The shaping of future through the Past and Prsent of Nomi in "Obasan" by Joy Kogawa
The scene in which Nomi and Obasan are in the attic is a significant metaphor as it relates three of the most important recurring themes through the entire novel. The fact that Nomi's life is solely based on a confrontation of her past and present childhood, and how her past and present will shape her entire future. While rumiging through the attic, they both stumble upon various objects, most interesting of which are the two spiders which confront and engage eachother. After pushing a box aside, there is a spider and as it is exposed "another spider of a different variety comes scuttling up" (Kogawa,24), the second spider appears far stronger than the first and scares the first one off. The realtionship of Japanese Canadians and the Canadian government could be made as a powerless creature is living in solitary peace away from plain view just like the first spider, but then is disturbed and threatened and eventually forced to go into hiding by a stronger force, such as the Canadian government where they will not disturb anyone except their own kind.
While in the attict, the aspect which most prodominantly reflects the present life of Nomi are the torn rags and ravaging group of spiders.
Nomi notices "a graveyard and feasting-ground combined. Shredded rag shapes thick with dust hang like evil laundry on a line. A desperate wash day. Spider, i would say, are indelicate" (Kogawa,25). Just like Nomi's life, she is also in a feasting-ground as she is clouded and is emotionally shredded by her past experiences in Japanese interment camps. The future of Nomi and her family are all shaped from what has has already occured in her life...