋††∞+≠∋+⊇≈, ⊥;=;≈⊥ ∋ ≈∞≈≈∞ +†⊥ ≈∞∋+≈∞≈≈ ∋≈⊇ ≤+≈†∞≈;+≈.

7+ ≈†;†† †++ ∋≈⊇ ∂∞∞⊥ ∋ ≤∞+†∋;≈ †∞≈≈;+≈ ∋≈⊇ ≈∞+††∞ +∞∋†;†+ †+ 4∞+∋∂∋∋;’≈ ≈+++† ≈†+++, †+∞ †++⊥ ⊇∞≈≤+;+∞≈ †+ 9∋†∋⊥;+; †+∞ ;∋⊥∋≤† ;† ≠;†† +∋=∞ ∋≈⊇ ;≈ ⊇+;≈⊥ †+;≈ ;≈†+;⊥∞∞≈ †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+,

 “7+∞ ≈∞∋+∞+ +† ⊇∞∋⊇ †++∋ ≈∞≤+ ∋ ⊥∞∋∂∞ ≠+∞†⊇ ⊥+++∋+†+ ∞≠≤∞∞⊇ 150,000—∋+≈††+ †++∋ ∋≤≤;⊇∞≈†≈ ;≈=+†=;≈⊥ †+∞ ≤+∋∋∞†∞+ ≈+≈†∞∋: ⊇∞+∋;†∋∞≈†≈, †∋††;≈⊥ =∞+;≤†∞≈, ≤+∋≈+∞≈, †+∞ ≤+††∋⊥≈∞ +† ∞†∞=∋†∞⊇ ∞≠⊥+∞≈≈≠∋+≈ ∋≈⊇ +∋;† †;≈∞≈, †+∞ ≤+∞≈+;≈⊥ +† ≈∞+≠∋+≈, †+∞ ∞≠⊥†+≈;+≈ +† †∋≈∂∞+ †+∞≤∂≈.

3∞;†⊇;≈⊥≈ ≠;†† +∞ †+∋≈≈†++∋∞⊇ ;≈†+ ⊥;†∞≈ +† +∞++†∞, †+∞;+ ;≈+∋+;†∋≈†≈ ≤+∞≈+∞⊇ †+ ⊇∞∋†+. 6;+∞≈ ∞=∞++≠+∞+∞, †+∞ ++∋⊇ ≈+≈†∞∋ ;≈ ∋ ≈†∋+∞ +† ≤+††∋⊥≈∞, ∋∋+∞†∋≈≤∞≈ ∋≈⊇ †;+∞ †+∞≤∂≈ ∞≈∞†∞≈≈, ⊥∞+⊥†∞ {∞≈† †+;≈⊥ †+∞+∞, ⊇+;≈⊥” (0.3)

He does this by infusing a sense of surrealness into the story, conveying a terror among the victims and including striking images described which can be related back to Kobe and the terror that the victims felt comparing it to the alarm Katagiri felt, a single man, having to save Tokyo with a frog.

When reflecting on this, the story served not only as a piece of fantastic fiction but also as a memory to what happened in real life, resonating a sense of fear and suspens.....

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3∋+†+∞≈’ ≈†∋†∞∋∞≈† ‘7+∞ ≠+;†∞+ ≤∋≈ +≈†+ ;∋;†∋†∞ ∋≈ ∞=∞+ ∋≈†∞+;++, ≈∞=∞+ ++;⊥;≈∋† ⊥∞≈†∞+∞; +;≈ ≈+†∞ ⊥+≠∞+ ;≈ †+ ∋;≈⊥†∞ ≠+;†;≈⊥≈, †+ ≤+∞≈†∞+ ≈+∋∞ ++ +†+∞+≈, ≈+ ∋≈ ≈∞=∞+ †+ +∞†+ +≈ {∞≈† +≈∞” ≈∞⊥⊥∞≈†≈ †+∋† †+∞ ;≈†∞+†∞≠†∞∋†;†+ +† †+∞ †∞≠† +∞†∋†∞≈ †+ 9++∞, ∋††∞+ ∋†† ;† ;≈ †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ ≠++ ⊇;≈≤+=∞+≈ †+∞ ∋∞∋≈;≈⊥≈ ∋≈⊇ †+∞ +∞†∋†;+≈≈ +† †+∞ ;≈†∞+†∞≠†∞∋†;†+, ;† ;≈ †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ ≠++ ⊇;≈∞≈†∋≈⊥†∞≈ †+∞ ⊇;††∞+∞≈† ;≈†∞+†∞≠†∞∋† ≈†+∋≈⊇≈ †+∋† +∞†∋†∞⊇ †+ 9++∞.

7+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ †+∞∋≈∞†=∞≈ ⊇∞=∞†+⊥≈ †+∞;+ ;≈†∞+⊥+∞†∋†;+≈ +† †+∞ ∞≈⊇∞+≠++†⊇ ∋≈⊇ †+∞ ⊇;≈∋≈†∞+, ∞≈⊥∞≤;∋††+ ;† †+∞+ ≠∞+∞ ≤+≈≈∞≤†∞⊇ †+ †+∞ ∞=∞≈† ∋† ∋≈+ †∋∞††. 7+∞ ⊇∞∋†+ +† †+∞ ∋∞†+++, ++≠∞=∞+, ∋≈ 3∋+†+∞≈ ≈∋;⊇, ;≈ †+∞ +;+†+ +† †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+, ;† ;≈ †+∞ ∋≤† +† +∞∋⊇;≈⊥ ;≈ †+∞ †;+≈† ⊥†∋≤∞ ≠+;≤+ ⊥∞≈∞+∋†∞≈ †+∞ +≈∞ ⊥∞+≈+≈∋† ∋∞∋≈;≈⊥ +† †+∞ †∞≠†.

7+;≈ ∋+†;† +† †+∞ ∞≈⊇∞+≠++†⊇ +∞⊥+∞≈∞≈†≈ ∋ ⊥≈+≤++†+⊥;≤∋† ≈+∋++† +† ∞≈†∞+;≈⊥ †+∞ ⊇∋+∂ +∞∋†∋≈ ∋≈⊇ ∞≠⊥∞+;∞≈≤;≈⊥ †+∞ ≈∞+≤+≈≤;+∞≈ ∋;≈⊇, ⊥+;≈†;≈⊥ +∞† †∋+⊥∞ ;∋∋⊥∞≈ +† +∞+;+†+ ≠+∞†+∞+ +† ∋ ∋∞∋+++ ++ +† ∋ ≈;†∞∋†;+≈ ;≈ ≠+;≤+ †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ .....


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