ComparingThe Pact and Memoirs of a Geisha
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ComparingThe Pact and Memoirs of a Geisha
English I.S.U-The Pact and Memoirs of a Geisha
In the novels The Pact, by Jodi Piocoult and Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden there is a strong reflection of life and its negative aspects. Not only do both novels involve a female who’s life is controlled by those around her, but the girls are also controlled by a desired conception of themselves that they feel they have to achieve. The predominant ideas that exist in both works are those concerned with ones personal will to live a certain way and to achieve goals that are believed to grant success. Both stories involve a female who, through out her life, endures the pain that sometimes comes with the bleak reality of our world. The childhood traumas and the severe pressure exerted upon each of the woman causes them to suffer; However Sayuri, although, she is deprived of her individual freedom, uses her situation to its full potential where as Emily can not deal with the pain and has a mental breakdown.
Both Sayuri, in Memoirs of a Geisha and Emily in The Pact suffer through a childhood trauma. Sayuri, begins her life in the small town of Yoroido, Japan, where she lives with her family and knows herself at this time, as Chiyo; her name does not change to Sayuri until years later. Sayuri is dealing with the deterioration of her mother who is ill with cancer, and is preparing for her death, while her father is a quiet, distant man who neither knows Sayuri or her sister, Satsu. It isone afternoon when her father, with out confronting his wife or children makes a deal with a significant man to sell his children. Sayuri is taken to see a lady who inspects her in appalling ways to find out if she is suitable to be sold. Sayuri soon finds herself on a train leaving Yoroido, where she will be separated from her entire family and transported to a far town called Gion. Years later, while being treated as a slave in an Okiya, a Japanese Geisha house in Japan, Sayuri is still traumatised by what happened to her. “ I couldn’t stop thinking about Mr. Tanaka. He had taken me from my mother and father and sold me for slavery. He sold my sister to something even worse” (Golden, 82). Sayuri never sees her parents again, for she receives a letter some time after she had been taken informing her that her parents had past away. Sayuri is left in an unfamiliar world alone, and sees no hope for a brighter future. “It would have been enough to know that my father had died, or that my mother had died. But to learn in a single moment that both my mother and father had died and left me and that my sister too was lost to me forever…at once my mind felt like a broken vase that would not stand. I was lost even with in the room around me” (Golden,103). With these experiences, it makes it difficult for Sayuri to see anything positive in a life that has only offered her sorrow. Emily Gold in The Pact also under goes a devastating childhood experience. When Emily is very young, she is raped by an employee of Macdonald’s restaurant when she goes to use the bathroom there one afternoon. Emily never speaks a word of this incident to anyone. As hard as she tries to forget about this occurrence, and put it behind her, it is too difficult. The memories of the rape haunt her when she is making love to her boyfriend, Chris. Instead of her seeing her lover’s hands touching her, she envisions the dirty paws of the man that abused her years ago. “Everything was sharper. She could smell his black breath, feel the course hairs on the back of his hand, see her own face staring back at her. She was wearing something with an elastic waist; it snapped back against her hips. There were the familiar sensations of his fingernails scratching at her. His palms grinding up against her nipples, the burning between her legs. But this time there was more. The droning whirr of what?-bees? The
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Memoirs of a Geisha, Japanese-language films, Geisha, Okiya, Sayuri, Chiyo
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